So I attended my very first social media conference last week, the 140 Conference in Kitchener, Waterloo.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that I almost didn’t buy a ticket because I didn’t really know anyone there.  How time quickly changed that!

The conference for me really started the night before as my partner in crime, @WomenBizNetwork and I checked in to the Waterloo Inn.  We heard there were conference people gathered in the restaurant so we decided to check it out.  I was a nervous wreck walking into the room, having only met people on Twitter.  Scanning the room, I recognized so many familiar faces, I felt like I was backstage in the celebrity green room. 

There I saw @bigdaddykreativ, his lovely wife @mapsgirl, @juliecole, @phdinparenting, @mumby, @those2girls, @weepiggiesdebbi, @cateringfungi, @caitm, and the founder of the 140 conference @jeffpulver.  I was so excited to say hi and meet them all, but I didn’t want to look like one of those crazy obsessed fans, so I tried to keep composed and cool.  Near the end of the evening, I found out from @mapsgirl that the evening was for speakers and volunteers.  Oops—looks like we did end up like the crazy fans—as we CRASHED the party.  Sorry Jeff and thanks for not booting us out. 

The next day was the big deal.  250 people gathered to listen to 30 speakers share their personal stories of how Twitter changed their lives.  This was a day full of emotion.  I was so scared and nervous when we first arrived but that faded quickly as everyone I met were so genuinely warm and welcoming.  It was a day of laughter, tears, courage, strength and inspiration listening to all the speakers.  Thank you for sharing your stories, some of which must not have been easy to do. 

Aside from the highlight of listening to @unmarketing and @ambermac speak, I was so happy to be in a room filled with others addicted to Twitter and to their smartphones like me.  It was so fantastic to hear event organizer extraordinaire, @juliarosien tell us not to turn off our smartphones.  So many people tweeting, sharing the awesomeness of what the speakers were saying in real time.  That’s why I love Twitter.

It’s been a few days since the conference now and I’m still on a high from the event.  Thank you 140 Conference Ontario for letting me be a part of it.  It’s a day I will never forget.