Every month or so at CN&CO we get a group of people together at our HQ in Illovo for a ConFab session: an evening of wine, insights and networking – not necessarily in that order. For each event we invite a guest speaker to chat about whatever they want to in the company of 20 or so clients, colleagues, friends, friends’ friends, and the odd gatecrasher.
“ConFabs are about bringing people together from a variety of professions, walks of life and with differing points of view to discuss whatever our guest speaker wants to talk about – or anything that tickles their fancy,” explains Carel. “The aim is to stimulate thinking, spark conversations and put people in touch with each other who otherwise may not have met.
“It’s all about building and strengthening relationships … as many as possible.”
Our first session was with Greg Mills, who gave some insight into his new book How South Africa Works – and Must Do Better.
ConFab #2 was headlined by Gianni Mariano, founder of the Mastrantonio franchise, who spoke on the seemingly unlikely combo of people, brand and risotto.
At ConFab #3, our chairman Colleen Magner, director of Reos Partners, gave a rather more formal (but no less interesting) talk on transformative scenario planning.
“Topics vary from session to session, but they’re always interesting and engaging,” says Carel. “Speakers are invited to talk about whatever they want to, which either freaks them out completely or totally delights them. We love the different responses we get, not only from speakers, but also from our guests.
“It’s amazing the magic that happens when you put good people and good wine a room. Mostly it’s about the people, but the wine is always a good social lubricant.”