Saturday, July 09, 2005

Dine Magazine Event at "6"

Finally, after a year or so, I attended my first Dine Magazine event on Thursday evening. Many people I know attend these frequent events (or have) and I've always had a schedule conflict. I think the concept is a good one -- have sponsors or advertisers provide free drinks and snacks in exchange for the magazine promoting itself and having it's subscribers attend an "exclusive" members-only style event, not-unlike the Indy Men's Magazine monthly launch parties (or book launch parties or other promotional events in New York, Chicago and other cities.) There was a sizable line when I arrived -- due mainly to the fact that magazine staffers were having attendees sign liability waivers! And not only that, but they made you fill out the entire one page form including name and address which they should have from their own subscriber list. The woman at the door led me to believe it was a management requirement for the restauarant (must make working the door on Saturday nights at a nightclub interesting) but on further investigation, it seems to be a requirement for attending Dine Magazine events. What gives? I asked a couple of people who seemed in the know and they said a) it was required by their lawyers, and b) that lots of events required waivers. Um, hmmmm. Must not be the same lawyers advising any number of other givers of promotional events. I've never, ever encountered it before -- and I attend a *lot* of events with open bars. One of the marketing folks asserted that for an event with "hundreds of dollars" of value to me, the attendee, it should be a small price to pay. Well, I don't know what they charge for two cosmos, a glass of $9.99 grocery store wine and three bites of appetizers at "6" but maybe I'm underestimating. (He then accused me of being "hostile".) Not hostile -- just weirdly curious.

I'm always lauging when Indiana people invent some new "way" of doing things that they profess to be in sync with the rest of the country when they apparently haven't visited the rest of the country lately. Having to fill out a waiver each time (geez, you'd think they could keep them on file for regulars!) probably won't stop me from attending other events, but it certaintly won't stop me from making fun of them for their over-cautious attitude. Unless I've missed some important case law lately of a club or event sponsor being sued by an overexhuberent guest, I'm mystified. Of course, at an event with open bar and passed snacks, it usually too difficult to drink yourself into a stupor -- free liquor often flows very slowly. And it's probably a moot point since I'm sure I was removed by hand from their mailing list this morning due to my complaints.

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