Last year I attended the inaugural Likeminds conference. I was hugely impressed with much of what I saw. There were some great speakers, great discussions and great content on show.
This year the Likeminds 2010 conference had all of the above. What took it that step further though was the people-to-people experience that guests (not customers) were part of.
Debate is bound to follow about the quality of the presentations and discussions. There will be different views on the value of what was on show and the messages that were being pushed. Saying that, the audience were invited to offer their opinions during panel discussions and not all panel members agreed with each other anyway. Like any conference, it is up to the individual to absorb everything and then make their own mind up. What Likeminds 2010 did was provide world class thought-leaders and practitioners (Chris Brogan, Olivier Blanchard, John Bell, Jonathan Akwue and Joanne Jacobs) that will hopefully inspire many others to take part in healthy, social media/online communications debates.
What I believe can’t really be debated is whether or not Likeminds 2010 delivered on what I believed to be the underlying theme of the whole experience: connecting people. They delivered big time. I don’t think I have ever attended a conference or event where talking to people has been made so easy. It might sound silly to say but it is true.
There were two stand out factors that made it easy for me to connect. Firstly, the name badges with the Twitter avatars on allowed me to spot people I have spoken to online but have never met in person. Secondly, booking lunches with speakers/panellists/guests who shared similar interests allowed me to speak to others with whom I knew I shared common ground. Along with the great hashtag feed and the willingness of most guests to mingle, an environment was created for people to connect to other people.
As Scott has said on many occasions, being part of a community is not enough. Good connections need to be made so that actions can actually follow.
I made many new connections at Likeminds 2010 and I am positive these will lead to many actions. Sure, I will enjoy debating the details of the event with many others over the coming weeks (putting on the ‘social media geek hat’ can be quite fun), but the overwhelming emotion I have right now is that Likeminds connected me to many great people and many positive outcomes are on the cards.
For this I would like to thank everyone who took part.
Do you agree? Did you find it easy to connect?
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