So it’s been a week since we gathered in San Francisco for the first ever Foodservice Social Media Universe Conference and I am finally getting the chance to sit and really reflect on everything that went on in those short two days. Wow.
Even as a person that is immersed in the social media landscape each
and every day, I walked away with new outlooks, ideas, and thoughts to apply to my efforts. The talent that made up the keynotes and speaker panels was extraordinary and my only regret was not being able to spend more time in the breakout sessions. Thank you all for helping make this year a success. The attendees sent over 3,000 tweets generating over 15 million impressions in the short time we were together. That's a lot of knowledge!
Here are my top three #FSMU moments…
The first was really a group of moments. My IRL (in real life) experiences at FSMU. One of my favorite parts of social media is the capability to connect, grow and foster relationships with people all over the world. In fact, many of the speakers and attendees I met for the first time at FSMU, I feel like I’ve known for years. I remember when Michael Minichello of Restaurant Raps walked up to the registration table I gave him a huge hug. Then thought, “oh crap, I’ve never actually met him. Hope that’s ok!”. The folks I’ve been talking to and connected with online for some time I finally got to meet face to face. And as much as I love social media and those connections, nothing beats in real life interaction.
My next highlight was the one and only Kathleen Wood keynote (she’s really the only keynote I got to watch). I tell ya, no one lights up a room and pumps people up like this one. She’s on my list of folks I am so fortunate to have in my corner; both as a mentor and a friend. My favorite part was her quote from Steve Jobs which left a tremendous impact: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Um…. Yea! We here at FohBoh have been called crazy a time or two and it’s my belief that we can change this industry.
My third highlight was the reception on Monday night at Bistro Boudin. We held a reception that benefitted Share our Strength and their Dine Out for No Kid Hungry. Definitely one of my favorite memories from the conference. If you haven’t yet checked them out they are an amazing organization who’s goal is to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. I feel that this problem in our country is inexcusable and it really is our industry’s responsibility to solve. If you haven’t gotten involved you can do so here. During this reception was the first time I got to step back (take a breath:) and really observe. It was so exciting to see so many smiling faces talking about all of the great information they learned that day. Folks were sharing more best practices, teaching each other how to check in on Foursquare and check out on Bizzy, as well as tackling top of mind issues in the social media space. It really was amazing to see.
Personally, walking into this (a first year conference as well as the first time planning a conference) I really didn’t know what to expect. A huge hats-off and thank you to our partners at Networld Alliance: Valerie, Dan, Kris, Jason and Allen this could not have been done without you. Thank you for your partnership and execution of seamless event.
A few other special shout outs to Jill McFarland, Cathy McPhillips, Brie Foulds, Libby Tucker, Avery Block, Nicole Walls, Chris Bursham, John Scroggins, Tom Hanson, Steven Groves, Michael Brito, Bill Campion, Nate DaPore, Michael Minichello, Mike Schneider (aka Schneider Mike:), Asif Khan and Patrick Goodman. Ok that was more than a "few". The energy and passion you brought to this conference I can't describe in words. Thank you for being such an important part of FSMU and for your support for FohBoh and for me. I couldn't have done it with out you.
I know now that this is our space. This was our stake in the ground. FSMU will be around for years to come bringing together the brightest minds and thought leaders in the social media restaurant space. Thank you to Michael and my team at FohBoh for all your hard work leading up to and during the conference. A special shout out to our Senior Analyst Emerald Reilly (@FohBohGem) for not only working her heart out but for keeping me sane. You ARE the FohBoh GEM.
So cheers to a successful first year and I can’t wait to see you next year! And believe me folks, we’re already planning :)