By Dexter Alvaro (Linkedin.com/in/DexterAlvaro)
“Do you know the way to San Jose?”
I’m sure you weren’t “Lost” like Sawyer, or like his real family call him, Josh Holloway. Whoever said, “No man’s an island,” is telling the truth. Had Sawyer and his crew from that mysterious tropical island signed-up for a LinkedIn account, they wouldn’t be so miserable. Why am I talking about my fictional TV friends, anyway? Dang it, I think I’m the one who’s lost.
Anyway, let me tell you about my organic or real LinkedIn local connections.
Let’s start with the lovely ladies who set-up the #LinkedInLocalSanJose event: Sandra Clark (Linkedin.com/in/SandraAClark), LinkedIn Coach & Trainer, Jolt Presenter, Co-Founder of LinkedInLocal San Jose and Tracey Lee Davis (Linkedin.com/in/TraceyLeeDavis) aka TLD, Social Media Coach at ZingPop Social Media and VP of The Women’s Networking Alliance.
Sandra and Tracey worked so hard to get people (LinkedIn users) who usually connect and communicate virtually to step out of their comfort zones, away from their mobile devices and laptops and gather them in one place for them to finally meet each other. The 2nd LinkedIn Local networking event was at Mosaic Restaurant and Lodge in San Jose, last March 21st.
It was a networking event, but as soon as we all saw each other for the first time, it felt like a reunion.
It’s mind-blowing how engagements on a Social Media platform (LinkedIn) allowed Millennials and Mesozoic Era dinosaur, I am talking about myself only (#tRexDex), clearly should’ve had difficulty relating due to the generational divide.
However, there was no awkwardness or silent pauses in any of our conversations. Every single one grinned from the first minute to the 120th minute, and the event was from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Yes, the allocated time was 1 1/2 hour, and when we were all saying our goodbyes, we were sad that it was too short to be fully engaged in an in-depth conversation with everybody.
As I ponder on that night and when I watch Sandra’s LinkedIn video post, I noticed how our group appeared as giddy teenagers (well, some are in their early 20s) as we listened to each other’s stories and rehashed the backstory of our contents and engagements.
“Um…what’s content?” per an Anonymous attendee. As I recall that awkward moment when that person asked me that question, and as I explained multiple times and apologized several times for discussing to my friend about a recent post she created; I realized that the nervousness and awkwardness of attending a networking event were absent because we were all content creators.
It is amazing how we didn’t view the event as a way to further our career, pitch a product/service or make a sale. We all showed up with the intent to get to know each other better, making our virtual friendship a reality.
Kindly allow me to share a tidbit of information regarding my fellow LinkedIn content creators:
Sara Geyer (#SaraSpark) took Amtrak from Davis to San Jose to get to that event. She’s a Peer Mentor at UC Davis, Project Management Intern at Launchpad Project Management and Director of External Affairs at Economics & Business Student Association.
Valarie Serrato (Linkedin.com/in/ValarieSerrato) is a Consultant and a LinkedIn Advisor, and have extensive experience working with the Nation’s top home builders. She’s a sophisticated conversationalist with a penchant for multi-generational humor.
Tiffany Parra (#TiffTalks) and Alyssa Mangaoang (#AlyssaHQ) drove 3 hours from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to attend that event. Alyssa flew to Dallas, Texas to attend her first LinkedInLocal event where she met the Oprah of LinkedIn Content Creators, Goldie Chan, or as we all call her, “Goldie.” Yes. The first name is enough. Tiffany is the Creator & Executive Producer of Work in Progress. Alyssa is a Marketing Specialist for Mad Genie, Quentin Allums’ (#justQ) branding company.
John Frye (Linkedin.com/in/JohnFrye) is a Marketing Specialist at Bevy (bevylabs.com), attended Draper University (Nah, not “Mad Men’s” Don Draper rather Tim Draper, Venture Capitalist) and a cast member of ABC Family show “Startup U.”
Michael Lam, Chatbot Hero (Linkedin.com/in/Chatbot-Hero) is Founder and CEO of Kaydoh and is a Real Estate Investor and more importantly a family man. Please ask him the backstory of why he is growing his hair; it is one of the most refreshing stories you’ll ever hear.
Eli Angote (Linkedin.com/in/elijahka) is Founder of TheBestNotary.net and a Volunteer at The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County.
Ronald Flores (Linkedin.com/in/askronaldforhelp) is CEO of CuriousFinance, and he helps CPAs and Business Owners by empowering them with tools to reduce their taxes.
The tentative schedule for the third #LinkedInLocalSanJose is May 21st.
I know you’ll be there. You’d regret it if you miss it. The question is when you show up on May 21st, “Will it be another networking event or would you reunite with your virtual friend for the first time?”