A day or two later I was again at a One Degree of Separation event. This is what I refer to as "our secret club" although it is neither secret or a club, it is a gathering nearly monthly that began last year when two lovely men, Michael and Marc and I were at an event with ok wine, people we didn't really know, hellomynameis badges and said "wouldn't it be great to go to an event where the wine is good, there are no name badges and we are talking with people we like, and while they might be in similar industries, it is not about business cards." The next week we decided to try it out, and nearly a year later it is a highlight of each month. The One Degree simply means you need to know one of us, or the host (which changes monthly with the venue) and you are welcomed in. Wine is often simply by donation, the food never complicated and the people, well let's say the time flies, and many of us have both deepened relationships and made new connections. A few have even found new work because of the connections made. Do we all still belong to and support traditional industy associations? Heck yes! Would we give this up... Well not for a while.
Then it was on to SPINCon, where I had the opportunity to co-present on creating Brain-Friendly Meals for your Meetings with Andrea Sullivan; participate in a session led by Sam Smith; be "Canada's Leader" for Sam and Erica St. Angel; see Midori Connolly present on new gadgets; and see Brandt Krueger's band play at Memory Lanes... What is interesting about this? Before this weekend we were on line friends via twitter, but hanging out with them was like hanging out with old friends - totally great!
Next time you are with a group of people, ask yourself, "How do I know them?" and remind yourself of the value of friendships.