5 Lessons I Learned at BlogWorld Expo 08

By: Shama Hyder

David Bullock and Shama Hyder

Image by bjmccray via Flickr

1) A full house can boost your confidence. I love speaking about topics I am passionate about- online marketing, social media, community building, but a room full of twitterers can make the best of them feel a little nervous. One wrong move and it’s cyber tomatoes for you. I never thought a full room could boost your confidence. There had been a mix up on the schedule (I was double booked for a panel and my talk on Facebook!), so I wasn’t expecting many people at all. I was truly gateful and humbled when I saw people sitting on the floor with their laptops and standing by the door. At that moment, I realized that I couldn’t let the crowd down. I couldn’t afford to be nervous! I had to give them a presentation that would make standing at back of the room for an hour worth it! I truly felt empowered by the people’s trust-and it’s a great feeling!

2) Face-to-Face connections are crucial. Since my work (and the company itself!) is virtual, it’s easy to forget how funny and heartwarming personal interactions can be. Virtual watercoolers are excellent, but there is much to be said about real interaction. It was a pleasure meeting people I have only connected with online. There were lots of dinners, inside jokes, and yes…twittering.

3) Never let someone else’s limits be your own. This is such a big lesson, it can be a post on it’s own! When you start a business, you have to start with some boundaries-mostly for sanity’s sake. But as it evolves, you also have to be able to find what works for you. Yesterday’s boundaries may not work tomorrow. This lesson didn’t come out of any one session in particular, but was just a looming feeling I had the entire time. And what do I do when I get that feeling? I take the business to the next level. I am like that woman in the movie Chocolat where she feels the change shifting in the wind. (Hint: Cool changes coming soon).

4) The ability to work virtually is an amazing gift. While I basked in meeting my online colleagues face-to-face, I also rejoiced in my ability to not miss a beat with my clients. If I had my laptop with me, I could keep working. I replied emails, scheduled training sessions, and even spoke to prospects. It fills me with gratitude to have so much flexibility in my work.

5) No amount of planning replaces action. Okay, so this lesson I knew. But, boy was it reinforced at Blog World! I have copious amounts of notes, a plethora of ideas, a vision so bright that I am glowing, but I know that none of it matters unless I have put it into action. If you don’t see some exciting changes in the next few months, find me on Facebook and ask! I love how accountable you guys keep me.

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  1. shama – you rock & i hope you rocked out the event!!!

    # 2 is definitely my favorite. social media has made the web very ‘real’ & interactive but it does NOT replace the importance of shaking someone’s hand, hugging someone, giving someone a kiss on the cheek; those things are priceless.

    live interaction takes your relationships to a whole new level.

    thanks for the info!

  2. Shama–
    Great points. And you did an amazing job. No one knew you were nervous. Keep in touch.

  3. Great points Shama! All very true…
    I think 4 is a great reminder, sometimes we forget how blessed we are to be able to do what we do.
    Thanks for the great post!

  4. I love #3. So often when people tell us our ideas are stupid, or that we can “never to that” what they are really saying is that they would be unable to do it. We let their biasis, and their mental limitations act as our own if we choose to listen to them. I would much rather take the chance and find out that I couldn’t do something, than listen to someone else tell me that and never find out that I really could.


  5. Anytime your able to meet someone face-to-face your bound to bring greater definition to the relationship. Often times it will either solidify the relationship or be a great sign to go in another direction.

    Thanks for sharing experience!!

  6. Love how you felt a full room as confidence-boosting rather than intimidating. Nice vibe you’re flowing!

    And thanks for sharing the great lessons. :)


  7. Great top 5 , # 4 is my passion.Been in the corp world for 25 years + I olve what i do from the pleasure of my virtual office and enjoy my family.Now I am on my 4th online venture from the comfort of my virtual office.

  8. My favorite 2 points are:

    1. The importance of face-to-face connections: I also went to Blog World Expo and I met so many amazing people it’s crazy.

    2. It’s all about the action: What actions are you now taking after meeting these great bloggers and after stuffing your head full of ideas and information? Are you following up with people…are you blogging about it(you have this covered)…are you adding links and thoughts in the blog about the most interesting people you met? So much to do in so little time…the quicker the better and more impactful!

    I also learned a few things – you can check them out over here in my blog when you get a few minutes to spare:


    Keep up the great work and keep on having fun!

    Ryan Hupfer
    HubPages Communicator of Awesomeness!

  9. That is crazy… I just posted to my blog this morning with almost the exact same title as this! It is so cool, however, to see that your 5 things are totally different than mine. It’s great to hear other opinions and perspectives. I just started reading your blog after the Expo this weekend, and love it already.

  10. Hi Shama,

    Thanks for the really insightful post especially the second point on face to face interactions. God willing, I will be meeting at the next blog world expo. Cya!

    Best Wishes,

    http://www.shinils.com/ – My Posterous blog
    @shinils on Twitter – http://twitter.com/shinils

  11. It was indeed quite a crowd at Blogworld. I like your analogy of the cyber tomatoes;-) You mastered the presentation very well and showed everyone that you are big league.

    The one thing that stuck with me was the importance of adding faces to all the people I already knew and had heard of. We are in the people business and FB, Twitter and the likes can’t replace a gathering like this.

    And thanks for your reminder that planning alone doesn’t do the trick. That’s what separates ambitious from successful workers.


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