Face-to-Face Networking in an Online World – By Michelle Held

by Jenae Reid on May 1, 2017

I admit that I missed Affiliate Summit West this year. Okay, that’s a half-truth – I missed most of the sessions I wanted to attend. My session on Social Media for Boring Businesses on Sunday afternoon went well. After I presented, I listened to two of my friends talk at their sessions, and that was it. I spent the rest of the time catching up with colleagues, meeting new people I had connected with via the ASW app, and hustling to meetings.FeedFront issue 38 cover

By Sunday evening, one of my fellow speakers joked that we had more invitations to dinners than there were dinners. We are in no way unique; that’s just how ASW networking goes.

Together, we squeezed in a few more sessions between meetings, not wanting to miss all the knowledge available. We worked our way through the energized Meet Market and hit the exhibit hall floor several times, each time connecting a new face to someone we previously knew only via email.

I finally saw people I had worked with for almost a year when I helped a brand host an affiliate event in one of the suites. On the way to more meetings in nearby lounges, I absolutely had to stop for a selfie with a Samurai guarding the entrance to the Dueling Pianos Lounge. And who could pass by that giant photo-op hashtag.

Like anything else, it’s what you make of it.

Affiliate Summit West is simultaneously exhausting and fulfilling. Some cringe at the thought of another Vegas conference with cavernous hallways. They regard it as another unavoidable fact of working life, but ASW is informative, valuable, and fun.

Attending conferences is important for your business and career advancement. You’ll stay current and connected. Enjoying them is a matter of finding the venue that suits you.

There are so many opportunities to connect at ASW. It begins at the airport, where every year, without fail, I cross paths with an exhibitor or another attendee during the egress from McCarran. The speaker networking event on ASW eve is always an enriching way to reconnect with those I have not seen since the previous Affiliate Summit – East or West. We spend the evening catching up and making introductions. This year we played golf before heading back to pick up our badges together.

On day two, as I listened to a woman tell me about how she enjoyed her role at Shopify, we realized that we already knew each other. We had been on the same conference calls and email chains but had never seen each other.

Many of us work in virtual teams, independent of location. We prefer to Skype, chat, and text. Can’t make that webinar you signed up for? Watch the recording later on. Remember, there is still value in face-to-face interactions. Face time (no, not the app!) is still a thing.

Yes, I have to watch the session speakers I missed on video. Probably at 1.5x playback speed! It was worth it.

 

Michelle is an and author and digital agency owner who blogs on metrony.com and pintalk.net

This article appeared in issue 38 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2017. https://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-38

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