It's strange the people you meet over Twitter...

I am always fascinated with wide diverse sets of people I seem to be meeting from Twitter. Each has their own passions, interests and reasons for using it. You never quite know what you are going to get!

It is very weird meeting people you have been used to seeing as avatar bouncing down your screen. This was certainly the case recently in the Likeminds event I went to in Exeter on last Friday which featured some high profile social media speakers and bloggers.

Twitter was the main weapon of choice there and I found it to be a very good leveller between lots of different types of people. Often in the case of such events you almost feel a barrier between the audience and the speakers. Each attendee was even provided a sticker of their Twitter avatar instead of name badge.

I realised this event was very different as I met @chrisbrogan (a President of the US company New Marketing Labs and Influential Blogger) outside the venue. I had been reading his blog for a while as he is very much a social media thought-leader at the moment. It was really something to meet him in person and I soon realised how down-to-earth he was. In true British style I asked him how he was finding the cold weather and he told me it was much worse in Chicago where he had flown from!

The event itself featured a multitude of speakers from right across the spectrum of social media. Chris Brogan was the headline speaker for the event and the one everyone was eargerly anticipating. He did not disappoint though I wished he could have been on for longer. While others focused on specific strategies and tactics Chris focused on the underlying aspect of human connection and making people feel special.

One of my other favourite speakers was Olivier Blanchard @thebrandbuilder. He spoke and on how to intergrate social media into businesses and the challenges on the way. I was lucky enough to talk to him at the end of the event too. He seemed to have an answer for every question I had even the toughies!

I ended up staying the after party too even though I was supposed to come back to good old Bristol. I am very glad I did. I meet some very interesting people from PR people, to bloggers, to enthusiasts, to journalists, to business owners as well as having a beer with Olivier and Chris!