A couple of months ago, when my good friend and fellow colleague, Louis Richardson, came to talk to both my twin brother Luis Benitez and myself to participate at the IBM Connect 2013 conference event in Orlando, Florida, following the well known format of “Pardon The Interruption” we knew, back then, it was going to be a risky bet, one where we thought it was going to be rather a huge massive smash hit or just simply a notorious everlasting failure. Since all three of us do enjoy challenging ourselves on a regular basis we decided though to, what the h*ck, take the risk and go for it! We may as well enjoy the ride along the way, right? Well, we surely did! That’s how “Pardon The Interruption in Social Business” came into being and how it was a stunning success we can now go and treasure for a long while…
Indeed, that was the breakout speaker session the Three Louie (#troislouie) decided to embark on, making it the very first time in history that three Luis’ heavily involved with Social Business would be making it on stage at the same conference event, at the same date, at the same time talking with passion about the same subject. Of course, there was a bunch of preparation that took place before that day arrived. Louis got us all three organised (without even sending a single email across, by the way, but collaborating through IBM Connections Activities < W00t! Yes, walking the talk!) and before we knew it we were off to something magical.
Earlier on, indeed, while in the preparation stages, we knew that in order to make it a successful event we needed to count on a little bit of help from the audience, so a few weeks before the session took place we dived into Twitter and started socialising the #ptisocialbiz hashtag, where folks, who would be attending the session live, would be capable of sharing across their questions so that we would then be able to incorporate them into the PTI presentation and give ourselves 60 seconds each, or less, to share that insightful thought that would serve as an educated answer. Somewhat.
And the audience responded! Oh, boy, and brilliantly! Overall, we got through over 18 of those questions over the course of one hour making it a quite fun, interesting and fast paced presentation, which is something that was well perceived seeing the time the session took place at (5:30pm to 6:30pm). Right from the start we knew that we all three needed to be somewhat radically different, so we decided to play some roles as well where Luis Benitez was the traditionalist social product manager, Louis Richardson was the pragmatic social sales evangelist and yours truly was the social business outlier, a role I have grown to become rather fond of over the course of time, perhaps, mostly as a result of “A World Without eMail“.
The vibe during the session was amazing. We had a packed up room with very few spaces left and from what we were told later on in the week coming closer to 300 people attending the session overall. Right then I realised it was going to be a smash hit. The atmosphere was just perfect: relaxed, condescending, inspiring, rather jolly and, above all, brilliantly engaging. You could feel it in the air. Just brilliant! Just the perfect ambience to let your brain do its magic and let yourself go, let all of that passion, wit, knowledge and accumulated experience on living social shine through, just as the audience was rather attentive, alert and willing to be wowed! Well, we were the ones who ended up ourselves being the ones wowed and big time!
We know the quality of the audio throughout the large room was not up to the optimal stage. In fact, we were told by those looking after the sound / mikes that we would better stay close to the main stage as to avoid poor quality of the audio coming through and that was perhaps a bit of a bummer, because, originally, we had the intention of mixing and mingling with the audience, walking about, and bringing forward different points of attention depending on where we may well be in the large room. Oh, well, may be next time around!
The good thing though is that right from the beginning we knew the session was going to be recorded and everything, so, at least, we would have a good quality recording to share across when it would be over. And we surely did. In fact, Louis has already put it together with a copy of the slide-ware we used and shared it across over at his Slideshare account. So folks who may be interested in taking a peek and go through it may be able to do so with the embedded code shared below:
What an adrenaline rush! Still getting shivers through my spine as I keep reflecting on what we learned going through that exhilarating experience of throwing yourself into the unknown and see what would happen, and in front of such a large audience! Just wonderfully delightful and highly recommended altogether!
