ConnectOC 2.0: Bigger and Better

ConnectOC Cupcakes

If you missed Thursday’s event, shame on you. I am still in awe at how amazingly successful it was and the attention to detail by the organizers. I am honored to be in their presence and grateful to call them my friends. I arrived early to be part of the OC Bloggers table and was there when lead organizer, Ted Nguyen gave his team a pep talk and presented them all with flowers as his way of appreciating their hard work and efforts. I also learned that is a tradition for Ted. How wonderful!

Lines started early and organizers were armed and ready. The Hilton Hotel stayed packed into the wee hours of the morning with eager social networkers from all over Orange County and a few transplants from LA County. Considering this was a fun event with themed drinks, silent auctions, a buffet, and photo booths; the audience still took time to make meaningful connections and also reach out to others and help forge new relationships.

A simple search on Twitter of #ConnectOC will render some significant highlights of this event and how geniunely impressed the almost 500+ crowd was. I don’t think a single person left without making a new friend, a business connection, or something else of value.

I used ConnectOC as my opportunity to meet people I had chatted with on Twitter but hadn’t met in real life and also focused on building deeper relationships with those I did know. While I didn’t get a chance to bid on any silent auction items, I did try some cupcakes from Meringue Bakeshop, some banana split Dippin’ Dots, and took a few crazy sessions in the photo booth.

At the end of the night, the event raised a little over $4,000 for the two charities being sponsored: Build Futures and Child Help. In it’s success, it brought together over 500+ people and provided for some amazing opportunities plus it was all advertised for free via social media networking channels.  Considering the growth of social media and all the wonderful stuff I learn and read about everyday, I’m surprised that more people haven’t embraced it.

Believe it or not, social media is here to stay and I hope more people will ride the wave and hang on. I am also wondering what’s in store for ConnectOC 3.0. It appears that each event gets bigger and better and if you’ve missed any part of it, please stay tuned and mark your calendars for the third installment.

Check out my slide show from ConnectOC 2.0:

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