Social Media is something I write about all the time because I love it and it’s a major part of my life. Facebook & LinkedIn are part of my daily morning routine and it keeps me up to date on what’s going on with people I know. But that’s a stepping stone. I often hear people say “How do I get out there? How do I reach people?” There are many ways to consider this. Who are you trying to reach? How many people? What’s the goal? The answers will undeniably vary, but you have to also know that you can’t rely on just one means of reaching people. Sometimes that means stepping away from the budget on your desk for that perfectly designed marketing campaign and just get out there. TALK to people. Interact. Ask questions. What I love most about my blog isn’t the fact that it gives me an excuse to be a hermit sometimes, it’s that it gives me a better understanding of how the Event Planning industry works as a whole because I interact. I look at other venues and restaurants and organizations. I meet with people, hear their stories about how and why they do what they do, love what they do and try to walk away with as much knowledge as I can. And then I share it! Hoarding things in the business world is, in my opinion, a bad habit. I’m not saying give everything away, but don’t be afraid to interact with people in your own field. You don’t have to wait for a conference or trade show. MAKE THE EFFORT to do these things on your own. Literally go to where your customers hang out. You might be surprised to see them in action. Go incognito and listen to what they have to say when they know they won’t get a free [gift card, candy bar, etc.]. Challenge yourself to be more than an avatar, a brand or a commercial. Creating relationships is the key to any business, but it’s really essential in Event Planning. Build relationships by being a person. So today, I challenge you to trade your cost analyses for a cup of coffee with a client or competitor.