Just another conference eh?
So you’ve been to conferences before and you sit in the audience listening to the speakers who have come to talk at you. How did it make you feel? Was it like uncomfortable us-and-them relationships? Did it remind you of being back at school in teacher-student mode?
A dream conference?
Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have an all-encompassing event where everyone, yes, I mean everyone, collectively joining in the spirit of sharing knowledge and the latest industry trends and insights. An event that brings true engagement on so many levels. Not just a Like on Facebook or an RT on Twitter, but people meeting people, networking, fostering friendships that enrich their lives and developing business relationships that will make the economic world go around.
It happened in Dublin
Well, thanks to the visionary Samantha Kelly, there was such an event in Dublin – Social Media Summit (1 & 2 March 2016). I know, because I was there and experienced it first hand. I saw it . . . I felt it . . . I absorbed the atmosphere. If you were there, then you’ll know what I mean. Otherwise, I hope these words go some way to convey just how special the time was that we spent in Dublin.
People connecting with people – for real
There was an overwhelming sense that we are all in this together. Whether you were an attendee, a member of the crew making it all happen, or one of the speakers, we all had a role to play, and we played it. A community that came together and shared in the positivity that surrounded us all. There was a strong sense that this was the right place, at the right time, in the world of social media. If you followed the #SMSummitIRL hashtag, then you would have seen a plethora of superlatives journalising the event as it happened, and for days afterwards.
Workshops and speakers
Now, I could go one to tell you about the two days packed full of speakers who presented entertaining, inspiring, informative and thought provoking talks. However, I say “that if you aren’t in the game, you won’t catch the ball”, and if you didn’t make it to the architecturally stunning Aviva Stadium, then you really missed out. I guess you could always try and make it next year.
Did you know Ted Rubin talks about looking people in the eye digitally. We see a modern technologically driven age where digital tools can bring people closer together across our shrinking world. However, meeting people for real, face-to-face, is a social engagement that puts the icing on the cake of relationship building. And while spending time in Dublin, I was able to nurture relationship building with tea and cake. Let me explain . . .
Walking the talk, oh, and eating cake
I’d been engaging with many people in Ireland on twitter over the fast few years, and a trip to Dublin seemed like the ideal opportunity to meet up and spend some quality time together. Afternoon Tea was booked at the Ariel House hotel – a most fitting establishment for our gathering. The afternoon of tea, with cake and friendship was a joyous occasion. This set the tone for the following days in Dublin.
Mixing business and pleasure
The Social Media Summit came alive with many networking and relationship building opportunities, I’m surprised #RonR wasn’t trending, although #IamIanCleary caused some social media waves. Undoubtedly #SMSummitIRL soon reached it’s well-deserved top trending slot which was testament to all the hard work put into delivering this successful event. My Dad always said, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” so letting our hair down (metaphorically speaking for some of us) and having good times was also part and parcel of the event.
What I brought home
Having visited Ireland many times before, I’ve always found it a life changing experience, Rest assured, my excursion to the Summit in Dublin didn’t disappoint. I came home, inspired by thought-leader’s wisdom and motivated by the sheer positivity and enthusiasm that surrounded the event.
The enchanting and boundless generosity and kindness of the Irish spirit is inescapable, and I’m delighted to have found true friends and business relationships which have already begun to pave the way for a financially fruitful future – I guess that’s what “Return on Relationship” is all about.
So thank you Dublin and all, my world has become a better place for attending the Social Media Summit, and meeting so many amazing people.
Footnote: Social Media Summit took place at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland - 1 & 2 March 2106 Conceived by Samantha Kelly - @TweetingGoddess Don't miss it in 2017 - sign up to the Social Media Summit newsletter