It’s an incredible feeling when you witness the birth of something. There is a palpable, almost magical force in the air. There is an underlying knowledge that what you have just experienced will only increase in value to you over time.
At a time when most, if not all of us, are facing challenges in their life and work it was an incredible feeling to watch a room fill with complete strangers who had a thirst for knowledge and the belief and faith to come and be an active part of something new and exciting. They really created what became a very special day.
What amazed me about the Like Minds event in Exeter on Friday wasn’t so much the great content from the speakers and the seamless event hosting and management from Scott Gould and the Exeter Conference Centre but the people who came to share it all with us.
Trey Pennington, one of our keynote speakers, mentioned the words ‘trust’ and ‘faith’ to me over breakfast the next day in Exeter city centre. He was spot on. Both Trey and Olivier Blanchard took a huge leap of faith to get on a plane and fly over from Greenville, South Carolina to be with us and prepare such incisive presentations.
Daren Forsyth and Maz Madjm, despite only knowing me from various London Tweetups, had the trust and faith to take the time out of their schedules and home lives, prepare presentations and travel down to help create such a valuable and magical day. Thanks also must go to all our panelists; Vanessa Warwick, Rick Waghorn, Matt Waring, James Barasic, Carl Haggerty, Laura Whithead, and Andrew Davies who provided such a stimulating discussion after each keynote. If you couldn’t make it down, do take the time to watch them all here.
Also take a moment to check out the feedback at the hashtag #LikeMinds on Twitter as well. The outpouring of love (and man love!) has been inspiring. It was also a great moment to see Stephen Fry say hello on the Twitterfall behind the stage – thank you Stephen! You can read my blog on his London Applestore event here.
Our sponsors, both local and national, also had the faith and trust to buy into our vision, at a point when even WE didn’t know exactly what the day was going to bring! For that we are deeply grateful because without that financial support the idea could have just as easily dissolved. I hope they all feel that they too have got a return on their investment and we look forward to inviting them back to our next event in February.
So it’s seems to me that the fundamentals of social media are about faith and trust. We increasingly ‘meet’ people through social networks, blogs and online communities long before we get to know them in real life and we have to take a leap of faith and trust that they are, who and what they say they are.
Scott Gould and I connected on Twitter around six months before we actually met. In the ensuing two months or so we discussed the idea of creating a brand and holding an inaugural event in Exeter that aimed to bring the level of quality you would expect for an event in a capital city like London but brought to more local communities. I spend my working week between the two cities and can see the parallels and the disparities and feel very passionately that Exeter needs stronger creative ties with other cities like London. I hope that Like Minds, through the use of social media, can start to beak the barriers down even further and bring us all closer together.
Exeter has an enormous amount of talent to offer, evidenced by many of the local participants at Like Minds. I hope that what Scott and I have created, with you and for you, helps you all in your chosen profession and life path.
After all YOU made it happen. To quote Scott on the day; we’re nobody. 😉