Earlier this year I had the opportunity to attend the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, TX. Perhaps as exciting as attending the festival was that I would have the opportunity to finally meet some people at b5media that I’d been working with for over two years already.
Normally I’m a bit of a tight-wad and wouldn’t spend money to attend an event like this, but through the generousity of b5 and a contest they were having that I won, I was able to win a free SXSW pass and lodging for the week. I had an absolutely great time hanging out with everyone and having fun at the b5ranch. It was a great week.
When the information about Blog World Expo coming up in Las Vegas, I again got excited about trying to figure out a way for me to go and hang-out with everyone again and hopefully meet even more people. My was going to Vegas with a few of her friends for a long weekend, so I figured it would be an easy discussion on me going as well. I have friends in Vegas that I could stay with for free if I needed to save money on lodging, and they’ve even said I could use one of their cars anytime I was there if I needed transportation. The only cost to me again would have been getting out there, the Blog World Expo pass and food. We’re planning on?a family trip to Disney World in December for our Christmas present to each other, so I just didn’t plan on swinging it and let the idea of me going die down.
Then b5 announced they were going to have another contest and the prize was a free-ride to BWE. I had a great idea for the contest, I just had to put it together. I was just too swamped with work on everything else I didn’t get it done. The winning entry video suprisingly enough, was very similar to the direction I was going with my idea. So close!
Regardless of whether or not I get to BWE for free or even cheaply, the real thing I’m missing is another opportunity to develop deeper and stronger relationships and friendships with the folks at b5media. As great as all the tools we have like twitter, Facebook, Skype, etc., for staying in touch and connecting with each other; sometimes it just can’t replace live, face-to-face interaction with other humans (and Ed!).
The conversations that happen (which leads to new websites), understanding just how powerful a tool like twitter can be, the memories, the laughter, the business insight and opinions, and on and on. That’s all great stuff that has some serious value to what it means to live this life and share the experience with those around us.
If you’ve got the chance to go somewhere and meet people that you work with that you normally wouldn’t meet. DO IT! It doesn’t matter if you work for b5media, or anywhere else. Doesn’t matter if you work together. Build relationships with people you normally wouldn’t. Enjoy it. Understand the value. Just Do It!