Jacksonville Small Business Community Poised to set Guinness World Record. | SBDC UNF

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Jacksonville Small Business Community Poised to set Guinness World Record.

It certainly got our attention when we found out the Brian Barquilla and a host of others were attempting to set a world record in speed networking. This is quite an opportunity for Jacksonville to “Put one in the books”. The best part is that all of us can get in on this! The event will be held Wednesday, April 1st at the Morocco Shrine Auditorium from 2:30p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Brian stopped long enough to answer a few questions about this historic attempt.
How did you come up with this idea? 
It started as a personal goal of being a Guinness World Record Holder. No real reason, just because… and to make conversation at cocktail parties. I wanted that plaque on my wall and didn’t care much of what it was for. Over the years I started to think more about it, and at the same time, I realized that I wanted to do something more significant than setting a record for growing out my fingernails or how many t-shirts I can wear at the same time.  After some research, I found the world record for the largest business speed networking event. The current record was 487 people and it sounded beatable to me.  So I started chatting about it with some of my business contacts and was encouraged by the support. At that point, it stopped being about me and started being about our whole business community.
Sponsors started to sign on like the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Logo Nation, Florida Times Union, Astadia, Predictive Results, Freedom Boat Club, LogoNation . Axia Public Relations, Interchanges, Jacksonville Chapter of the American Marketing Association. and of course, my company Advantage Business Magazine.   Its been very cool to see these companies get involved and see value in this one time only event.  Our goal now is to make “Jacksonville the most business friendly city in the world.” Setting this record will go a long way to prove it

 How does a record like that become certified?

Guinness Officials (with their British/Irish accents)  will be at the event to be sure that the guidelines are followed. Participants with get a numbered wristband. This is how we know exactly how many people are in the room. When we hit that magic number, we will begin the actual speed networking. Once complete, Guinness will make the official announcement and  take the pictures. That’s when the party starts. Come to think of it, I may be late into the office the next the day.


What can people expect?

Expect a whirlwind of activity, It starts as a business expo and there will be booths to visit. Its a light hearted event that is as much about entertainment as it is about business. Above all expect to call yourself a Guinness World Record Holder! How many people can say that!


What should people bring?

Bring lots of business cards. I recommended at least 50. Don’t be that person that “just ran out.” It might be a good idea to practice that elevator pitch too before the event too.  


Who is involved in helping make this happen?

I have to specifically credit Dolly Penland, Anne Urban, Jason Mudd, Marjorie Comer and Al Emerick for their hard work and resources. This is a FREE community event with just volunteers.

How do you register?

We absolutely need to get people to www.JaxWorldRecord.com and have them “Take the pledge” This is our RSVP system that allows us to begin to satisfy some of the Guinness requirements. From there we will communicate mostly through email to build anticipation an excitement for the magical day.  The best part is that it’s FREE!
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