Indianapolis is a booming city that continues to grow each day. With major tech companies locating to the Hoosier state and new small businesses starting all the time, how do all these businesses connect with other?

Within the city are a plethora of networking groups which are divided based on age, gender, location, and industry. And while joining these smaller groups is helpful, you can sometimes find yourself trapped in a bubble. You might find that you’re not reaching your target consumer – only your competition, or maybe your networking group just doesn’t have an outside perspective. That’s where Accelerent comes in.

Accelerent is a national business development platform that connects local business leaders to each other. It is not a networking group because Accelerent invites only one business from each industry to participate and connects the decision makers from each industry to each other and encourages them to build relationships with each other, enough to trust referring each other to relationships that could potentially use their services. There are branches located in 5 cities across the country, and its branch in Indianapolis boasts over 55 partnered businesses. Jonathan Byrd’s and 502 East Event Centre are proud to be a part of such an innovative organization.

Accelerent Partners Eat Breakfast at 502 East Event Centre While Listening to A Guest Speaker
Nathaniel Edmunds Photography

For the last three years, 502 East Event Centre has hosted 5 breakfast events each year for Accelerent.  Members from various businesses come and eat a breakfast freshly-made by the culinary team at Jonathan Byrd’s. Each breakfast features a guest speaker and about 300+ business leaders attend.

There are lots of catering and event centers in Indianapolis so why did Accelerent turn to 502 East and Jonathan Byrd’s? Karen Johnson, Regional Event Manager for Accelerent Indianapolis, said they chose 502 East and Catering by Jonathan Byrd’s because of “their excellent reputation within the Indy market for well-run events, excellent food and service.”  One of the main leaders in Accelerent, Karen arranges all the events for partners in and around the Indianapolis area.

Accelerent Partners Wake Up Early to Mingle at 502 East Event Centre
Nathaniel Edmunds Photography 

If you’re familiar with the Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria that used to be a staple in the Greenwood community, you remember delicious food and neighborly service, and that’s what the members of Accelerent value about Jonathan Byrd’s and 502 East Event Centre.

“502 East and Jonathan Byrd’s is an Executive Partner and they are an excellent partner.  As the host of our 5 yearly breakfast events, everything is top-notch and nothing is forgotten,” says Brady Gilreath, Regional Vice President of Partner Services, of Accelerent Indianapolis.  “In addition to the breakfast events, 502 and Jonathan Byrd’s is helpful in promoting our other partners to relationships they have that might need a partner’s service.  Helping without keeping score is what makes a great partner and 502 East and Jonathan Byrd’s is just that!”

Partners Line Up To Get Breakfast at the Quarterly Accelerent Breakfast Meetings at 502 East Event Centre
Nathaniel Edmunds Photography

Although Accelerent events are all about business, breakfast gatherings are very familiar and relaxed, although you wouldn’t guess it given all the suits and ties. Members take a little time off work to hear a nationally known speaker, meet partners and their guests, and connect. Many members have known each other so long or have developed such a great relationship outside of Accelerent that everyone is incredibly courteous and friendly. And that’s what Accelerent strives for, a comfortable atmosphere so that partners feel more relaxed when approaching each other and getting to know a business from a more personal connection.

An Accelerent breakfast goes something like this: guests arrive in the foyer of 502 East at 7:00 am. Some guests have display tables informing others of their business, while others mingle among the partners shaking hands and drinking coffee. After 40 minutes of connecting with each other, patrons get breakfast at one of multiple buffets. Diners have healthy breakfast options such as fruit, yogurt, and granola, to more traditional options like scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and pancakes.  Once everyone has a plate and is seated, the group is welcomed by some of Accelerent’s prominent partners including our own Mrs. Ginny Byrd.

Mrs. Ginny Byrd Always Welcomes The Accelerent Partners to 502 East Event Centre Nathaniel Edmunds Photography

After a few introductions, the guest speaker for the event will be introduced. Accelerent speakers are often world-renown athletes, entrepreneurs, and entertainers. While some business groups will have their guest speakers talk about issues impacting the business world, Accelerent knows that all sorts of lessons can come from many different scenarios within life, not just within the work place. For example, the last speaker was Roger Crawford, a tennis professional described as one of the most accomplished physically challenged athletes in the world.  He delivered a message about overcoming adversity, possessing a can-do attitude, and achieving the impossible. It was a moving and entertaining speech that partners wouldn’t have seen in any other networking conference. The event is not open to the general public; there are no tickets sold. The only people that attend the events are Accelerent partners and their guests (typically important customers, prospects, business partners and vendors). Partners receive an electronic invitation prior to each event, and all attendees register through the Accelerent website.

Roger Crawford Addresses the Partners of Accelerent 
 Nathaniel Edmunds Photography

“I enjoy working with your staff,” says Johnson. “Chef does a wonderful job with the Breakfast buffets and the servers go above and beyond. 502 Jonathan Byrd’s has a great team and it is a pleasure to work with all of you.” When asked about the process of planning an extensive event like the Accelerent breakfast, Gilreath describes the process as “very smooth. They listen to understand the goal and develop a plan to ensure the goal of the breakfast is met. I highly recommend anyone having an event, whether business or personal, contact 502 East and Jonathan Byrd’s.”

Brady Gilreath, Regional Vice President of Partner Services, Indianapolis Accelerent, Poses with Roger Crawford 
 Nathaniel Edmunds Photography

So, if you’re searching for an event space for your next corporate meeting, continuing education conference, or holding an expo, remember that 502 East and Catering by Jonathan Byrd’s has an excellent reputation among Accelerent partners. With the group growing at a consistent pace, there’s a good chance you know someone who is a partner and they can tell you all about their fantastic experience too.


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