I think that a friend of mine, Jim Raffel said it best when he said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “attending conferences is investing in your business”. This past Thursday’s (Oct. 7, 2010) Central Wisconsin Social Media Conference was both quite a success and quite an opportunity for me to not only work with some friends, but consummate professionals for whom I have a great deal of respect.
I had a vision of what this conference could be. I wanted it to exceed even my expectations. But most of all I wanted it to be put on by talented, regional and local presenters. I got very lucky in that I had a stellar team of folks putting the conference together, arranging the venue, finding sponsors, running registrations, and so much more. But I also had an equally stellar list of regional presenters. I wanted to stay regional with my presenters because I wanted the businesses we were reaching out to to be better able to see how they too could do this by learning from fellow businesspeople in their area.
We had about 90-100 attendees in all at the conference, although I confess I had secretly wished to sell out the venue. Who knows, maybe next time. Overall I think thanks to the talented speakers and great sponsors everyone left the conference feeling like they’d gotten good value for their money. The event went well enough that there was talk of starting to plan for a second, possibly larger conference before we’d even managed to get everything from this conference packed away.
For me the highlight was two-fold, one was getting to meet lots of great local business people who are interested in sharing my passion for social media. The second was also having the opportunity to work side by side with such a talented and diverse group of presenters.
So what’s the takeaway? In a nutshell it’s this, if you plant the seed of a good idea in the fertile soil of passion, great things will grow out of it.