Tomorrow is the 4th of July. If the heat, humidity, and children running around in the middle of the day did not convince you that summer has indeed arrived, the BBQs and Fireworks that will be taking place tomorrow will make it undeniable. Summer hath arrived!!
As you make time for the beach, bar-be-ques, amusement parks, etc this summer I encourage you to make time for any blog, social media or networking events that should come up. These events are just awesome. I have not been to one yet that disappointed me. Because my simply proclaiming the awesomeness of these events may not be convincing enough, and because I love making lists, here are 7 reasons you should go to blog, social media, or networking events.
- Increase the size of your comfort zone. Ok. This might not apply to everyone. However, if you are like me, meaning you get nervous in unfamiliar social situations, have a hard time talking to strangers, and find it easier to blend into the background than be part of the action, then these events will definitely help you to increase the size of your comfort zone. While I still find these events challenging they are getting easier and I always feel immensely proud of myself for having gone and participated.
- New Friends. As we get older it can be harder to make friends. You don’t automatically get introduced to 10 to 20 new people around your age each year like you did when you were in school. Networking events are a great way to get in a room with lots of new people. You just might make a real connection with one or two of them. Or if you run into the same people at different events a connection could develop over time.
- Free stuff. Very often blogger events come complete with swag bags and or giveaways. Sometimes you can win something at random because of where you happen to be sitting or as part of a door prize. Often there are giveaways for participation or for talking about your experience online while at the event. Look at the book I won for live tweeting at the #SavvySocial event I attended last week.
- Learn Something. None of us know everything about our areas of expertise and interest. When you go to blog or social media events there will often be a speaker who can provide new insights about the event topic. Even if there is no official speaker at the event, in a room full of people you are bound to learn something. There will at least be one person who does not do everything exactly how you do it.
- New online friends. Thanks to twitter, very often an event will have a dedicated hashtag. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the pound or number sign. For example the event I attended last week used the hashtag #SavvySocial and the event I’m hosting in August uses the hashtag #CJBL. These hashtags are searchable (even on Facebook now). When you post to your favorite social media site using the hashtag anyone searching the hashtag will see your post. This can lead to new people connecting with you online.
- Fit in. Not many of my long time friends are bloggers. Actually only one currently blogs. So when I am talking about what’s going on in the blog world with my non blogging friends I see their eyes glaze over. They smile pleasantly and get excited because they see I’m excited. Or they ask general questions like “how’s the blog going” to show their support. But I know they don’t really get it. I love the fact that they care and are happy that I get so much Joy out of this but I know blogging is not really their thing. So it is super cool and refreshing to go to a blog event and be surrounded by people who do get it and are just as excited as me. I’m sure this is also true of other types of events. The main purpose of networking events is to bring people of similar interests together.
- In person connections. One of the things that give me the most Joy about blogs, social media, and networking events is when I get to meet an online friend in real life. It is so exciting to put a real name and face with a twitter handle or blog title. People look different when they are 3 dimensional, LOL. It is so refreshing to find that your online friend is the same in person as they are online. It was awesome to meet Aliza and Cynthia in person at the #SavvySocial event.
The Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn on August 3rd in King of Prussia PA. It would be weird if I did not have my own event on my calendar.
Power Up Weekend on September 7th in Washington DC. I have heard great things about this event. This will be my first time attending.
Blogalicious 5 on October 3rd to 5th in Atlanta. Blogalicious was my first ever blog conference. I love it and try to go every year.
What do you like about attending blog, social media, or networking events? What events will you be going to in the next few months? Are you hosting your own event?