Fishers event “sparks” networking

Chris Reed, founder of Sparks, introduces speakers to the networking crowd. (Photo by John Cinnamon)
Chris Reed, founder of Sparks, introduces speakers to the networking crowd. (Photo by John Cinnamon)

By Ann Craig-Cinnamon

Networking is a big thing. There are lots of groups and organizations founded for the sole purpose of putting people in a room together in the hope that business transactions might occur.  A Fishers entrepreneur began a networking concept two years ago that has begun to “catch fire.”

Chris Reed, the founder of Cast A Bigger Net Marketing, came up with the idea of “Sparks” which is intended to be a TED-like experience with a twist.

TED is a nonprofit that began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics usually in the form of short, powerful talks. Today TED events are held around the world.

Reed says his twist is the use of a timer and two screens side-by-side.

“It gives the ability to show the audience how much time is left in the talk and that really makes a huge difference because it really comes down to type A personalities paying attention and disconnecting from their cocktails and their conversations for a minute to focus and we don’t want to focus very long. Ten minutes is short enough periods that it gives them a chance to focus and get something,” Reed said. “We wanted to create something that would be an opportunity for a person to bring a friend, a prospect, a strategic partner to create a memory as they all have a common experience.”

Sparks recently announced that it has established partnerships with the Chambers of Commerce of Fishers, Lawrence, Carmel and Westfield. Each month, the business speaker series will be included among these Chambers’ calendars of events.

“This partnership allows us to expand our reach and let more professionals know about our great monthly event,” said Reed.

The free events are held at 5 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at Moon Dog Tavern at 4825 E. 96th St. Reed says attendees become inspired, informed and more connected as they are treated to gifted speakers discussing such topics as the future of education, habits of highly confident people and what really matters in one’s success. The talks are later available online at

Reed, who says the local group has developed a loyal following, is looking at rolling out his concept to other markets and is planning an announcement about growth in the next six months.