Let me start of my saying that after going to Search & Social Spring Summit 2010, I’m really scared. I’m scared that the conferences I go to from this point on won’t live up to the awesomness that this conference was! Before you go AH HA! FAN BOY! Hear me out. This conference wasn’t as big as far as number of attendees go, it was more on a personal scale. Around 120 or so. This isn’t a reflection of those who signed up so much as it is on the number of tickets available.
The first day was great, I met up with just about everyone I’ve connected with via Twitter. For me Twitter has become a powerful way to network, but that’s a topic for another post . I got to know a lot of other individuals whom I’ve never met before. The biggest thing that stood out to me, everyone was really open and willing to chat for a bit. Maybe I’m this surprised by the previous attempts at networking events I’ve been to. I used to work as a Director of Development for a non-profit in Kansas City and I got sent to a lot of networking events. Having never done anything like this before I was pretty intimidated. I mean going to a place where the purpose was to get to know people just so I could use them for my own benefit later kinda made it difficult. There were a lot of people there that were great at networking, but they seemed well fake. I like be genuine, I try to be anyway, listening to others and see if I really can help them or see if they really can help me. At SSSS it just seemed more relaxing, maybe it was everyone in shorts and t-shirts, I don’t know but it was the best networking I’ve ever done. Oh and I think I should mention here that the speakers were just, outstanding! That night was just great. I got to hang out a bit more with some guys I sat with during the conference and well as with a few I met via Twitter. No SEO talk, no sales pitches, just hanging out.
The second day started off a little better than the first in my opinion, simply because everyone had gotten a chance to know each other the day before. So the mingling went even better the day after. Not to mention the night consisted of a Casino set up which led to some pretty interesting events. My wife and I settled on a blackjack table and started playing with Jessica Bowman who was a speaker at SSSS. After an hour or so of playing a guy walked by and said, “Three more hands then we count the chips.” Apparently the person with the most chip count won a two night stay at the Double-Tree Hotel and second place got a free ticket to SSSS next year. Since only Jessica and I were playing we split up our remaining chips across the open spots on the table. I won two of the three I had chips on, Jessica won all of them. But her new chip count wasn’t enough to take second, so I gave her all of my chips and she won second place. Story over there right? Hardly. Dave Naylor told Jessica they wanted to have her back as a speaker next year so there wasn’t a need for her to win a free ticket. I jokingly told her she should offer the ticket to the person who gave her the chips to win second. She looked at me and said, “Yeah, that sounds good. What’s your email? Email me and I’ll contact Dave.” Stunned I stumbled to get my phone out to email her. I’ve got a free pass to the even next year. I know I’m not a Marine, but my little bro I so on behalf of him ‘Oorah!’ I’m going next year!
That does it for me guys, I’m off to…well, work (no comments on that! )