We get so busy in the day-to-day work that sometimes we neglect leaving the office to connect.

I know I am all about social media and online networking. I have forged great connections across the computer. But, whenever I do manage to push away from the keyboard and network on a face-to-face level I am always glad I did.

It’s one of the things we tell our clients to do: find ways to make online and offline work together. Like any good marriage, the two really compliment each other, and when done right, they work cohesively as a team and both platforms of connection benefit.

The other week I had the great opportunity to network locally, offline. As part of the 2012 Metabridge conference I attended the Social Media For Business With Hootsuite seminar.

It was a valuable hour spent with like-minded people from the technology sector. Kemp Edmonds, spoke to us about the importance of Social Media and I learned a few things, too.

One is that I would like to attend SXSW one day and visit Google Village.

Another is to use the blog to establish the culture of a company. We already advise our clients similarly. We tell them this is their chance to loosen the tie and get a little bit less formal. We tell them to share personal stories. But I loved the concept of having people blog about their business before it takes off, or to blog about the process of building their website. After all, businesses can learn a lot about themselves when forced to come up with website content that defines their products and/or services.

And a third was to remember that networking is for future mutual benefit. It’s not always about what’s in it for you right now. Often, it is about what’s in it for both parties in the future. Networking is a great way to plant seeds.

Speaking of mutual benefit … wouldn’t it be great if we had one of our Kelowna web design clients blog on our blog while they were in the process of getting their website built? Talk about a modern day testimonial!

Meanwhile, while I was mingling with start-ups, Danielle was busy making connections at The Watermark Beach Resort for a Public Relations and Tourism weekend retreat .  She thoroughly enjoyed her weekend discovering the gems of the South Okanagan while connecting with like-minded marketing people.

One of the things Edmonds said during the social media presentation was that sometimes you need to be at the right place at the right time and then you need to create your opportunity.

I firmly believe this to be true, online and offline. You have to figure out the best ways to let the right people know you exist. You have to find the right ways to connect. And, a solid combination of online and offline marketing and networking will serve you well.

If you build it, they don’t always come. You have to let people know who you are and where you can be found. And then, have fun doing it!

By Michelle Collie
Internet Marketing Specialist
GetOn.com – Kelowna Web Design and Internet Marketing Company