People and Passion – Part 1

A couple weeks ago, I wrote on how to pre-tackle conferences and specifically related it to the MarketingProfs Digital Mixer that took place this past week. All I can say is – WOW. The event, people and venue were simply amazing. I expected a great event in Scottsdale as MarketingProfs had a stellar line up of speakers, as well as two big keynotes by Arianna Huffington and Gary Vaynerchuk, who undoubtedly ‘brought it.’ If you’ve ever watched one of his videos, you’ll notice his passion right off the bat for what he does and how much he truly believes in his community, which leads into the biggest takeaways for me from this event; people and passion. I’ll break this up into two parts so I can better explain both.

Networking and meeting people is always a big part of conferences but I honestly never expected to make the types of connections that I did this past week. Sure it’s probably a gimme that you’ll get to say hi to your favorite speaker or online influence while at the event, but I was lucky enough to actually spend time with them between & after events. I already had great online relationships with some of these people through Plurk and Twitter but meeting face to face further affirmed my thoughts about them.

This event really brought out the social aspect of social media. I never thought I’d spend my free time in Scottsdale hanging and joking with the very influencers I look up to and read on a daily basis. But in the end, I got what I put into it as I sought out to meet and connect with them as real people and not just business owners.

I look forward to further building these newly formed relationships and would like to personally thank again some of the people that made this event so great for me: Beth Harte, Frank Martin, Pam Martin, Amber Naslund, Ann Handley, Mack Collier, Connie Reece, Chris Brogan, Rohit Bhargava, Bryan Person, Christopher Penn and many others!

And as David Alston would say (or do, as you see above), peace out. πŸ™‚

22 comments On People and Passion – Part 1

  • Sonny – It was so great to meet you. I am thrilled you were there. Thank you. And I agree with you… you all put the Social in Social Media!

  • Sonny –

    Excellent meeting you at MDPM. It was truly a special event. As I wrote to Ann this weekend (and live tweeted during Gary V and Chris Penn’s panel), someday we’ll look back on this event as a major industry milestone.

    I literally feel fortunate to have been a part of it, meeting you and so many other amazing people.

    I can’t wait to do it again. How’s Tuesday?



  • @Ann – It was awesome meeting you finally! You and your team put on a fantastic show and will be talked about for awhile πŸ™‚

    @Jason – Was great meeting you Jason! You are so right about it being a special event. I hope people realize the magnitude of this event and make next year’s even bigger!

  • Sonny ma man,

    It was definitely great to meet you as well. And I totally echo your thoughts above. With every conference I go to I get to hang with the ever expanding social media group of friends. It’s beyond words how cool it is to almost instantly feel at home with so many folks you met previously online. Indeed online social networks are indeed social and have extended into our lives in such a neat way. Conferences, especially like the Mixer, are so much more than what they used to be for those who wish to embrace them this way.

    Looking forward to hanging out again at the next event, and online of course.

    Peace out.


  • @David – You rocked out last week at the conference! Glad we finally got to connect and hang out. You nailed it with ‘feel at home’. That’s exactly what it felt like and it was instantaneous. Definitely looking fwd to the next event!

  • I told you bro, MPDM wouldn’t have been the same without you. When I saw the topics that would be covered at MPDM, then I saw the stellar lineup that Ann and the rest of the MP staff put together, I knew it would rock, and it did! Can’t wait till we do it again!

  • yeah yeah yeah, whatever.

    Okay, you were really cool to meet, and I like your sense of humor and style. Great hanging with you. We’ll always have the hot tub.

  • Sonny, your post, the photos and even the comments made me smile. I’m so glad you were able to be there, and what a time it was. In addition to the great content, we got to hang out and “talk shop” with some of the best minds in marketing and social media. We even got to hear David Alston sing Johnny Cash — and I’ll stop right there because it just doesn’t get any better than that! πŸ™‚

  • Connie, I think I’ll have to start a Johnny Cash Blogtalkradio request line show just for you. Never been so appreciated for my, what-only-a-few-people-might-call, “singing”. πŸ™‚

  • Sonny – it was so wonderful to meet you and all the others mentioned here last week, too. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from the conference, but it completely blew me away, too. Such a fantastic group of people having interesting conversations at all times. It truly was inspiring.

  • @Mack – I certainly can’t wait until SXSW or another event we all can make it to!

    @Chris – You are definitely a character but that’s what had us laughing half the time (along with Peh!). Look forward to the next time…and the next hot tub.

    @Connie – No doubt was it a great time. I still think the guitar dude loved singing with you the most πŸ˜‰

    @Donna – Was great meeting you as well. Definitely enjoyed the entire week with you and the rest of the crew.

  • Sonny,

    I’m late getting to you, but suffice it to say that I was delighted to meet you finally in person (man, does it really feel like ages already or is it just me??). The special part of any of these events to me is the human “schwag” I get to take home in the form of new friends, amazing lessons, and a swift kick in the pants to remind me what matters.

    Here’s to lots more adventures down the road. πŸ™‚

  • @Amber – That is so the truth! It does feel like it’s been awhile! The lessons learned and friendships made will go a long way in the growth of our careers and even personal lives. Until our next rendezvous!

  • Great Post Sonny! Being in this space all the time, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the face-to-face human connection is the ultimate engagement of our own personal brand. The MPDM really gave us the opportunity to come out and meet the people who play in the same sandbox we do, and to meet people who truly know the value of play. The joy of connecting just to connect- hanging out, spending time together, sharing experiences, sharing jokes and stories about our lives.

    I’m glad I got to meet you and become a rabid Sonny Gill fan. Now give me a big foam finger and I’ll get a wave started.

  • @Pam – You probably came in without having the luxury that a lot of us had from talking online prior to the event. Told you we wouldn’t be axe murderers πŸ˜‰

    Face to face connection most definitely gets lost in the mix but is ultimately the backbone of these relationships we build online, which feels great to have it come full circle at events like these.

    Hmm, I have a fan! I may have to make some SG stickers πŸ™‚

  • “We’ll always have the hot tub?” Do I want to know what happened?

  • As Chris would say – “What happens in Scottsdale, stays on Facebook”. πŸ™‚

  • Sonny, I am SOOOO late to the party here. Apologies. But, I feel like I have always known you. That said, it was a pleasure to meet you in personβ€”finally! πŸ˜‰

  • P.S. David looks like Nixon! LOL! Kidding… πŸ˜€

  • @Beth – LOL Nixon! You know it was great meeting you – many more to come πŸ™‚

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