Networking with Earplugs After airing meeting planners' gripes for the past several issues, I decided, as the news editor, to take my turn. At a recent industry meeting, I attended a luncheon billed as a networking event--where, as at too many of these events-- there was live music playing through the entire meal, forcing attendees to shout to introduce themselves, while stifling the feeling that they were being rude to the performer. Any attempt at networking was impossible. At another similar event, attendees were so aggravated they left in droves. I realize the sponsors and planners strive to create a lively setting, but I propose that if they structure the event so as to give attendees what they came for--a chance to talk with each other in a quiet, relaxed setting--attendees will remember the sponsor, and the meeting, as one where their needs were not sacrificed for the sponsor's visibility. That will make a much more lasting impression.