Allow me to back up a little and speak about the months and days leading up to the event. When I initially put the word out, there was some skepticism; which I completely understood. Some people did not know me, or, even if they did know me, they weren't sure of the motives behind such an event. After the first few days of awaiting RSVPs with little response, I was not sure how it was going to play out.
During EMS, I had some great conversations with other agency reps who were unable to make the lunch. (A complete list to follow)
Community has become such a buzz word in our industry that its meaning can easily be diluted. It's what social media is always trying (sometimes forcing) to create. While it was dawning on me that I am part of an actual, living, breathing community, I now see exactly why everyone is trying so hard; there is so much power and leverage within a community. When you get a group of like-minded individuals or companies with similar goals, so much more becomes possible than what any one person or company could do on their own. The whole is infinitely greater than the sum of its parts.
This leverage and power can be shared and applied to so many things that serve common goals. Leverage and power are what cause major shifts in any industry. Leverage and power can ultimately make or change laws.
Skeptics might say that it is foolish to help someone you are competing with; "Every man for himself and let the market see who comes out on top." That is one way of looking at it, but I believe that there are so many other ways we can help each other and still "Compete on Game Day".
If we choose to put the combined wisdom/tools/etc. together, the advantages that all involved can gain are enormous. In other words, you and I can improve each other's performance during the week and still battle on the weekend as fierce competitors. We can have it both ways.
Thanks again to those who are creating this community together.
I am so grateful that I had this opportunity and am very hopeful for the future of our new-found community.