I don’t have a voice this morning and memories are hazy, but this is what I do remember…
Matching faces to avatars
When I first started work, networking events were about putting faces to the voices that I’d heard on the telephone. Last night was about putting voices to avatars.
With social media for lawyers really taking off, we had nearly 80 RSVPs for the event. I’d thought about making name badges for everyone with Twitter names and avatars on them. As @ljanstis tweeted: “Time to find out who else is using an avatar photo that is five years out of date.”
I was worried that I might miss @colmmu, @clarinette02, @JohnAFlood et al who have cryptic avatars, but I needen’t have worried. It was fun watching reactions during introductions: “Catrin, this is Chris”, or “Steve, this Neil” generated puzzled looks, but “@lawyercatrin, this is @London_Law_Firm” and “@MotoringLawyer, this is @Legalfutures” would led to warm recognition and immediate chatter!
How far people had travelled
It was lovely to see the effort people had made to join #Lex2011tweetup – after all, there were no speakers, no agenda, just informal drinks.
@GavWard travelled from Glasgow and @jonathanlea from Truro, and they both decided to make a London break out of it. @IkenCEO came specifically for the event, proudly tweeting “Now that I have a senior citizens railcard I shall travel 1st class by train to #Lex2011tweetup”.
But a special mention has to go to @valentilaw who changed his flight from Chicago to arrive in time!
Expectations versus reality
One of the best things about the night was how up for it everyone was! People commented on not knowing what to expect and how odd it was not to have the formality of a date and venue months in advance. But as @jeanyvesgilg said “what’s the worst that could happen? It’s not in fee-earning time!” There was an amazing atmosphere with lots of laughter and banter – as if it was a reunion of people that had known each other for years, when at best, most would have only met a handful of the people in the room before.
The venue was a little crowded, but in defence of @BrianInkster and I, we had no idea so many would come along! @ChrisOxfordDale tweeted “Good turnout at #lex2011tweetup but too noisy to hear. Thought of sitting outside and tweeting to them but went home instead”. Other complaints were from those who were unable to join. @TMT_Lawyer tweeted “Was gonna say “Hi” to all tweeps at #Lex2011Tweetup, but bastards are all TALKING to each other. FFS, what’s wrong with tweets? RL, pah!” and @lancegodard felt he’d “missed event of the year”. My ‘bah humbug’ with the night is that @BrianInkster and I didn’t get to have our long planned chat!
According to @HeatherTowns there are five levels of engagement, with the fifth being powerful and effective relationships. From what I understand most of us would have been around level 2 at the beginning of last night. We must all be at least at level 3 now Heather?
I know that a couple of individuals won new work last night and many are planning follow-up meetings.
From conversations and subsequent tweets it seems everyone had a great night 🙂 with @BrianInkster and I receiving numerous requests to host another soon. I’ve not had a chance to check in with Brian yet, but my slight hesitation is that I do have the small matter of trying to launch a social CRM startup!
It was really great to meet everyone last night – thanks for making it such a good ‘un.
Please do add comments if I’ve missed anything. As I said, my memories are hazy…