Judging from the superb, generous feedback comments we received throughout the following couple of days, both offline and online, it looks like it was worth it. My good friend Stu McIntyre probably summed it up nicely with this particularly tweet that we surely appreciate very much, specially, thinking about the initial reservations we had when initially diving into it for the first time:
I think the #ptisocialbiz format is the best thing to hit this conference in years. Could do this for technical sessions too #ibmconnect
— Stuart McIntyre (@StuartMcIntyre) January 29, 2013
To me, it was also a bit of a special session, since it was the first time that I ever spoke at IBM Lotusphere / Connect in the 5 years I have been attending the conference event in a row, and it is probably something that I will keep remembering and treasuring as that new format presentation that perhaps will mark a new beginning where instead of focusing on delivering master classes of slide-ware we eventually throw ourselves into the audience to embark on a 2-way open dialogue bridging both the online and offline worlds, where both speakers and attendees learn just as much as we can from one another. Surely one of those fond experiences I won’t be forgetting any time soon!
So much so that perhaps there will be a v2.0 next year where we will expand further on in the concept and take it to a new level. Who knows… For now, we just want to thank dearly and sincerely Stu, for that wonderful piece of generous feedback shared across in the moment, and to everyone else who came over to our session and participated rather actively to help us keep up with our learning curves, the pace and the rhythm on what it is like thriving in social business where the collective keeps trumping the individual master class(es) of those so-called slide-ware prone gurus 😉
If you have a chance to go through the recording and the presentation, we also want to thank you for taking the time to go through it and please do let us know through the comments what you thought about the session itself and how we could improve it for the next time. Because, you know what they say, right? There is always plenty of room for improvement! Practice makes perfection (Or so they say…)
We hope to see you all next year at the next #ptisocialbiz session, hoping it will be just as much fun, entertaining, educational and enlightening for everyone all around as this year’s, if not more altogether!
[Oh, did you notice our answers for one of the very last questions from the session on “What is your personal plan / objective for 2013 to support the adoption of Social Business and IBM Connections?” Well, if you have been reading this blog for a little while now, like since the beginning of this year, or longer, you will know what my answer was…
… Challenge is ON!]
11 thoughts on “IBM Connect 2013 Highlights – Pardon the Interruption in Social Business – The Recording #ibmconnect”
This was one of my favorite sessions at Connect, and I attended more than 20 this year (in addition to my one on stage). I have to say that the format was engaging, innovative and just plain fun to watch.
You three were great. More applause…
Hi Rob! Thanks a lot for dropping by and for the generous and kind feedback! We are delighted to read you enjoyed the session and we know it was a pretty packed agenda of top quality content. So it was tough to compete even on the same time slot! Glad you enjoyed it and many thanks for the support! Thanks again!
Well I didn’t watch it, I wasn’t there – but I have just listened – and “pardon the comment” – it was very very good and I listened all the way through!
Thanks for sharing such an enlightened idea 🙂
Hi Marie-Louise, many thanks for dropping by as well and for the kind comments as well. Yes, I know, seeing us through a video recording would have been more fun, since some of us were wearing some awkward gear that made it even funnier! There are even some pictures going around out there on Twitter where you could set that apparel! 😀 hehe
Glad you enjoyed the audio recording and I am glad you had a chance to go through it. We had a blast going through the session and something tells me it won’t be the last time either we will be doing it in this format!
Thanks again for your feedback! Much appreciated!
Luis, it was super cool to co-present with you. If my math is right, is that the first time that we co-present together, ever???
Hi tocayo! Yes, the pleasure was all mine and you math is pretty accurate, because it *was* indeed the first time *ever* we co-shared the stage after all of these years working together! Isn’t that funny? 🙂 hehe Something tells me it won’t be the last time either! 🙂
Thanks much, my friend, for participating with us on the session and surely look forward to the next one!
Thanks to those who attended (you lifted us). Thanks to those who have commented (you make us better). Thanks to those who have viewed the recording (you honor us). Thanks to Luis and Luis for sharing your wisdom with myself and others (you inspire us). Until next time 🙂
Hi Louis! Awww, you are just so kind! I guess you didn’t miss everyone on the short token of appreciation shared above! Thanks ever so much, my friend! It’s very kind of you to drop by and share your thoughts with us on what promised to be one of a kind presentation!
Indeed, till next time, because something tells me we will be doing sessions like that one many more times! 😀 hehe And I will be looking forward to it!
I just listened and it was fun, engaging and of course educational. Thanks for sharing to us who couldn´t participate live.