As I reflect on the last two weeks, I can only think of the excitement that this time of year creates for our industry and in my life personally. This all started when I began the promotion of our social media involvement with the Pump / Turbomachinery Symposia (@PumpTurbo on Twitter!) Getting involved with the promotion of an event from start to finish was new to me. I am so thankful for the opportunity that @PumpTurbo provided Empowering Pumps as a social media sponsor. It allowed me to create a plan for exposure: before, during, and after the event.
While I was creating my plan for Empowering Pumps, @PumpTurbo was also planning a social media hub at the event. It was called @PT_Central. It was brilliant. I was truly excited that the symposia had increased their commitment to building a lasting social media network experience for our industry. As we worked together on what we would distribute at the show, we also learned about all the different ways we could help the show promote the @PT_Central campaign.
Preparing my presentation, I included my partners in any way I thought would drive more traffic and draw more attention to them. If anything, the event was about helping the Symposia grow their presence on social and included anyone at the show who was listening.
During the day of my Social Media presentation, I received a present of appreciation for being a sponsor. I thought to myself, “I should be thanking them for this opportunity!” My booth had never been filled with such energy (the beer and wine did help.) I was posting all day long, taking pictures of my booth visitors and sharing them with the #pumptalk / #pumpturbo13 network. It was the most fun I have had in a long time! I was truly connecting others!
After several days at home as Mommy, I was off to Chicago (one of my favorite cities) to #WEFTEC! I look forward to this event every year. The day I arrived, I was filled with energy. I was excited to see all the customers and learn about new technologies. That evening I visited several hospitality suites and had late night in the Windy City. Can you see where this is going? Yes, I woke up with a cold.
I pushed through the lineup of meetings I had planned for the morning. The more I talked, the harder it became to talk. By 3:00, I had no voice. Determined not to miss my opportunity to visit with my customers and family (My brother Corey and his wife Jessica were coming over for dinner) I left the show to take a nap.
It was all I could do to get up to buy their meal (because that’s all I did: I could not talk.) My brother, Corey, made a profound comment about my inability to speak that meant more than he knew: “It’s a miracle.” At first, I thought, “how rude!” But, then I noticed – I am listening to others interact and oh by the way, they can actually carry on a conversation when I am quiet. Although I will never be quiet unless forced, it was a great reminder that listening and observing is a good thing.
The following day, I still had no voice and no motivation to carry on meetings (I knew this when I left my luggage and computer bag in the taxi.) So, I decided to use my time to experience the city. I went to the Bean and up Willis Tower to just observe. Later, I sat in a Tea Shop with a friend (a brave one) and talked about growth opportunities and life. I did most of the listening and I enjoyed every second of it. In my daily life, I teach people how to use social media and be connected at all times. I also make sure to point out the OFF button. The OFF button is so you can enjoy moments of face-to-face interaction that is priceless!
During all of this, I learned a great lesson that I want to share with you. Be prepared to work as hard as you can for the right reasons and you will truly enjoy it. But when you realize you are overwhelmed… rest! Rest in the comfort of friends and family. The communication aspect of work will be there tomorrow. You should also enjoy the days meant for listening. Maybe it’s today?