I’m not knee deep in follow-up, I’m CHIN DEEP!  Possibly about to go under… It was a great show!

I met with clients and potential clients.  17 new companies.  Lots of follow up in the “Priority A” pile – that means the potential looks good and I really want it.  So I’m going to be brief… need to get back to work!

I got an email from a friend while I was in New York that I think is a great example of why I spend the time and big bucks to exhibit and attend trade shows.  She blogged about it so I just ran over and swiped it (tick, tock, right? Need to spend my time wisely!)

Here is what I want to share with you, in the words of my friend Mary Foley, from her blog:

There were a ton of college graduations this past weekend that you may have missed this gem by Tom Brokaw who gave the commencement speech at the College of William and Mary in my hometown of Williamsburg, VA.  I wasn’t there, either, but when I read this one statement he made, I just had to share it with you:

Brokaw_commencement Speaking to young twenty-somethings who are the most technologically connected generation to date, Tom Brokaw said:

“It will do us little to wire the world if we    short-circuit the soul.”

I just LOVE that!

Having joined AOL in 1988 at 23 years old right out of college, I dove into the online world without even knowing it.  I embraced what was then revolutionary – e-mail, instant messages and downloading.

Twenty-one years later and I still embrace technology.  We all do.

You and I (Mary) are connecting this very second because of our wired world and for that I’m grateful.  But, there’s a reason I schlep myself on a plane or drive hours to city to share with groups of women live.  Because face-to-face, in person, does something more for the spirit and more for soul than technology ever can.

In person, you can look someone in the eyes and smile.  They can feel acknowledged.

In person, you can give someone a compliment or say thank you.  They can feel appreciated.

In person, you can listen to their story or concern.  They can feel valued.

Technology can facilitate such interactions, but to date, in my opinion, it doesn’t completely replace being there.

So, today, as you interact with co-workers, meet with a client, drive the kids around, or walk up to the cashier, take the opportunity to encourage their spirit, and yours.  With a smile, compliment, thank you, or your listening ear.

(end of Mary’s blog post excerpt)

Yes, the internet makes it easier than ever to connect and do business, build groups with similar interests and more.  But sometimes there is nothing like shaking hands, talking face to face, and connecting live and in person.  Connecting with clients.  Connecting with manufacturers.

And let’s not forget connecting with artists.  I can’t tell you how cool it was to meet so many people I’ve met online at the show.  Thanks for stopping by!

So take the opportunities to connect in person when they present themselves. Balance on and off line communication.  For your business and for your life.  That’s it for now… I need to get back to my follow-up!

– Tara

P.S.  My sister also enjoyed meeting the artists at the show as well.  Oh yeah, she’s the one on the left in the pictures, I heard her telling our mom that one of her most said sentences was, “No, I’m not Tara. I’m her sister.”  tee-hee!