I eat it up. I’m certainly no expert (who is, really?), but I believe in it’s awesome power. It’s power to connect. It’s power to respond. It’s power to build and maintain relationships. However, as powerful as social media is there is absolutely nothing that beats *face to face.
I recently returned from the inaugural Social Fresh, founded by Jason Keath, and held in Charlotte, NC. Social Fresh was a one-day event that attempted to answer the question, “What does it take to really allow your company to excel on the Social Web?”. The question was answered and then some. It was a truly amazing event with over 200 in attendance. Personally, I learned a ton. However, as alluded to by the title and intro of this post, the real value came in the networking – the face time. In 12+ hours, I met some absolutely incredibly smart, talented, fun (and funny) individuals. People who were all about sharing and collaborating. People who craved new knowledge and new ways to think about issues.
Face To Face
To make a semi-long strong short, I was fortunate enough to meet scores of the 200+ attendees. Some were people I had been following on Twitter but had never met face to face (Jason Peck, Olivier Blanchard, David Armano, Jason Keath, etc). Others, like Gia Lyons – pictured above & in video below – I had not even heard of until the day of the event. That all changed very quickly. I learned long ago that if you really want to meet someone, you have to take the initiative. Walk right up to them. Extend your hand. Introduce yourself. And – most importantly, be yourself. I did this with all of the individuals list above (and more) and was greeted warmly by each and every one of them.
Back to Gia. I chatted with Gia a bit immediately before and just after her presentation (view presentation on Slideshare). I asked her if she would not mind being on camera for 2 minutes. She gladly agreed. I tracked Gia down at the happy hour event later that evening. 3 quotes stuck out in my mind:
Campaigns vs. Movements
Email is not dead.
It’s all about the face to face. There will be nothing ever that replaces face-to-face.
Have you identified those individuals who you plan to meet face-to-face? When will this meeting happen? Where? Create your plan to make it happen today.