Just Because It’s Still Winter, Don’t Hibernate

By: Bruce Wawrzyniak

Group of people talkingYesterday I came back from Orlando where I was a speaker at Podfest Multimedia Expo.  While I would’ve stayed the whole time anyway, I admire the organizers requiring the speakers to be there for all three days.  Too many times we go to an event and see someone get up and give their talk, then disappear once they get off stage, only to find out that they’ve left.

The value in being out “pressing the flesh” with others can’t be understated.  In fact, during a keynote this past weekend I heard someone say, “Don’t let the people come to you, go where the people are.”

Can you imagine a company never going to a tradeshow because they have a website and a product catalog?  I don’t say that merely from a ‘they’re missing out on sales’ perspective.  Right off the bat, how else can they meet vendors and customers who are buying their products?  Imagine all the feedback they can get in conversations not only longer but more personable than through their company Facebook page!

There is someone that I’ve talked to in person, over the phone and through email that I was able to get back in front of this past weekend.  Thanks to our discussion during Podfest, I anticipate following up this week and being able to consummate a deal.  Had I only shown up for my presentation, I would’ve left money on the table.  Heck, I was even able to meet in-person a past guest that I interviewed (over Skype) on “Now Hear This Entertainment.”

So many people at Podfest talked about “I see all of you online (in the Podfest Facebook group).  It’s nice to actually meet in person!”

On a related note, one of the most popular compliments that were repeated at the event was the sense of community.  That’s something you can’t genuinely feel if you just sit at home all the time, no matter how much you interact on social media.

If you’re someone who hides behind email and rarely ever picks up the phone, it’s time to push yourself.  Similar to the expression ‘you don’t know what you don’t know,’ there are opportunities that you are missing out on that you’re probably not aware of.  Even something like podcasters guesting on one another’s shows was happening this weekend and in many cases with folks who’d never even met each other before.

We’re only a month-and-a-half into 2018 and already I’ve been to the NAMM Show in Anaheim and Podfest Multimedia Expo in Orlando.  I don’t care if you just go visit venues that you’ve been wanting to perform at or have a lunch meeting with someone that you’ve communicated with electronically but not face-to-face.  Make it a point to get out there and discover the possibilities.  Browse through meetup.com and see if there are like-minded individuals with similar interests.  Make new connections.  Start new (mutually beneficial) relationships.  It’s time to step out of your comfort zone.

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