Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sisterhood + Success

Once in a while, you will meet someone new, and 3 hours of talking will seem like 3 minutes.  You have a natural, mutual understanding of each other, a mutual excitement and passion about a certain topic, and each new story or idea revealed increasingly powers up your mutually charging battery pack. 

Once in a while, this also happens for an entire room full of people.  From start to finish, there is an electrifying zip of energy in the air, while old friendships are being reunited, new ones are being formed, and overlapping interests are being realized as easily as finding a Starbucks in Manhattan. Such was the environment of the inaugural Women Grow Business bootcamp. On Saturday morning, nearly 100 driven, dedicated, and always dreaming-of-how-to-improve-women + men :) showed up 1330 Connecticut Ave, the generously offered offices of Steptoe & Johnson LLP and one overarching goal was accomplished.  A new sisterhood was formed.  

Why is this sisterhood so important?  The keynote speaker of this event - Kathy Korman Frey, Chief Hot Mamma for the Hot Mammas Project, summed this up for everyone in her presentation the New Sisterhood of Success.

This event was the brainchild of women like Shonali Burke and Jill Foster, founding editor of Women Grow Business. Thanks to the ubiquitous Shashi Bellamkonda, the event went public in many ways, including pictures galore.

(pictures from Shashi Bellamkonda www.shashi.nam)

Here's me on the right.  Pic by the amazing Aaron Thompson - http://aaronthompsonphotography.com/

As I was in the elevator leaving that morning, someone said to me, "Wow!  Now that's the way to get revved up on Saturday morning."

If you want a peak at the lovely and mover/shaker attendee twitter-ers - all yours!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hey, I think I'm Following you on Twitter!

For about 4 years,  I lived in the world of conference-going.  I could distinguish Hiltons, Hyatts, W's, Sheratons, and Hampton Inns (that was never a lucky day) by their shampoo lines, and being in four states in one week wasn't a novelty, but often the norm.  In order to maximize my time at the conferences (being in marketing and business development) I came up with a formula for ways to meet and interact with target attendee-goers.  It's not any lead that is important, afterall, but the right lead.  Heartless.  I know.

Key to this formula involved getting one's hands on the attendee list.  May I interject here that in order to obtain this attendee list I usually had to pry it from the tight grip of the conference organizer?

Regardless, once I had the list, the research part began.  Attendee: John Jones, XYZ Corporation.  Sr. Bloopity Bloop.  Ok John - what are you pain points? Who do you know? What is your company up to these days?

Luckily, being the curious George that I am, this part was pretty fun.  But lots of digging.  And often with a dull shovel.

Charge ahead to today.

In the last couple of years, and especially since the advent Eventbrite in 2006 (founded by CEO Kevin Hartz) something pretty radical has happened.  Attendee lists at events are more frequently open and shared.  And attendees are being generous with their givings!

Here's an example:

This is a quick snapshot of some attendees signed up for an upcoming event in June - the Social Media Day 2010 in Washington DC.  Take a look.  Of these 5 people, we have Twitter accounts blogs, LinkedIn profiles, Facebook pages, and websites.  For anyone really looking to learn more about who they might be schmoozing with at their upcoming event - this is unquestionably some pretty awesome market research.

People tweet their connections, pain points, likes, dislikes and often blog what is most important and top of mind.

Since people are voluntarily offering up this information, I even doubt it's sketchy to break the ice by saying, "hey, I think I'm following you on Twitter!"

To me, this sure beats trying to pry a bunch of names and emails from the conference organizer.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rethink DC

Get ready for a 5 Second Word Association!


Washington DC.


What words come to mind? 

Monolithic?  Stodgy?  Politicians?  American flags?

Sorry, I'll let you fill in your own.

How about...

Creative.  Technology.  Flamingos (see below).

Little by little, DC is proving itself as cool, creative, and cutting edge.  Cool thinkers, cool parties, cool innovation.

One vibrant example?  A little proof in the pudding if you will?  DC Capital Week.  June 11 - 20!  

If you live in the DC area, and haven't heard of this event yet, then there's probably a good chance you haven't heard of the oil spill or the ongoing World Cup either.  Or that the Celtics are kicking the Lakers behinds.  Go Green!  Just type #dcweek into Twitter, and you'll find as many tweets as PBR's that were handed out at the opening party at the Longview Gallery.

Since the week is full steam ahead of us, check out the schedule (practically overwhelming!) and join in!  And if you feel the need to bring a blow up flamingo along for the ride, or plastic dinosaurs, or anything else for that matter - - more power to you.

And please.  Rethink DC.  We're actually pretty kicking.

Check our more awesome pics by BrightestYoungThings.com.

If you're as excited as I am, share!  Oh, and if you're in the mood for some social media chatter, I'll be at the Social Media happy hour my Young AFCEA Bethesda chapter is hosting.  At Current Bar in Dupont - mmm.