I headed downtown last night for the StartupDrinks Toronto event on behalf of Greenscroll; it was at Pogue Mahone, a pub at College/Bay. I'm not averse to the odd Guinness, but not sure if a noisy pub is the best way to try and connect with other startups.
Trying to have conversations with certain people became a bit of a nightmare as I couldn't understand most of what was being said because of the noise. It was also hard to tell who was there because of the event, or just regular customers. I find it a bit awkward to approach someone -- feels like a blind date! -- and prefer to be introduced, but that's me.
I wanted to pick people's brains and learn from their experiences of what does/n't work in getting a new venture off the ground, but came away with a feeling of disappointment that I hadn't achieved that. Ah well, maybe I should have shouted louder.
I like the mesh model of specific sessions, followed by breakout groups and the "on-the-fly" feeling of meeting cool entrepreneurs, finding common elements and then maybe heading on to a more social setting for further interaction.