Saturday, June 23, 2012

How LinkedIN Doesn't Compare To Thomas The Tank Engine

Last week I decided to update my LinkedIN profile solely for the purpose of posting this year's #140confONT event.  After I went and accepted the 236 connection requests I began to update my profile.
I did my best to make it reflect who I am, both professionally and personally.  I'm not sure that it does.

Whenever someone asks what I do, I describe my job as the person who works for sign manufacturer, who does everything that doesn't have anything to do with making an actual sign. That list is a lot longer than it sounds.  LinkedIN is not really a place to put that I hardly ever do the same things day in & day out.  My multi-tasking skills would not seem up to par if I said "always manages to get everyone's break order right" "runs around the shop taking pics" "spends time getting to know the people in the neighbourhood"  but those are some of the parts of my job that I enjoy the most.

I did enjoy putting the Projects part of my profile together.  It was a nice walk down memory lane, but again it hardly captures what really is involved planning projects and coordinating events (where exactly does wearing a tiara go?)   I like making all the moving parts fit together.

 I can see the big picture, but know that it takes so many little tasks to achieve the goal.  I know the amount of work it will take and know that it will still take more work than originally anticipated.  I do it because I love to help.

 I love to be useful. 

 I grew up with the phrase BE LIKE MIKE.  As far as pro athlete role models go Micheal Jordan is the cream of the crop. Who wouldn't want to be like Mike?

It wasn't until this decade that I was introduced to Thomas The Tank Engine.  What I really strive is to be like him.  I'm not so sure that a fictional character reference fits on a LinkedIN profile.

If you could describe yourself in a way that doesn't fit with your professional image how would you do it?  What would say about yourself?  Who would you want to align yourself with?  If it's a little off the wall & out of place, chances are I'll want to "add you to my professional network" 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Yes the Carly Rae Jepsen craze has taken over!

Here are some of the funny/ridiculous videos set to her song.

This is still my favorite remake vid

Seriously who wouldn't want to be part of that video?!?!?!?!
It reminds of the lip sync contests we had in grade school.

The one is amazing to watch because there are just so many things going on.  The fact that they included "THE LIFT" from Dirty Dancing, it was hard for me not to put them in first place

Yes they did have a guy in a morph-suit

Because there were no professional camera-men on set for this one, you need to give these fellas props!

This one spurred so many more "inside a passenger van" vids.


Miss USA Pagent.  The fact that they got Donald Trump to participate makes it entertaining

They also had some E Network peeps participate which is a nice touch


This one is very well rehearsed.  The problem is well see for yourself

Yes I realize it's to catch attention and advertise the Miami Dolphins.  The problem is the FUN factor is missing in this one.  They look like they are auditioning for Sports Illustrated.

So there you have it!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Conference Prep and Tips

Educating Yourself At Events

Finding ways to better your business, improve your health, gain financially, seek out that missing element in your life...
These are just a few of topics that conferences/events/seminars are about.  Choosing to attend is choosing to educate yourself further and learn more about the topic.  For the past several years, I have spent a lot of my free time at events/seminars/conferences/tweetups/fundraisers in one capacity or another.  I have been a co-host, an organizer, a volunteer, and an attendee at more events than I can possibly remember.
I have learned about business, financial planning, social strategies, health awareness, meal planning and so many other subjects that keep me inspired and spark new ideas.  Many of these events do involve a time investment so to ensure you fully partake in the conference experience, here are some tips so you are properly prepared and can make the most of your time at the conference.

An Event Addict's Guide To Conferences

Find An Event

  • Use online sites like Eventbrite, MeetupFacebook Events, or local events pages to find out about great conferences
  • Check the hashtags that people are using and see the info about the events they are talking about (also follow attendees of the event so you can engage with them beforehand and look forward to meeting them face to face at the event)
  • Find out about discount codes, or Early Bird pricing to save some dollars

What To Bring

  • Most will bring their electronic devices, smartphones, tablets, cameras etc. but remember to bring chargers and batteries so you are able to use them
  • A note pad & pen are also a great idea incase of WiFi issues, you can still keep a record of what you want to remember
  • Clothing that you will be comfortable in.  You never know if the breaks are in the same rooms as the speakers, or if you'll be walking a few blocks to after-parties or if the air conditioning will be on full blast.  Dressing in layers and comfortable footwear will make a big difference

Travelling Tips

  • Research about the area you are attending. Find out what the destination has to offer
  • Pack light! Chances are you'll be bringing more home than what you arrived with
  • Modes of transportation.  How will you get there? Will you need to commute to several places once you arrive?
  • If driving, ensure you GOOGLE MAPS the location (you never know when that GPS signal will be lost), factor in traffic into travel times and bring cash for parking
  • Find a travel companion.  Whether it be a carpool or a bus load, find someone you can share the experience with on the way to and back from the event.

At the Conference

  • Find the registration desk ASAP. Once you are registered you have the freedom to roam
  • Grab your seat.  As tempting as the coffee bar might be as you arrive, pick you spot first. Leave something there to hold it (even just writing your name on a paper & placing it on the seat works).
  • Look for the agenda.  Make sure you know where you need to be and when you need to be there.
  • Take lots of notes.  You will absorb a lot of info in a short period of time.  Having the info in print will give your brain a break
  • Meet lots of new people.  Fellow attendees share a common interest with you, they have become your peers.

After the Event

  • Tell people about your experience.  Write a post, send a tweet, create a vlog about the conference. Do it while it is still fresh in your mind
  • Connect with those you met.  Send a follow-up email from the business card they gave you.
  • Implement what you have learned.  You took all those notes, put them to good use rather than filing them away.
  • Engage with the people that made the most impact.  Join their facebook page, subscribe to their newsletter, let them know that what they spoke about inspired you.

You can learn lots at conferences and events, but remember to socialize and have fun too.  You never know where it will lead.  I've hugged Mike Holmes, held the Oscar for Best Picture, met a ton of authors, and danced on stage with Jordon Knight because I stayed after the event to socialize.

Tips From the Social-sphere

  • Time to network. Best work happens in down time. @karynclimans
  • Candy at each table is a must!! @vaughanmomshow
  • Take contacts and information home that will help you and/or your biz @vaughanmomshow
  • Don't live tweet, sit strategically, know who controls the drink tickets, relationships are built after hours. @MattScobel
  • Find opportunities to stay connected after the event @woodbridgem2m
  •  You will learn something and imagine a new framework. @CheMarvilleReal
  • Be fearless about reaching out to people, chatting and being authentic! You will be shocked who you can meet! @CheMavilleReal
  • Know that you're not the only one nervous about meeting people. Chances are others feel the same. @AppHipMom
  • Two sided laynards so everyone can see even if it flips over @MumsnChums
  • Plan your sessions in advance, at least two per timeslot. Carry a paper list of session names and room numbers so if you decide to bail on one, you know exactly where to run to, even if your electronics are out of battery and there's no wifi. @TheBrianBanks
  • Go with a positive attitude, an open mind & a smile on your face to meet lots of people. That's where the real value is for me.. connecting. @Gemini_Momma
  •  Even though I missed a panel, best thing I did at Blissdom was listen to my body and take a nap @JackiYo

Do you agree? Perhaps you have a great conference tip you want to add as well? Have you been to an exceptional conference/event/fundraiser/meetup/convention/summit? Make sure to share it in the comments! Looking for a conference to attend this fall?  I may be biased, but I would make sure to grab a ticket for the 140 Characters Conference 2012 before they are gone!

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