Chris Brogan touched on a phenomenon at the DrivingSales Executive Summit that I experienced first hand in my attendance there. By being involved in Social Media/Networking you do not meet many strangers and people you have only met online when you meet them in person it is like a reunion.
I have spoken with many people here at ADM on the phone or through online communication channels. There were only two people that I have ever met in real life in attendance at the Drivingsales Executive Summit, Jim Rucker and Eric Miltsch however there were many in attendance that I have only met through online interactions and a few phone calls.
Ralph Paglia - We hung out for several hours together with Jim Rucker and Brian Pasch. It was like a Friday night cruising the strip except it was on Monday or Tuesday (details a little foggy) ... Think a bunch of middle aged guys catching up and chilling.
Brian Pasch - Online nemesis or compadre? Think the latter. We strengthened a stressed relationship from the past and the both of us should be the better for it. BTW Brian I need your paypal address.. :P
Jared Hamilton - I have been involved with drivingsales.com since it started in a public setting, however I never met Jared in person until this event. His vision for drivingslaes.com is becoming a reality due to his focus and determination.
Charlie Vogelheim - Just as dynamic and entertaining in person as he is via email and on the phone. I think he had a combination of AADD and turrets happening as he was insuring everything went smoothly. He was very busy insuring the success of the conference and he hit a home run.
Brian Armstrong - What can I say he is as matter of fact in person as he is online and it was great to spend what little bit of time that I did with him. I could see he and I fishing or golfing together if we lived closer together.
Todd Smith - Just as smooth and professional in person as he is online. One of the nice guys in the industry that strives to make sure people get the results they pay for.
Matt Watson - All around easy going and very focused. Had a lot on his plate and that is a good thing in a setting like that. Congrats Matt on your successes.
Joe Webb - Just as dynamic and funny in person as he is in his online presence. Definitely a charmer in real life, I would bet he is one of the few people in this world that has NO enemies.
Merla Turner - Even though she is a quasi competitor we had the opportunity to meet and discuss the possible give and take between our organizations.
Mark Boyd - His personality in person is pretty different in person. All around sharp guy and very amiable. He is a guy you want in your corner.
Jeff Kershner - Fun guy to be around. He and I have been online friends for many years and knows more about what is going on in relation to online marketing for car dealers and has the resume to prove it. A real rock star in the industry.
Tom White Jr - What can I say. He is the #1 Suzuki Deaelr in the nation month in and month out. He was there taking notes. A true testament to if you are green you will grow..
Gary May - Very determined and right on with his views and experiences. Striving to be a real Trust Agent..
A dozen others I forgot to mention....
I wish I could of spent more time with each of these people and others. The awesome thing was I did not run into any strangers even with my lack of participation in networking events in the past. I did not meet a single stranger there. The common bonds had long been established and this event concreted them. For those who do not attend these types of events due to the fear of not fitting in or worse fear that they will not stay busy, you are in for a for a huge surprise.
The list above was not compiled with any preference in mind, so please don't feel slighted by your personal order.
If you want to see what I feel were the "The Three Biggest Take Away for the Drivingsales Executive Summit
" just click the article title. Lots of great information was shared and the only pitches I saw were the ones shared one on one. None were from the podium which will differentiate this conference from many of the others.