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Rocking the Red Carpet at DEMO

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As I stepped onto the long red carpet connecting the conference to the pavilion, I confessed to the man beside me that the long red
carpet made me uneasy.  I  joked that I was glad to see there were no
paparazzi.  He asked me why.

I love taking photos of others, and I obviously enjoy attention, but I
don’t enjoy having my photo taken. To combat this fear, lately I do it
as much as possible. Thanks to kind photographer friends, I am less
scared of the camera, and sometimes, if I am really enjoying myself, I
hardly notice the camera’s presence. The “faux red carpet”, however, was a
new challenge.

So when a virtual stranger suggested we enjoy our red carpet stroll
and offered his arm, I agreed.  Why not, I said, let’s pretend that
there are flashing cameras, that we are dressed in our finest
clothing, and let’s revel in our stardom.  I loved it and was dismayed
when the carpet ended.  Inside the pavilion we toasted to our red
carpet moment and, only then, did we finally introduce ourselves and
talk business.

There is joy to be had in these small encounters.  We think of
“conferences” as uber-networking sessions, but if you open your eyes,
you’ll find endless opportunities to get to know others beyond their

Isn’t this what counts? Isn’t this why we get on planes at the
crack of dawn, cram onto hotel shuttles, and sit with strangers over
coffee long after we have finished our buffet breakfasts?  If these
“moments” did not matter, teleconferences would make conferences

Would you rather do business with someone who can rock the “faux red carpet” or someone who only shows you their professional side and a slidedeck? You know my answer, but what do you think?  I want your feedback, please!

Dear LinkedIn:  Do Relationships Matter
Artificial Authenticity at Google I/O

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