Friday, January 15, 2010

Face2Face Connections Enrich Your Online Network!

I have  met some extraordinary people online in the first year of my social media journey.  Through these new connections I have learned the power of collaboration, and the magic of peer-to-peer learning.  I have discovered a whole new world of interaction, enriched by a uniquely special network of Like-minded professionals.

Using tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogs, my fellow eventprofs and I frequently exchange ideas, experiences and best practices with one another.  Occasionally, we disagree on some issues, but through open, direct dialogue  we find new insights in those contrasting points of view.  The growth of my personal Knowledge-base has been significant, as a result of these connections.

When I embarked on my social media quest, early in 2009, my hope was to gain some tangible benefit from it, although I was not exactly sure what that would be.  Well, not only has the experience been valuable, it has exceeded  my expectations!  To my pleasant surprise, many of my new social media colleagues have also become close friends.

Each year I normally attend the PCMA Annual Meeting, as part of my normal January routine.  I just returned from this year’s conference, (#pcma10) which was held in Dallas, Tx.   As usual the event featured invigorating keynote sessions, terrific networking, outstanding social events and quality education.  However, there was something special about this years meeting;  I finally met, face2face, several of my social media friends.

Jessica Levin, Jeff Hurt, Mike McAllen, Greg Ruby, Paul Salinger, Jessica Rafferty, Sue Pelletier and Kristi Sanders are all people I met via the Twitter hash tag group called “#Eventprofs. ”  I have met Jessica and Greg before, but the rest of the group I met this week.

Godfathers of Eventprofs!

On Saturday, shortly after arrival in Dallas, I met up with Jeff, Mike and Greg for dinner at a great Mexican restaurant called Monica’s Aca y Alla, in Deep Ellem.  It is truly amazing, as our get-together felt more like a reunion, than a first time meeting.  After Dinner we headed back to the Hyatt Regency Dallas, and Jessica joined us there for some after-dinner drinks. (Pictures courtesy of Jeff Hurt and Mike McAllen)

Throughout the rest of the week I met the rest of the gang mentioned in this article.  Clearly, it was the highlight of my trip to Dallas.  There really is something special about “putting a name to a face” and personal contact definitely deepens connections!

Jessica Levin arrives at Hyatt

While there are still many social media colleagues I still want to meet, this was a great start.  Just as virtual meetings will not replace the value of their face2face counterpart the same applies to relationships with people.  While I have certainly become close friends with many of my social media colleagues, I feel a stronger connection with those I have met in person.  This is the essence of human nature.

Have you had the opportunity to meet some or many of your online connections?  If so, what was the experience like for you?  Please share your thoughts with us!

Follow Michael McCurry on Twitter

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenise Fryatt January 16, 2010 at 11:06 am

Hey, guess what? I’m finally going to turn some online #eventprofs friendships into face 2 face friendships!!I’m going to Event Camp in February! I was very inspired to hear about the “godfathers of eventprofs” and bummed I couldn’t be at PCMA10. But will definitely not miss this opportunity. Looking forward to meeting you all!

Reply

Michael M McCurry CMP January 16, 2010 at 8:48 pm

@Jenise Fryatt,

That is fantastic that you will be joining us for the EventCamp 2010 in NYC, Feb 6. I really look forward to connecting with you!

I wish you could have been at #pcma10 but hey, there is always next year!

Thanks for contributing!

@michaelmccurry

Reply

Paul Salinger January 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I totally concur with Mike’s sentiments. Meeting some fellow #eventprofs at PCMA last week was a real highlight, and like Mike, my social journey over the last year has made significant impacts on my career and place in the community. When you can engage with people both online and in real life, it just creates deeper and deeper relationships and helps build communities in amazing ways.

Reply

Michael M McCurry CMP January 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm

@Paul Salinger,

Paul, it truly was a pleasure meeting you in Dallas, and your session on green issues was awesome!

Glad to hear your social media experience has been impactful, as has mine!

Thanks for adding to the conversation!

@michaelmccurry

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Christina January 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Awesome post, Mike! I agree 100% and wish I could’ve been at PCMA.

I’m so lucky to at least have the opportunity to communicate with many of the thought leaders that attend PCMA over Twitter.

Hopefully one day I’ll be there in person as well. Cheers!

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Michael M McCurry CMP January 16, 2010 at 10:52 pm

@Christina,

It has been really exciting to watch you over the past year grow in your social media involvement and contributions to #eventprofs, Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

Christina, you are energetic, intelligent, and I know that you will do well in career as a result.

Most important, you are a wonderful person and it was a pleasure to connect with you and Tim back in November!

All the best and thanks for adding to the conversation! See you in NYC!

@michaelmccurry

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Kena January 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Hello Mike, great article!

I wish I would’ve been able to join you in the PCMA and I noticed lots of #eventprofs will join the event camp in NY, I’m so jealous, I would really like to meet in person the Godfathers and so many other people which had taught me a lot. Some day!

My best wishes to you in this 2010!

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Jennifer Cutwright April 6, 2010 at 4:02 am

I just linked this article on my facebook. it is a very interesting read for anyone.

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