Burning Man: Naked dusty networking
Want to get introduced to senior executives of Facebook, Google, Yahoo? Or looking for funding from the largest venture capitalist firms? Why not head to Burning Man? The hedonistic week-long arts festival that takes places every August in Nevada on a dry lake called La Playa is best known for the elaborate costumes, or lack thereof, worn by the 60,000 plus attendees.
Adorned with vast and impermanent art installations, La Playa hosts an ‘anything goes’ community leading up to the burning of an effigy of a man – a salute to ‘radical self expression’.
There is no money, no branding or bartering, yet over the past few years it has become a destination for West Coast entrepreneurs and heavy-hitters. Tesla’s Elon Musk, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page reportedly all attended this year.
Rather than being shunned by the Burning Man community, the wealthy techies are welcomed. Although rocking up in private jets complete with service crews for their luxury tents might not quite match the ethos, the donations to the art installations are certainly welcomed. And anyway, naked and covered in dust all Burners are equal in the eyes of the community.
At $380 a ticket, Burning Man is probably the cheapest and most fun networking event out there. Getting it through the expenses department might be tricky though.