My better half and I have just returned home from REBar Camp Phoenix 2012. One word can describe the day for me: INCREDIBLE.
It was a smaller turn out, no thanks to Mother Nature. I think she was crying because the bright, smiling face of Jay Thompson wasn't there...in the morning. (More on that later.)
I've been to 1 other bar camp in Phoenix (last year) as well as Tucson's first camp last year as well. This one stands out for me. My better half has been to all 4 in Phoenix and he has told me that it was the best one yet. Why?
1. REALTOR® associations sponsored the whole campe and picked up the tab. They had vendor tables set up during lunch.
2. No swag bags to lug around.
3. No t-shirts to lug around.
4. Amazing discussions. I attended discussions on: FLX (our MLS program), REALTORS® Property Research, Broker Discussions, SEO Myths and a more in depth discussion on using FLX IDX.
EDIT: Forgot to mention lunch. Dave's BBQ had lunch for us - and we paid for it. (Another cost cut out completely for the organizers!)
It wasn't loaded down with a ton of classes on Word Press or how to Blog or Social Media Tips/Tricks. It felt like a 'drill down' to the other basics we need like utilizing the tools we already have instead of getting slogged down with new stuff that we'll look at once and leave alone. I wasn't left shaking my head, wondering what someone had said. When someone in the discussion asked for clarification, it was given. There were a few agents there who were new to the whole social media thing. I remember talking to one man in the morning who said he wasn't sure what he was going to get out of this since he didn't really have a grasp on social media. I saw him again at the after party, smiling from ear to ear. He'd had a chance to sit down with a few attendees who took the time to explain things to him, give him links to check out and gave them his card if he needed more help.
THAT'S what BarCamp is all about - sharing information and taking the time to help out.
Stop by the main BarCamp Website to see if there's one near you. If there is, GO. If there isn't - well - plan one! It doesn't have to be extravagant and you don't need a lot of money to put one on!
OH! I promised you a Jay Thompson story.
For those of you who know Jay, you know he's just a really nice guy. He's always there with a nice (or sarcastic) comment, is a blogger that I love to learn from and, well, he's just a really nice guy.
About a week ago, Jay suffered a major heart attack. Word spread like wildfire across social media and we all prayed like crazy. LONG story short, Jay was released from the hospital a couple of days ago.
Thursday morning, the bets were on - would he show up or would his amazing bride, Francy, tie him down to keep him from going. As we were sitting in the team shop, eating lunch, my sweetie said, "That was Jay." I headed out the door to look..and sure enough, it was. I got my hug in and was a happy camper. Suffice to say, we were all happy campers to see him up and about.
Keep getting better, Jay and THANK YOU THANK YOU to the amazing volunteers who made RE BarCamp Phoenix 2012 so successful!