There are savvier people than I (amazing, huh?! 🙂 ) who spend megabytes and hours defining and debating social media and web 2.0 while the rest of the world yawns and says “I need to make business contacts to make money to pay my mortgage and maybe go out to dinner.”
I’m professionally drawn to those select few in these web communities who both talk AND walk the walk of social media and online communities. These people help other professionals (like me) build my business financially with their insight and experience, they help me learn about fast changing trends within what I believe will prove to be a major shift in the way business is conducted locally, nationally and internationally, as well as provide introductions to people who can help me and (equally as important) who I can help as well.
But to benefit from what is certainly for me an imperfect learning experience (which may be a polysyllabic synonym for “life”) I know that I have to actively participate and do so with an open mind. These communities are filled with folks mostly younger and waaay smarter than me and we meet having vastly different life experiencesâ€¦finding common ground is part of the fun. For the old schoolers out there, the process I’m speaking about is nothing more than a virtual networking system or event that, if one is fortunate, morphs into a real life networking event.
All this pre-ambling is a way of giving you insight into why I write a great deal in this blog about social media and applicable internet trends/tools and why I attended the Toronto Geek Dinner on Wednesday evening. I’ll start by answering your top three questions (see, I’m getting so much smarter that I know you’re questions before you’ve asked them!)
What is a Geek Dinner?These dinners area random get-together of professionals from the worlds of Marketing, Communications, Advertising, Public Relations, Blogging and Podcasting. The Geek Dinner is where their worlds collideâ€¦in a very professional way, of course.
How does one get invited to a Geek Dinner? Basically, someone takes the lead and puts it together then puts out the word. Mitch Joel, he of the Twist Image blog out of beautiful Montreal, posted a notice on his blog and within days it was sold out. So if you keep the lines of communications open with influence-ers like Mitch, you hear about good stuff.
What is the value of a Geek Dinner? It’s like any good networking event, especially if you come to the event not trying to sell yourself like maybe a used car salesman would. Everyone at the event shares common interests while also bringing a diversity accumulation of practical, useful knowledge from their work. My voice over, marketing, advertising, broadcasting, blogging and podcasting experience allowed me to serve as a resource in some cases. Its not pushy, it’s welcoming. People getting to know people.
And of course, as I’ve noted previously, you do not need to bend my arm to go to Toronto…I always feel jazzed going up there and even coming back. I love that city.
Who did I get to know at the Toronto Geek Dinner? Some great people!
I caught up with Bill Sweetman of Sweetmantra.com, an internet marketing blog. He and I first met at Podcamp Toronto.
Dining with me were Eli Singer of Cundari SFP, he runs a social media site; Eden Spodek sat next to me, she of Bargainista fame, a web site for people who love to shop (there’s a huge audience). I also met the self-proclaimed “Smartest Man in the World” (says so right on his business card); his name is Saul Colt and he was a very cool guy.
Next to our table was a bunch of people from webfeat, a very cool online marketing company with a very impression Fortune 500 client list; the people I spoke to the most from there were Stephen Giles and Ellie Rosen. Both very interesting folks and fun to have dinner with. The “podcastic” Donna Pappacosta was there and if you’re thinking of putting a podcast together and you need to know EVERYTHING you need to know, visit Trafcom News…Donna’s a great lady. I also finally got to meet Bill Nygren of Boom Sonic Branding. They do some amazing production there.
My thanks to Mitch and everybody who had a hand in putting together the Geek Dinner. It was terrific!