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Old School Networking...
Face To Face

Ok, they call me "Old School" at times.  I'd like to think Classic is a better way to refelct on looking back at my life.  But in truth, there are memorable values, practices, traditions, or way of life that contribute to our success.  And yes, some of those might be considered "Old School".


I've always followed the mantra of past behaviors will indicate future behaviors.  One such past behavior of mine, and those I look up to in my business success is the ability to make, and maintain personal relationships.  There are times, when an old friend resurfaces, and not only does it bring back the warmth of friendship, but it opens doors.  These doors werent even considered years ago when we had met.  But today, these doors, opened by old friends make the difference.


Long lasting friendships are made, enhanced, and cherished in what I label the "Old School" way...Face to Face.


123@5 gives you the opportunity to visit, and learn what is becoming a lost art of making new friends, on a 1-1 personal basis, not through social media, or technology, but face to face.

When you make great friends...Great business will follow...Steve Riege

The 123@5 Creed

  • No fee…(yes it's FREE)

  • BYOS (buy your own stuff at the bar).  

  • No rsvp required

  • No membership roster

  • No rules

  • No Agenda

  • No programs to join

  • Invite your network 

  • Bring your friends.

  • No holds barred 1-1 Business Networking encouraged by all



123@5 What does it mean?


We meet “in person”


1 = On the “1st” month of the quarter

2 = The “2nd” week of the month

3 = The “3rd” day of the week

@5 = At “5:00“


We meet the second Wednesday of

January, April, July, and October…at 5:00 p.m.


The surpirse venue location

is announced just a week or so prior to the event.

The only way to have a to be one...Ralph Waldo Emerson

A little 123@5 history

A long, long time ago, in a land far away...Actually it was only in 2004, that 123@5 was born in it's original form, and the experiment failed.  As much as we tried, the best we could muster was 8-12 business people, most of whom knew eachother, meeting for a beverage after work.  After a year of trying to expand,  experimenting with locations, formats, programs, and personal marketing, we closed the chapter on 123@5 vs.1.0.


In 2009, people started to talk again and reflect about those gatherings five years earlier.  I was encouraged to try it again, but hesitant to believe the pause of five years would be the difference maker.  We surveyed over 400 business frineds and contacts.  We asked them about networking.  What makes it work?  What would make it better than just another choice for the after-work calendar.  We learned several important lessons. 

  1. Quarterly

  2. Central to Downtown...Stay away from favoring a suburb.

  3. A new or unique location

  4. No program

  5. No membership requirements

  6. No fees

  7. Keep it simple

  8. Pure 1-1 networking

  9. Open to anyone

  10. Market through social media


The leap into 123@5 vs.2.0 was born.


On January 13th, 2010, 26 people gathered at the Iron Horse Hotel for a little 1-1, face to face networking.  In April, 75+ joined in at Blu in the Pfister.  And on the rooftop in July, we had over 200 lively business people excited to get to know eachother better.  Linkedin, facebook, twitter, e-mail and personal word of mouth took it the rest of the way.  We have stayed near and dear to the creed from our attendees, and now 123@5 has become Milwaukee's Premier Business Networking Event with more than 250+ attendees at every free event.


Join us next time, and help us make a little more history.

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