As the co-chair for this year’s ConvergeSouth conference, I had the distinct honor to assemble a roster of speakers that I think is one of the best that the conference has seen. Most  of these people I have never met in person, but many I have met online. Tonight was our tweet up for the conference and I was able to put many of the faces to the twitter handles which is always the best part of any conference.

There was Rosemary O’Neill whose path I had crossed earlier this year at SocialSlam, but we never actually met. After SocialSlam, we developed an online friendship and were so excited to finally meet in person. We’re two of a kind – both in business and personal. I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a twitter marriage made in heaven. Look at us.. we both showed up in green and our glasses and we didn’t even tweet each other to make this happen.

Rosemary O'Neill

Tracy Myers is a homegrown hero in my opinion. He’s won award after award for his auto dealership. When many dealerships were closing down due to the economy, Tracy’s was not just surviving but THRIVING!! He will tell you that a lot of that was his passion for embracing social media.. sure he has the WILD AND CRAZY commercials, but the man behind the hat is so much more than that. He gives back to the community, is a true family man and from what I understand, is one of the best company leaders ever.

Tracy was originally scheduled for a break out session for the conference, but when I received a last-minute cancellation from our keynote speaker, I knew who to call to step in and take the bull by the horns. This is why you make relationships in social media. Whether or not you see each other regularly in real life, you can still make a strong connection with people online. I know that Tracy is a rock star speaker and more importantly – gracious. He immediately said “yes” to my call for help. Tracy gives presentations to audiences of  thousands several times a year  and has authored 6 books. Yet, we’ve only met in person one time in the 3 years we’ve known each other online. Connections are strong if you make them – no matter what the medium is that you communicate.

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tracy myers and kristen daukas

There were so many other great people at our tweet up tonight that I will definitely give the low down on this weekend. For now, forgive me as I have a certain person’s introduction to write and a few more Powerpoints to double-check before the conference tomorrow.

If you’re interested in keeping up with the amazing speakers and are on twitter, follow the #CS2012 hashtag.


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