Editorial: In Praise of Business Mixers


Photo by Mongkolchon Akesin /

As has been said many times before, we deal in the currency of facts and figures, the numbers and statistics that provide the bedrock for informed business intelligence and offer deep insights.

There can be no alternative for a B2B publishing house such as ours, especially if we really do aspire to achieve our mission statement of being “the most trusted newspaper in Hungary.”

But I will let you in on a secret. That data, those numbers, vital though they are, represent the granular detail, not the big picture. They are a snapshot in time, a reference point that tells you whether you are on track. Put crudely, whether you are up, down, or static/plateauing/stagnating/in balance (insert your adjective of choice here).

Put another way, data records business, and it is highly informative but does not drive business. That demands something much less “dry.” Much more flesh and blood, in fact. It requires human interaction. With that in mind, it was a joy to welcome so many familiar faces, and quite a few new ones, to our Back-to-Business Sundowner on Thursday, Sep. 14, hosted by the Budapest Marriott Hotel on the terrace in front of the DNB Budapest Wine Bar and Kitchen, and sponsored by Heineken. Good people, a great atmosphere and a stunning view are never a bad combination, even if you are saying goodbye to the summer. The upside is we have the fall season ahead of us, and who knows what opportunities that will bring?

The Budapest Business Journal’s business mixers were almost legendary back in the day; just ask anyone who worked here in the Nineties and the Naughties. But as schedules grew increasingly crowded, finding space for them in the diary became harder. That changed with the pandemic. We brought the mixers back because there was, once again, an appetite to meet and mingle face-to-face after a surfeit of Team/Zoom/Skype/FaceTime/Jitsi (no, me neither) meetings.

Those video conferencing apps were absolutely essential to getting through COVID and keeping businesses afloat, if not in good health. Still, perhaps the most valuable act they performed was to remind us that meeting someone face-to-face and in person is a much better way of doing business than face-to-screen. We are a social species, and pretty much all business is people-centric. I have written before that when I was a trainee reporter all those years ago, the one thing they used to hammer home to us, above all else, was finding the human element of a story. Since you can make a powerful argument that just about everything in commerce comes down to telling a story to sell a product or service, the same is surely true of doing business. We look forward to finding that “human element” with more of you at our next mixer.

Robin Marshall


This editorial was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of September 22, 2023.

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Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.