Israeli Presidential ConferenceAfter the first day of the Presidential Conference, Sharon Marks Altshul of The Real Jerusalem Streets posted pictures of many of the attendees, especially the bloggers. Someone posted on Facebook that she didn’t understand how all these people have time to go to conferences to be photographed with the same people over and over – don’t they have jobs?

The truth is many of the bloggers are freelancers and some of them work for organizations which value their participation in conferences, especially one as high profile as this one. But it’s also true that the main reason bloggers go to these events is to see and be seen, and chat with the people they don’t see between conferences.

The social media community can be tight-knit, especially surrounding a niche or a location. And Israel is such a small country that it seems as if everyone knows each other. Online networking is not just fun; it’s a useful business tool. In a country where connections are often the way people get jobs, investors, free advice and partnerships, relationships with online friends are very important.

Conferences serve as an extension of online networking. Getting together in person cements friendships and gives a personal touch to connections which are more businesslike online. Meeting someone in real life for the first time changes the online relationship as well. And seeing them every once in a while (and, of course, posing for a joint picture) refreshes the relationship.

The Israeli Presidential Conference had many fascinating panels, especially the first day’s afternoon plenary, where different predictions for the future were discussed by charismatic and highly intelligent speakers. Many bloggers attended to learn something new and be wowed by the prestige of the conference and the proximity to celebrities like Shimon Peres, Sharon Stone and Robert DeNiro. But most of them will probably tell you they also came because it was the tweetup of the year. The opportunity to hobnob with the “celebrities” of the social media world was too great to pass up.

Just look at the smiles on their faces, they were clearly having an awesome time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *