In the inner Internet circles, The System Seminar [affiliate link] has a reputation for providing pure content, a professional environment and bleeding edge techniques.
All that's true, but the approachability and friendliness of every one I met, including the speakers, surprised me. Ego was absent – the only time people talked about how well they were doing was to encourage and motivate me personally.
It worked. I spent most of last week applying ideas, testing tactics and making new connections.
Here's a link to a post from the first night of The System Seminar. Although I planned to blog live every day, I got so caught up in meeting people, interacting and learning that my laptop didn't get the same workout my brain did. For 28/48 hours I was totally engaged and deeply immersed.
One of the most memorable sessions of the entire event, for me, was the last hour or so of open mic testimonials and reflections. Listening to these individuals brought the experience alive in a way that only personal stories can – some of their words were my most profound takeaways.
If you're wondering what really goes on at one of these events, all I can say is you'll be surprised at how amazing it can be. This time I never expected to meet up with someone who's words impressed me 15 years ago or my partner on two teleseminars, Christine Langermann.
Going as Marc Harty's guest was an honor and a privilege. Answering questions at his trade show booth about his best-selling product, PR Traffic, put me in touch with dozens of people in a variety of conversations on a really cool mix of topics with people from around the world. I hope in some small way my answers to their questions helped make their businesses more successful.
As a speaker, I always learn from other presentations. I'm never offended when speakers sell from the platform - even when their over-hyped pitch draws small crowds out in the hallway. Although there was no overt pitching at The System Seminar, it's tough to cover a topic in 90 minutes. So, it was good to see that many speakers offered continuing education programs at reasonable price points.
After going to several Internet marketing related seminars, I'd rank this one as the best for serious students that plan to take massive action. Experience level isn't important, but a willingness to move is. You'll get the tools, the connections and the know-how. It's up to you to make it work. See you next year in Chicago?