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Frequently Asked Questions
Can non-Cornellians attend events?
It depends. For events with limited space, we give preference to Cornellians. For other events, only Cornellians can register, but you can bring a guest; the number of guests also depends on space limitations. Keep in mind that the point of CEN is to bring Cornellians together, so we -- and, frankly, the other attendees -- prefer that the vast majority of the crowd be alumni. Parents of Cornellians, adult children, and spouses are always welcome.
An event I wanted to attend says Sold Out - what do I do?!
We do our best to communicate when an event is very popular or about sell out by including language in our emails such as "Only 25 tickets left, sign up now." Keep in mind that our marketing lists include thousands of people, so if there's an event you really need to attend, you should sign up as soon as you see the email. If you still don't get in, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the waitlist. If people cancel we'll go down the list first-come, first-served.
Why aren't there CEN events in my city?
CEN produces ~ 30 events per year:
6-8 in New York City
3-4 in Boston
2 in Chicago
2-3 in Washington, D.C.
3 in Seattle
3 in Los Angeles
1-2 in Southern Florida
1 in Atlanta
1 in Texas
50 in Northern California (in partnership with Cornell Silicon Valley)
1-2 in Ithaca (during the Entrepreneurship Celebration in April)
Currently CEN is focused on the locations listed above, but we're researching the feasibility of expanding into other cities. In the meantime, check out your regional alumni associations and clubs. Note that events in Northern California come under the purview of our partner organization, Cornell Silicon Valley (CSV). To join CSV, please visit the CSV website.
Do I have to register for events or can I just show up?
Please register! When you pre-register you get a nice printed nametag and your name listed in the invaluable "See Who's Coming" networking list. In some cases we have to turn walk-ins away; in others we impose a $10 walk-in surcharge.
What if I sign up for an event and can't attend?
If it's several days in advance of the event, please cancel your registration online as soon as you know so we can start contacting people on the wait list.
How do I become a CEN speaker?
We're always looking for dynamo alumni speakers who are tops in their fields and who can share unique information about hot or popular business topics. We also look for people with fascinating business stories, like how you built or rebuilt a company, launched a super-successful product, overcame substantial obstacles, recruited and retained the best people, etc.
Evening forums attract a general entrepreneurially minded crowd, while breakfasts and lunches usually attract a smaller but more targeted audience. Please view the Past Events list to see examples of the caliber of speaker we feature, then contact us for more information if you're qualified and interested!
Aren't networking events attended mostly by young alumni looking for jobs?
Not CEN events. Take a look at the See Who's Coming or See Who Came lists and you'll see lots of lofty titles such as Managing Director, Partner, CEO, Owner, Vice President, etc. That's because the caliber of speaker that we engage attracts alumni across the spectrum of schools, professions, and class years.
Are you looking for venues to host events?
Yes! In New York we primarily hold our events at the fabulous Cornell Club, but in all other cities we're always scouting great locations. It's a great way to showcase your business and give back to Cornell.
Here's the ideal setting for a typical CEN event:
Space can hold anywhere from 25 (breakfast/lunch) to 150 people (dinner)
Theater-style seating is possible (for large events)
You allow a cash bar on the premisis
There's ample, reasonably priced parking and/or you're on a popular metro stop
You're in a prime location or you have such an amazing space (like a museum or aquarium) that people would go out of their way to come to
There are no stringent after-hour entry requirements to the building that would require a staff member or volunteer to stand outside to keep the door open