Connections (#Beyond2010, #EAv, #tweetups)

Edmonton just hosted it's first Beyond Conference: Beyond 2010. The conference was a smashing success and was embraced well by presenter's, delegates and media alike.  The conference itself was amazing and deserves its own piece but I wanted to talk today about Connections.

I've been making connections with people on Social Media platforms like Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and Empire Avenue. As relationships have been growing we have had conversations about all kinds of topics: sports, weather, traffic, politics, IT, government, coaching, leadership, family and spirituality. Some of the connections have gone deep with a real sense of vulnerability and trust.

The thing is, most of my connections, well, I've never met them.

But all that changed over the 2 days of the Beyond 2010 Conference in Edmonton.

It started out with the delegates attending including: @britl @outinc @lyne_robichaud @allie @zoomjer.

I hadn't met any of these people in person but had connected with them through social media.

It was the first event that I had been to where I had a chance to meet social media connections in person.  I wasn't sure what to expect. As I met them all at different times over the conference it was amazing. These people who I had never "met" but knew so much about. We had great conversations and it cemented the relationships even more.

In addition to delegates there were the speakers who I had been following and connecting with on twitter but had never me liket: @adrielhampton @dups @carolinamillan.

It was excellent to spend time with them as they are all affiliated with Empire Avenue. On the topic of Empire Avenue, the last night of the conference there was an after party/Empire Avenue tweetup.  I'd never been to a "tweetup" before but again, was excited to meet more online contacts in person.

I met up with many Empire Ave'rs including @gscratch @lancetay @kevinum, none of whom I had never met before IRL.

After the tweetup as we were saying our goodbyes Pam Broviak (@pbroviak made an insightful comment. She said  that when we have social media connections with people and we have to say goodbye, it isn't ever really goodbye since we already have an ongoing relationship. This was the first time in my life that a goodbye wasnt such a permanent thing. 

The other thing I realized over the 2 days of the conference is that the world is VERY small and getting smaller by the day.

This was made evident by meeting people from my wife's home town in North Dakota, meeting people in Edmonton who are doing coaching, meeting people who were involved in adoptions, etc. So many connection points, so many connections made, it was amazing.

Life is all about connections. I'm so glad that the Beyond 2010 event could expose the importance of Social Media connections to me in a way I never knew.

Popular Posts