It's just after 11pm when top Silicon Valley event planner Karen Hartline, who works with hot companies like Mashable and Blurb.com, rolls into the party at Hanger 8 at the illustrious Santa Monica airport in a gorgeous satin green dress and high heels. The scene is not unlike typical Los Angeles on a Thursday night. Men linger about in blazers and dark wash jeans while beautiful women in party attire mingle over mixed drinks. Music booms from the sound system above, momentarily punched by the familiar voice of TV personality and entrepreneur Shira Lazar, who is circling the crowd to interview guests.
From the looks of it, you'd never guess that it's work, not play, on the lips of those conversing in small groups around the room.
But that's what events like Twiistup are all about: Take the business social network offline, then throw in bunches of hipsters, great music and plenty to eat and drink. "It's a great way to meet people in the industry in a fun environment," shared Hartline via email. "Kill two birds with one stone, so to speak."
"Why not mix business and pleasure?" she adds.
It's something I've heard echoed among many of the women entrepreneurs and executives I've met and know. They're as much social butterflies as they are CEOs, and know the benefit of mixing a little of both can have on their businesses.
Power Girls know that there's value in connecting. If it can include a pretty dress and Christian Louboutin heels, even better.
A few of the crew's social networking favorites:
Internet and Tech: No other industry mixes work and play better than the internet business. A myriad of industry events like Twiistup dot social calendars every month and attract entrepreneurs and execs of all ages. Brian Solis' TechSet parties rove the country at major events like Web 2.0 NY and South by Southwest. Power Girls also flock to Women 2.0's jam-packed dinners in San Francisco and mixers throughout the country by organizations like She's Geeky and Girls in Tech.
Green Businsess: Social entrepreneurs and change agents gather to hang out and fight causes through organizations like New York Women Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers/Changebloggers, which hold meet-ups and special speakers in a fun, casual environment. Changemakers/Changebloggers co-founders Naomi Hirabayashi and Anna Carlson lend hand to other charity fetes, like the Macdella fashion week after party to benefit children this Friday (which Naomi will be Huff Post blogging).
Media Business: Media business entrepreneurs and execs can find flocks of their kind at mixers held across the country. PaidContent.org's post-event parties are legendary for rubbing elbows with top media brass while soaking social culture. Media exec Laurel Touby's get-togethers sparked her creating one of the industry's most popular websites, Mediabistro.com, which still hosts and lists a range of amazing events for journalists, entrepreneurs and executives.
Fashion and Entertainment: Entertainment consultant Jen Grisanti brings together Hollywood writers, producers and directors every month to nosh on food and drinks at her Friday Night Drinks events in Los Angeles. The newly formed New York Style Coalition does the same for fashion industry execs and business owners twice a month at its Fashion 2.0 meet-ups and other get-togethers.
If there's not something in your city, consider organizing an event! For information on where Power Girls might be hanging out in your town or how to coordinate a networking event, email firstname.lastname@example.org