Home > Communication, DEMO, IRL, People > Rocking the Red Carpet at DEMO

Rocking the Red Carpet at DEMO

Fotógrafos no São Paulo Fashion Week edição 2007
Image via Wikipedia

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
titles.

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
irrelevant.

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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  1. teresabasich
    October 1, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Sooooo, even though I don’t have any conference experience (yet), the best people to do business with are the personable, personal ones. It’s not like I expect cathartic pow-wows to happen at every conference I (hope to) go to, but I sure as hell hope I can get to know at least one different, non-business side of each person I meet. Being personal = being human, and we humans like to interact with other humans, right? Not business automatons. 🙂

    • October 7, 2009 at 1:27 pm

      Teresa, I have been to SO many conferences that I have lost count, and I can’t say enough about DEMO. I felt at home with people who were excited about ideas and how they effect people. It was, for me, not about reputation and rank, and about discussing ideas. Maybe it’s me – maybe I was comfortable in my own skin, and it translated to an open attitude. Who knows?!
      FYI – I will be in LA for 140Conf Oct. 26-28 – any chance we can meet up? I think you are not far…Could be your chance to experience a conference! Thanks for following and commenting.

      Liza Sperling

  1. January 31, 2010 at 6:08 am
  2. December 19, 2015 at 9:49 am

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