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Room Full of Friends - Drivingsales Executive Summit

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 since it started in a public setting, however I never met Jared in person until this event. His vision for 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.

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Tags: automotive conferences, drivingsales executive summit, networking


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Comment by Todd Smith on October 18, 2009 at 3:03pm
Hi Paul,

Nice meeting you as well. It is always great to meet a thought leader in the space. Keep up the good work and lets connect later this week.
Comment by Brian Pasch on October 17, 2009 at 11:59pm

It was great to meet you and come to understand that we can easily co-exist since we are very passionate about what we do and that there are only a few of us to service the 25,000 car dealers in the US. We can divide up the country easily!

The downside is that our Blackjack experience was not what I had hoped. So that means you have to come to Atlantic City and let me show you a proper BlackJack experience. Bally's and the Hard Rock are NOT our BlackJack friends.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on October 17, 2009 at 11:19pm

It was great to finally meet you in person... And, I appreciate the honorable mention even if it feels like my contribution was basically being a casino cruising buddy... LOL. There are many of us within the ADM professional community that have learned to appreciate your sharply critical analysis of what is being posted and published in both ADM and elsewhere. Often times, we simply do not want to be bothered with another debate when we bullshit being passed off as expert advice online, and when you step in and call it out, you are doing the entire community a favor. For that we all owe you a lot of gratitude. Without those of us who recognize crap when we see it, calling it out to others, the concept of online best practice sharing gets eroded. Meeting you in person was truly a good thing for me last week and I hope to see you again in the near future. Keep up the great work that you do , and PLEASE do not stop keeping all of us and everyone within ADM honest!
Comment by Joe Webb on October 17, 2009 at 6:47pm
I can't say thanks enough for those kind words, Paul. I'd be surprised if I don't have any enemies though considering how opinionated I am. You're right though. I've never been that hated of a person because I have five basic beliefs:
1) Never stop working toward everything you want
2) Only do what you are passionate about and don't stop learning more about the subject
3) Realize nothing is more important than family and friends
4) Respect others until they prove why they don't deserve it
5) And tell the truth. At all times. Sticking to your beliefs even if the truth costs you.

If I am both brutally opinionated as well as have no enemies as you say, does that mean it is just because I am always able to convince others of my beliefs or just that I am always right? My wife would definitely say otherwise to both.

Thanks again, Paul. Pleasure meeting you too. Great conference.

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