NMX 2013 – Las Vegas, Nv.
Picture this in your head. It’s Saturday night. I have arrived in Las Vegas. Alone. Completely alone. I have come to town to do the thing I suck at the most. I am here to network and be social. Naturally, this all leads to total confusion in my head. Also, I can’t find any pants, except my yoga pants. You know, the ones I wear when I’m not doing yoga. Also the ones I swore I wouldn’t wear to the conference. Standards folks, embrace them.
I am far too freaked out to go to the Rio, the casino where the event will be held. So instead, after standing in my room and changing outfits 19 times so I can look good for the express purpose of NOT seeing anyone, I head to my old stomping grounds from back when when I was a local, The Orleans casino. And I feel good about it all. I have a drink, I watch The Clippers destroy Golden State and then I go and sit happily alone at the counter of the oyster bar and indulge in a nice rich shrimp and crab pan roast. (Sorry Kale.)
I finally feel like I will be able to network! And so I do! I proceed to practice my patter on a random casino patron who, it turns out, is a mailman from Santa Monica. Look at me go! I clearly do so well when there is nothing at stake.
The next morning is a different story all together. Sunday am found me sitting awkwardly in the “Lounge” area of the Rio convention center at a table with a highly disparate group of strangers who were all here to attend the conference and wishing I had made time for that one important
Bloody Mary cup of coffee.
At first, nobody is saying anything to anybody. Then, Deb Ng, the community manager for NMX who was clearly there to facilitate people with my particular subset of special needs, came over and patiently led us through “Kindergarten Communication Skills” class. And because she’s good at her job, it was reasonable successful, and I found myself actually asking someone the question, “So, what do you do and what are you here to get out the convention?” And then the top of my head blew off.
*(To give you a little context, one of my best friends on earth had been at her job for about 6 years before I had to call and ask her, “Listen, I have to list you as a reference for something, so what is it that you actually do? You know, for work?” I don’t if I ever would have asked her if not for that document).
I genuinely don’t think I have ever asked anybody that question. It seems rude somehow, as if their value as a human being is going to be assessed based on their answer. I don’t like it. It’s classist. See why I’m bad at networking?
But all that aside, networking is also the very life’s blood of events like this, so I learned how to do it, but just barely. Also, I’m here as a total noob and just interested in judging the lay of the land. Which is to say, I may be presently without much in the asset department, so I don’t want to have long conversations that reveal that. I’m really here to ninja my way in and out of a few session, making as little human contact as possible. I’m willing to leave that for another year, so don’t judge.
Anyway, the sessions? 3 days of them and totally worth it. And more than enough to make me want to come back next year to try and keep my ninja skills in top form.
The first talk I attend on Sunday (if you don’t count the mailman or the awkward morning conversation) was possibly the best one of the 3 days. Dino Dogan, creator of DIYBlogger.net and a new endeavor called Triberr, which is meant to work as a blog amplification platform. I’m looking into it to see where it goes, you can too with this explanation video.
Dino’s topic was Insane Loyalty: How to Get People Fanatically Addicted to You. Stalkers Unite! The talk was standing room only and Dino brought authenticity, humor and human biology into the mix, which delighted me no end. It’s a favorite thing of mine, human biology. The observation of how much of human behavior is still driven by our most primitive needs underlies so much of my look at the world around me. Apparently Forbes thought so too, because you can get the highlights of his speech in their article here.
“Humans Are Status Seeking Animals” ~Dino Dogan
All too true. We seek status in a thousand little ways every moment. It validates us. We want it more than money and things. We want it almost more than love, although who we love is intrinsically tied into this need. I have views on this, I assure you. It was nice to see someone else did too. Check Dino out. He’s everywhere around the web. He gives value, I promise.
In the mean time, I look like this…cause I found my pants finally.
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