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Are You an Addicted Social Media Event and Conference Whore?

Mark Suster has a great Blog, Both Sides of the Table. He posted recently a discussion about “Conference Ho’s.”

I dont attend many of the Social Media conferences and people ask me why. For one, I’ve been smart enough to hunt down or logically assimilate the data I need to succeed. I’ve done this over my life as a serial entrepreneur. Aside from the type of business industry, the principals of business are largely the same.

I mean how many times does Social Media really have to be explained to you? Is it that complex for you? Its Social. Does much more on being Social have to be explained? Yes the free drinks and swag are nice, but the challenge is I do them for business. At most Social Media conferences I’m not networking with potential clients, I’m talking to the same old people I see over and over. Technically, most of the people compete with me.

The other night I went to 3 blogger event parties in a row. It was the same herd of people going from one party to the next. That, after they had looked at each other all day in the conference that I had skipped. I’m thinking how am I making money talking to the same people all the time?

The problem with “conference whoreing” is you feel that activity is productive, which many times it is not. I’m not knocking the people whose job it is to promote at these events or their book sales depend on these folks because they are their target market. Many of the events you’ve seen me at I’ve sponsored and my blog is promoted.

If I see you out at events a lot, I check your site on Google Ad Planner for traffic. If your site isnt on there or I see little traffic on your comments and retweet buttons, I kinda have to laugh a little. Seminars dont always make you smarter. I once knew a guy who spent $20,000 plus going to Real Estate seminars. Then he broke every rule taught and went bankrupt within 6 months.

I sit working and have gotten my baby, 1 year old blog up to the Top 16,000 sites Alexa Ranking and over 45,000 Pageviews Monthly. Its about doing the work, to get traffic and revenue. I cant do that if I’m always out at conferences unless someone is paying me to do it. Ask yourself how much traction are you getting at events and conferences? Is it making you money? I recently started taking my iPad to events so I can show/sell people my site and they can show me theirs. In the end its up to you, think about your choices, how much productive money making is lost over those free drinks…

Mark Suster: “You know the type. You see them on Twitter, Facebook or Plancast plotting out their next 12 conferences. You see their Tweets from airports across the globe. Look at me! I’m in Spain! Now I’m in France. Next week I’m speaking in Cabo San Lucas! They are professional conference attendees.

They are CEO’s addicted to the schmoozing.

In the industry they’re known as “conference ho’s.” OK, they’re known as conference “whores” but that sounded too harsh for a blog post. Inevitably a certain number of entrepreneurs feel compelled to attend every conference. I think I know the root cause. It can be magnetic being at conferences especially when you’re on a panel, you’re invited to a speakers’ dinner, you’re getting to meet so many new people and you’re getting so much attention.

And for all of these reasons it’s smart to selectively go to a few events here and there – particularly those that you’re likely to have the highest hit rates of connecting with people who can change your business. But there has to be a limit. In the same way you wouldn’t spend all of your day in front of your computer at the expense of customer interaction, there has to be a limit to attending conference.”

I’ll stay home and do the work. My Blog makes money, I’ll buy my own Jack and Coke, thank you.