Tell Me More
Posted By Beth Austin
It's "Trade Show Season." Marketers out there will need no explanation for this, but for the rest of you, the fall is a busy time for many of us due the preponderance of trade shows and conferences that happen in September and October. This season has been a busy one for the folks here at Crescendo, as we have been attending shows everywhere from Bangor, Maine, to West Palm Beach, Florida and a number of places in between. Over the last couple of months, I've had the opportunity to present at several conferences and, as always, I'm reminded of what a great learning opportunity it is. Although it seems somewhat counterintuitive, but the times when you'd think I'd really be doing all the talking is when I get some of the best listening in. The reason for this is because of the one-on-one conversation and information sharing that follows a talk. Regardless of the subject matter is, attendees will always approach me after a presentation and share their story about the topic at hand. I find this part of the job to be the most rewarding.
These conversations provide a great opportunity to make a connection. Sometimes the information shared is no different than what we've learned from our research or what you might be able to find on the internet, but that person-to-person networking and the opportunity to "hear it from the horse's mouth" makes it all the more powerful.
One of the topics I presented on this month was social networking, and specifically how organizations can use connections among colleagues to foster healthy behavior change. In any population, there are "weak-tie influencers" who have the charisma, subject matter knowledge, passion, and storytelling ability that motivates others to make a positive change. Interestingly, these weak-tie influencers often have no idea that they have the ability to inspire others. Often people are hesitant to share whatever their story is because they don't feel that it's important or don't think that it will impact others. However, these types of interactions provide a critical foundation to our learning, development, and our growth as social beings. Remember this - whether you're in networking overdrive mode at all the conferences you're attending or simply having a conversation with a trusted friend or colleague - your experience and perspective can shape people's thinking. Don't hesitate to tell your story.