One reason I love Twitter is that it lets me connect with people I wouldn't otherwise encounter. I get to make new virtual friends with folks who share useful information that I probably wouldn't find on my own.
Make new friends. Learn something. Win.
Even better is when these virtual friendships lead to more than just the casual RT or one-off interaction.
One day last week I noticed a tweet about a social business summit in New Hampshire. I visited New Hampshire several years ago and fell in love with the state. Been looking for a reason to return so I decided to check out the website for the event. Date didn't work for me to attend in person but I noticed they were offering a digital pass to view the Aha Summit sessions online, on-demand at whatever time fit my schedule.
I bookmarked the page and tweeted back at one of the organizers that I was thinking of buying a ticket. That led to several exchanges about the #AhaSummit between me and others involved with the event. Our exchanges continued over the next few days.
I did end up buying a digital pass and I've made some new friends and connections in the process.
If you're interested in buying a digital pass, there's still time. Ticket sales close tonight (November 14, 2013). You can watch the sessions at your leisure, so don't worry if your schedule is book all day tomorrow.
Here are 4 reasons I bought a digital pass to this particular event, but they apply to other online conferences and workshops, as well.
1. Digital Interactions lead to new online friends (see above).
2. The presenters are top-notch, in-the-trenches professionals and the session titles and descriptions are intriguing.
3. I want to extend my professional network.
Particularly in the New England area and the digital pass opens the door to connecting with the speakers and sponsors, like Southern New Hampshire University's Steve Boucher and The Common Man Inn family of businesses.
4. Supporting others is fun.
Especially when they are nice and friendly like Allen Voivod and Lani Voivod. When I expressed interest in the Aha Summit they reached out to me and interacted. And we've connected repeatedly since then, before and after I bought the digital pass. I'll benefit from the conference, but I can also support their event through my purchase of the virtual ticket.
Links to the digital ticket purchase page are affiliate links but I paid for my ticket and wouldn't be recommending the Aha Summit here by taking time to write this post if I didn't see the opportunity to get real, actionable insights from the speakers.
If you've attended a past Aha Summit I'd love to hear your thoughts on the value. Leave a comment below. And if you're attending and interested in connecting on Twitter, I'm @RealSheree over there.
Here's an example of a session on branding from the 2012 Aha Summit by Kevin Skarritt, Chief Peep of Flock Marketing. Kevin is speaking again this year on mobile website design.