Group Energy You Can't Duplicate Online

Online connections have their place in marketing your art, but most in-person experiences can't be duplicated in the same way on a computer.
I'll go one step further: certain in-person opportunities would never arise if you relied only on the Internet.
Last week I was reminded of this during a 3-day Florida workshop in which I participated.

At dinner with artists Rae Marie, Angeline-Marie Martinez, Shari Sherman, me, Denisse Berlinghieri, Robin Pedrero, and Victoria Page Miller.
At dinner in Orlando with artists Rae Marie, Angeline-Marie Martinez, Shari Sherman, me, Denisse Berlingeri, Robin Pedrero, and Victoria Page Miller. I never would have met them if I hadn't attended the workshop earlier in the week. Thanks to Angeline-Marie for the pic.

Face-to-Face Experiences

Here's what I got in person that I couldn’t get online.
Warmth. The positive energy is palpable when you are in a room full of people seeking the same thing you are.
Looking into people’s eyes, you will see that they care about you and want to help.
Hugs. Forget the handshakes, I'm a hugger. Just try giving a hug through the computer (or is Facebook selling hugs these days, too?).
Movement. Sure, we sat a lot at the workshop, but we also danced – at a dance party and when the deejay got us moving.
When we're home alone on our computers or in the studio, we often forget about how good it feels to get up and move around. And it doesn't just feel good, it's good for our psyche and creativity.
Vibrant discussions. You talk about things one-on-one that would never come up in an email or a Facebook comment.
It's stimulating to discuss business strategies at the table over lunch, on a break with a cup of coffee, or after a meeting with a glass of wine.
Over the course of the three days of the workshop, I had meals with:

  • An instructional designer to talk about my online curriculum.
  • Someone who also serves creative businesses.
  • midlife reinventionist.
  • A landscape architect and chiropractor.
  • A woman who serves young people seeking their paths.

I would never have come across these people sitting behind my computer in my office.
I came home with business cards from an M.D. who is literally saving lives around the world, a dentist coach, a copywriter, a voice coach, a very successful branding strategist, a dealer in Scottish Terrier collectibles (who knew?!) and much more.
And I gave away many of my business cards to people who said, “I know an artist who needs you.” I told them to be gentle with their artists.
You should have been there, too. Know why?
All of these people have the potential to buy your art! Every new person knows about 150 other people and will enrich your life. Chances are good that you wouldn't come across them online.
So don't stick to art and artist events. Branch out! Get out!

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12 thoughts on “Group Energy You Can't Duplicate Online”

  1. Alyson,
    It is pure delight to have met you and the other artists in person and even more fun to spend an evening together. Some of us formed a special bond that evening, that we will cherish. Thank you for always encouraging and mentoring us.

  2. Alyson, it sounds like you had an amazing time. And…so great that you met so many new and old friends in person. I LOVE the group energy of getting together in person.

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      You do, don’t you Dora? You’re still my record-holder with 4 of my workshops in 3 states. 🙂

  3. Sounds fun, Alyson. I enjoyed your Estes Park workshop in 2009! I was just in my first show in Kansas City and I LOVED being with all the artists and all the possible collectors who came by my booth. It gave me the best high!

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Beth: I was so blessed that you came here from OK. I hope you come back this fall (October 11-12)!

  4. I agree! There are places for both online and in-person workshops. I recently attended a 6 week online, and a 5 day in person workshops. The energy was great in person, but the learning online was valuable – so I believe both have a place in learning. Like you, our 5-day in person was an opportunity to form bonds, friendships and we had a blast!!! So glad you enjoyed your time in Florida!

  5. Alyson,
    It was an absolute delight meeting you and the other artists! I completely agree, the energy, insights and laughter was something you can only get in person! Someone (Robin?) mentioned that it felt great being with our tribe – even though most of us had only just met. Thank you for the incredible experience! I highly recommend it, to anyone who might be on the fence.

  6. My experiences with group events is apparently atypical. I have a very difficult time connecting in any meaningful way at most of these functions. Of course it is entirely possible the functions have not been the right ones. Not that they did not have enjoyable moments, but often I felt less like a participant and more like a freshman in a 1,000 student lecture.

    1. No, it’s not atypical–or at any rate, you are not the only one…I was just thinking about this this morning as I listened to someone extolling the value of groups…I had been to one of her group events and felt very lonely indeed. It probably does depend on the group, where we ourselves are at, etc. Thanks for sharing the other, less popular (pun intended) perspective, Patricia!

  7. One of the best decisions I have made this year is to drive up to meet with you in Orlando, Florida. Meeting you was the feedback and kick needed.
    It is a pleasure to work with you!!! As always!!!!
    You are MUCH more fun, and prettier, in person, Alyson. Your smile is megawatt. Your energy is sky-to-outer-space-high. Contagious!
    Thank you for arranging all of us to meet, too. Super tribe!!!!

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