It's easy to skip this week's social media event, especially when you're busy and it's cold and rainy. Here's why you shouldn't.
I'll admit it; I've been out of the social media loop a bit lately, with Social Media Breakfast out of commission and my position at Spoken taking up most of my brain space. Plus, I figure, how many times can we really talk about how Facebook sucks now and how Tumblr and Vine are all the rage? What can you get from a live event that you can't get from Mashable?
Last night, it was chilly, rainy and generally unpleasant going-out weather. But I'd missed the last few Social Media Club Seattle events, and I was craving a dose of good, refreshing social media mojo juice. And for me, the event was so much more than an event. It was inspiration.
Here's why I'm so glad I went:
- Nothing beats IRL for connections. Of course I follow my friends on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the like, but that's just not the same as catching up over a glass of wine and meeting their new friends and colleagues. After all, we don't share everything on Facebook, and IRL is the best way to find out my dear friends' newest projects, challenges, joys and fears.
- Easy introductions for introverts. Even if you stick to your peer group, it's nearly impossible not to meet someone cool and new at a social media event. And it's so easy just to strike up a conversation while waiting at the bar. For introverts, this is the absolute easiest and low-threat way to meet new people: chat for five minutes at the bar before taking your seat. Friend him/her on Facebook and Twitter to continue the conversation. Done!
- Meet cool sponsors. Don't forget that this is a good place to discover which businesses are social media friendly, which is great information to have for future job searches and event sponsorships. AlaskaAir donated the air travel for Mark Horvath, last night's speaker. How cool is that? And I have a little tip on animated explainer videos in my back pocket now, thanks to WhatNowExactly.
- Discover a new world. Last night's Social Media Club event was amazing: speaker Mark Horvath of Invisible People gave a sincere, down-to-earth and moving view into the challenges of homelessness. And he did it by telling his story and letting individual homeless people tell theirs. Far from being about guilt, this talk was about humanity and how we connect with each other. This isn't a cause I seek out, so I give thanks to SMC Seattle for bringing this new world into my view.
If you don't believe me, take a look at this video Mark produced. Too often pleas to help the homeless inspire guilt; his storytelling does the opposite. Amazing.
Even after a 10-hour day, I'm richer for having attended. How about you? What motivates you to get out and be social IRL?