Come. Sit down around the camp fire faithful campers and let me tell you a tale of friendship and growth. It is a tale of a gathering of people from all walks of life, all corners and crevices of the country. It is a story of “tribe”.
Last year I went to Dallas to attend the People Report Summer Camp, a conference I had never heard of but was intrigued by the agenda and the theme. It was a conference that encouraged flip flops in favor of dress shoes, tee shirts in place of ties and since I had new flip flops I needed a venue to premier them. I had no idea of anyone who was going to be there, sans the one friend that told me about it, and the main speakers. I was a lone wolf on the Texas plains. I had done some outreach to the attendees via Twitter to introduce myself and really get a feel for who all these people who were interested in HR, Marketing and Social Media were. Before I even walked in the door, I had about 30 people I knew by face and had chatted with via Twitter. By the time I had left the conference I had close to 200 people on my Twitter account and I had met nearly everyone of them for some of the most lasting relationships of this last year!
The “social” in Social Media was alive and well.
Now, I could get into the agenda of the conference about how much I learned (which I did), how much it lit a fire under me to move my company in the direction of Social Media and a closer “tribe” like respectful environment from C-Suite to the dish rooms (which it did) and I could tell you about the incredible break-away sessions they had on everything from blogging to Twitter (which they did) or about how to develop great customer service practices that will take your business to new heights (which it did)…But, I won’t. You should see it for yourself especially after that HUGE run on sentence I just wrote.
But what made it so memorable was the connections and time spent together talking work to some degree but also taking the time to learn about each other and cultivate relationships. What also was amazing about this conference was that they gave back. They got us all to volunteer for a local charity called Jonathon’s Place and give up what some might call “valuable work/conference” time in favor of community. If you ask me THAT was some of the most important work we did that week. For is work not about community as well?
Let me cut to chase here, if you want to spend an INCREDIBLE 4 days learning, sharing and laughing with some of the biggest players in Social Media, Restaurants, HR and Business then I need to tell you to saddle up your horse and ride to Dallas this June 7th-10th. I have to mention here too that I am in no way endorsed for writing this although something about a lifetime supply of Willie Wonka’s Fizzly Lifting Drink was mentioned by Joni Doolin, the CEO of People Report.
Also note that if you fear bed short sheeting, water balloon fights and a real Camp Grenada scenario, this conference is not that at all. Though if you do speak to the concierge at the hotel I’m sure they can arrange those activities for you.
Photos by Leigh Caraccioli