Yesterday, was one of those days when you can hear those Eureka moments happen in your head at regular intervals.
I was at BlogCamp London run by Tots100 in connection with Talk Talk and hosted at the very comfortable and impressive Talk Talk Customer Experience Centre in Soho, London. Now I’ve been to loads of these things before and learnt a lot through them but this one was different.
It wasn’t full of geek-speak. In fact in wasn’t full of geeks at all. The Tots100 is a selection of the bext UK Parenting blogs, so almost everybody there had more than just blogging in common, they were parents too. It made for an interesting but highly uplifting atmosphere. There was an excitement of the day ahead but also the excitement of networking in person, sharing, airing and comparing. It worked and there were gems to be had.
Those privileged to be there, heard about the good and (some) bad experiences of two of the UK’s most successful and influential blogers of their ilk Muireann Carey Campbell of Bangs and a Bun and Sian Meades from Domestic Sluttery. TalkTalk’s own Matt Bird gave some practical tips and advice on keeping families safe online and Dafydd Prichard of web design agency Cite came along with some simple to understand tips and tricks on improving your online look. That even included random surprise picks on some of the sites run by those bloggers before him, offering advice on what works and what they could change to improve their visitor experience. There were plenty of gems of wisdom to be had. Wrapping it all up SEO consultant Lee Smallwood helped make sense of longtail keywords, this hat, that hat and why Google can be your friend.
It was one of the best of the events that I have been too, but what made it was the people there too. Each and every attendee had a blog of some sort or other. Many have 1,000s of daily readers, 1,000s followers on Twitter and many already knew each other from that social media world, but few had met before. Many had interacted online on a regular basis but busy parents spread far and wide across the country, they are not well placed for weekly drinks meets. Yet, however good you are in the virtual world, we are all human and it was clear from the reactions throughout the day that while social media is key and boosting your online traffic is important, every now and then you need to jump into the real world. It is amazing how that fresh look, different environment and having others around you can have a positive impact.
Now if you are of the parenting blog ilk Tots100 are planning more events, but events like this take place every week, probably every day in most big towns and cities. Some a full day, some just an hour but they usually offer a talk from an ‘expert’ and more importantly the chance to network with like-minded people. That is invaluable. The forum communities, twittersphere and even Faceboook groups are a great place to swap ideas and gain encouragement, but there really is nothing better than having a face-to-face chat. You learn more and get a chance to grab lots of opinions on a topic all at the same time while they are focused on it.
The point I am making is that while social networking is great both personally and business-wise, meeting real people of a similar ilk is as important, in helping your business grow and you grow as a person. If you’ve not tried it,check out sites like Eventbrite and try one out.
Do you attend ‘real’ social events regularly? Do agree?