VIPERs: Very Influential People in Energy Roundtable ….. 2 years later

5/1/2017 VIPERs: The Reboot


Spring Cleaning…..

Closing the #viper-room Slack community

I created this online channel last year so VIPERs could continue conversations with one another while away from the dinner table, announce impromptu happy hours, etc. It never really caught on. We can open it back up if we ever want to try again.

Location, Location, Location

The VIPER RoomIn the past we gathered in a private dining room at one of several fine eateries in different areas with different price ranges. While I enjoyed all these venues, it was difficult to establish dinners further out in advance due to different reservation policies and some not able to provide “worry-free” dining (i.e. restrictions, deposits & extra charges for reserving a private dining room).

While we may have an impromptu happy hour or few at other venues, our VIPER dinners for the remainder of 2017 will all be held at The Capital Grille – CityCentre (TCG-CC). While it’s not the closest for many of us nor the least expensive, TCG-CC has always provided excellent food, service and atmosphere for our dinners and even held a complimentary happy hour for our entire group of VIPERs last year which was awesome.

Everyone pays for their own meals/drinks …. unless you “lost your wallet at the beach”

Our VIPER group has influencers from every corner of a turbulent energy industry …. from young & ambitious Rising Stars, to experienced & established Thought Leaders …. with entrepreneurs finishing school & beginning start-ups, and Movers & Shakers who have already created new paths & new ventures.

All of this I mention to point out that money does not, nor should not, matter when it comes to being a VIPER. At any point in time any of us can get pinched if we’re just starting off, or just laid-off, or our business is just taking-off. VIPER is in no way connected to my employer Apache so I pay for each dinner from my own pocket as well.

We all have something of value to share with one another at these dinners and I do not want the “price of admission” ($65/guest + beverages + tax + gratuity) to prevent anyone from joining us. So if for any reason anyone would like a seat at the table but “lost their wallet at the beach” (I’ve actually done that), then please drop me a short note just saying that (“Lost my wallet at the beach”) and that dinner will be taken care of, no questions asked and no reason necessary.

Invitation List …. Opt-in

Since VIPER was started 1 ½ years ago we’ve had 53 different VIPERS attend 10 dinners and 1 “official” happy hour. I’ve sent invitations to 90 people, some folks are able to attend several events a year while others maybe once or twice or whenever they come to Houston, or never at all.

A Few Fun Facts: each dinner had at least 1 newcomer …. 45% attended more than 1 event …. 15% attended 4 or more events.

Because dinners are kept small & personable (capped at 12 attendees), each & every event is an opportunity to learn something new or to build new relationships because the conversations we have and the people who attend each dinner are different every time.

The invitation list evolves over time, some drop off as new influencers who are hungry for conversation are found and added on.

Opt-In ==> Please respond to this email with “YES VIPER INVITES” If you want to receive VIPER event invitations going forward. Once on, please let me know if you ever want to be delisted from invitations. Each of us has knowledge / experience / enthusiasm / etc. that would provide lots of value to fellow VIPERs but I want VIPER to be of value for you as well.

Sharing Energy Influencers …. Yammertime!

I started VIPERs so I could learn more about current/future energy influencers ….. a pleasant upside to all of this was that everyone else at the dinner table got to learn more about current/future energy influencers too (i.e. other VIPERs). I would like to take this one step further now and have others outside of VIPER get to know more about you as well.

In the past this evolved into #Energy100 or an Energy Influencers blog series on Oilpro or elsewhere. This time around I want to introduce Energy Influencers like you to Apache.

We use the Yammer app here at Apache to test social networking services & communication within our organization. I created a ‘Land Group’ on it last year where I periodically post to 85+ interested Apaches mostly land-related info which I think will be very useful. Here I’ve even spotlighted impressive undertakings by some VIPERs and highlighted informative articles written by others. But influential VIPERS exist outside of ‘land’ too.

I believe many VIPERs have something of value …. be it experience, knowledge, a product, a service, a vision …. something which I may have learned during our conversation together which I would like to share with Apache, but I may not know exactly with whom. Yes I’ve been here for almost 3 years but unfortunately there are hundreds of Apaches for me yet to meet and it’s a daunting task to find out which person or what group it could be. So instead of finding them I will lead them to you.

I’ve created an Energy Influencers group on Apache’s yammer community. Here I will introduce select VIPERs to Apache and share with them your products / services / experiences / etc. that I find fascinating. This will not be a sales pitch to Apaches nor any form of solicitation, but rather a focus on something you provide which I feel Apaches would like to learn more about.

Each of you continue to be a great influence on me personally & professionally. By sharing some of your contributions on our Energy Influencers yammer feed I believe my fellow Apaches will also see you & your organizations as thought leaders, knowledge experts, and true visionaries of our industry. Please let me know if you would rather stay private and I will gladly keep you to myself.

Thank you VIPERs for sharing your knowledge, experience and insight at our VIPER dinners and for helping us all better understand anything & everything energy ….. together.

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