How to use social media to network before a conference – BlogWorld ’10 examples

Whether you’re a brand or representing yourself at events, there are things you can do pre-conference to get the most bang for your buck. We’ve probably all watched a hashtag to see who is talking about attending an event and gradually jumped in those conversations. Some of us have even planned to meet folks in person that we’ve only chatted with online. So what are some good examples of people or brands doing this? Luckily, a few folks stood out from my recent trip to BlogWorld in Vegas.

Cirque du Soleil and Jess Berlin


Prior to BlogWorld ’10, I had been to Vegas once before. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch any shows when I was there. @JessBerlin manages the @cirque account and I noticed that a few friends were catching shows there. I follow both Twitter accounts and mentioned that I’d love to catch a show while in Vegas if there were any tickets remaining. Jess mentioned that tickets were available to Viva ELVIS and gave me her email address.

I inquired about the price (Vegas shows are usually expensive) to which she replied “$0.00.” The fact that the show was free isn’t really the point, although I’m extremely thankful for that. Jess was aware that bloggers were coming to Vegas and spent some time to reach out to some of them. Turns out… Viva ELVIS was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen a Cirque show at the DPAC in Durham and my wife has seen some Broadway shows… we both agreed that Viva ELVIS was the best we had seen.

Major thanks to Jess, @jamiehelmick and all the @cirque folks that made this happen. It was an incredible experience. Be sure to catch this next time you find yourself in Vegas!

Omaha Steaks

View from the Omaha Steaks BlogWorld event

I like steak. Most people do. I had even bough steak from Omaha Steaks before. Suddenly, out of the blue they were following me on Twitter. Turns out, they were hosting an invite only event on the 43rd floor of Mandalay Bay at a sweet House of Blues Foundation Club. They had all the great @omahasteaks products and tons of things I had no clue they even made. Appetizers, all kinds of sides, steak, drinks, etc. It was a cool little break from all the hustle and bustle of BlogWorld and a great networking opportunity. I had a chance to chat with Todd Simon, Senior VP of Omaha Steaks for a bit and he’ll be joining me for a 5in5 video next week. 🙂

Thanks to Dave Link for helping to make this happen.


Reaching out to bloggers for tours was brilliant. But, you probably knew that already with my last post about five things I learned at Zappos.

Jason Houck

Jason, also known as @Blogluvr29, spent a lot of time prepping for BlogWorld. He was monitoring the hashtag and keeping up with every person he could find that was attending. Jason added all the attendees to a blog post and would notify and reach out to others attending to let them know what he was doing. Check out Jason’s BlogWorld attendee list. That took some time.

I actually recognized Jason as soon as I saw him thanks to this (and to my Rainman like Avatar recognition that I had another chance to demonstrate for @ramon_deleon and @freeandflawed – both awesome by the way). Jason’s initial effort was a great example of paving a path to make plenty of connections before an event.

Do you have any great examples of networking before an event?