For most people I know travelling is a hassle best avoided. Not so for me. I am still pretty fond of it, even when it isn’t normally the most productive of times for me (which opens up the side question of why airports, train stations and most hotels don’t offer some free wifi as a complimentary service?). Some of the good things include:
– free newspapers on planes (and I do enjoy sifting through paper not screens at times) and if you’re kind you may even get a few free drinks
– depending on airline even the food is good on the planes (Iberia was pretty neat this time)
– on a 7 hour flight one can write some blog posts drafts – provided you’re able to take a capable laptop with you
And travelling can provide you with some very welcome inspiration, perspective and (sometimes) outright mind-blowing stuff you learn when you look and observe closely (this guy caressing his Kindle on the airport in Madrid – and a total absence of iPads so far; getting a cold douche refresher on how different we Europeans are after all; how easy-going and nice-to-have the regular traveling American can be; how I enjoy the coffehouse-bookstore hybrid, pictured left is the Trident bookstorecafé).
So it’s fitting that travelling is a prerequisite to meeting most people from my Enterprise 2.0 consulting industry – for instance when I was at Lotusphere 2010 in January I’ve met Marcia Connor in person (after following her on the internets, esp. twitter for a while) – and we’ll meet each other again, when I was in London for the Social Business Summit meeting people alone rendered my trip worthwhile. It’s an easy formula: No travel – no meeting my worldwide peergroup. And hanging out together on the internet has some obvious time-zone downsides you only avoid by travelling.
So it’s a good idea to make the trip cross the pond at times to meet these people that don’t come to Europe regularly. Valid for the US share of Enterprise 2.0 people (practitioners and vendors both don’t care so much for travelling to Europe in E2.0 business, for the latter ones this is a bit strange. With consultants and thought-leaders it’s a totally different story).
And this time it’s the Enterprise 2.0 conference, starting here in Boston on Monday. For this I’ve got a lot of mails and contact requests by vendors in the last days. Sorry guys, I haven’t reacted that much, one reason is that I don’t know yet what my schedule will look like (I am registered as press and sometimes press they’ve got some press appointments, treats or who knows – I would bet on it being here similar), the other reason being that I planned to browse around the exhibition venue on my own terms, check out what’s interesting and seek more information when necessary. So I may turn out to be not a totally lost contact, OK?
OK, my timetable for Monday to Thursday is filling with sessions and things to see and do quickly (starting with Dion Hinchcliffe early Monday morning), some peer-group socializing, tweet-ups and odd small-talk in the halls. I am probably waving a bit, too. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and the others there or in real life – I traveled a long distance for exactly this 😉