20 Something Summit – Part 1

I’m going to Chicago.

And the crowd goes wiiiilllld.

No seriously there will be a crowd, or at least a gaggle. There will definitely be a gaggle. Why? Because I am going to moderate a panel at the first 20 Something Blogger Summit in Chicago.

I know what you’re thinking, a summit? Yes it’s THAT important. It’s kind of like the economic summit at Davos, but instead of captains of business from the most important countries, we have captains of content from the most important platforms, I.E. YouTube, Twitter, Blogger etc.

And also there will be few to none very old white haired dudes at this Summit.

I mean I’m going grey a little early but it’s not something I really want to talk about right now.

Any way, this conference is for bloggers in their 20s of all variety. If there’s a 20 something out there bemoaning their existence or making others giggle, you can be sure they will be finding their way to this conference.

So what does moderating a panel involve? Well there are many panels with many different moderators but here is what my panel is sure to involve:

  • Candy
  • Shenanigans
  • High Leg Kicks (technically most people would file this under shenanigans but I take my leg kicks very seriously)
But otherwise it’s a panel about Video blogging and how to rock at it. I’ll be joined by two awesome individuals who most likely will kick so much ass they will sprain their foots, or feets, or... feet.

But Rich, that’s just 45 minutes of a very full weekend in one of the greatest cities in the world. Is there anything else involved or will it just be a bunch of nerd types nerding out about their nerdery?

Surely not brave soul, in fact, I anticipate it being quite the outrageous affair.

Think about it, I am going to Chicago to hang out with roughly 200 people I do not know and have never met before, and I could not be more excited about it. Because unlike some people, I love strangers. LOVE THEM! I love them so much it’s scary.

Here is why:

Strangers are a blank canvas. Nobody knows anything about each other, so the bonding often has to be accelerated, and you're really just looking to see the cool parts of each other. Wait, not like, I didn't mean those parts, I mean...

When a bunch of people who don’t know each other get together somewhere very cool, it can be extremely awkward or it can be extremely awesome. Sometimes, it’s both.

But this is Chicago… in the summer… and we are in our 20s! This is the prime of our lives (at least, I tell myself that). And this isn’t like the annual accounting retreat. This is something a large majority of us don’t get paid to do. We do it out of love, and when you love to do something you love to share that with other people.

So how do we further/capture the crazy ‘nanigans that will ensue?

Well, based on my experience at Hotel Thrillist last year in Miami, a series of progressively more awkward social interactions since then, and a batch of poor ideas I have had recently, I have created a list:

1.  Those of you that remember my time in Miami last year might recall that my white pants made their debut. It was an epic debut filled with thunderstorms, late night pool parties, and a whole lot of a liquid called Torched Cherry.

I am proud to say that as soon as I can find them, I will be packing my white pants for Chicago too! This will surely cue up the good times.

2. I am bringing my video camera. There’s nothing I like more than editing a weekend of video content into a sexy short music vid put to a song I don’t own the rights too. Hopefully I can get people to say silly things, do silly things, or hold the camera while I do both.

3. The weekend of the summit is the same weekend as the Air and Water Show in Chicago. And if there are two things I love, it is air and water. The city will have an adrenaline injected energy that will infuse everybody in the city. Especially the bloggers. Don’t underestimate our adrenaline!

4. Two people who I sit next to at work, who are not related, nor connected in any way except for our job, will be going to Chicago of their own separate volitions for the very same weekend! What are the odds? Now I know this doesn’t affect anybody else, but it’s just really cool.

In fact for a while, I was considering having the two of them crash the Summit as my personal security team. But when I told my one coworker I would refer to him as my 'manservant' he seemed less than enthused and the idea quickly died.

But more than anything this is the first of something. Everybody always wants to be there for the first time something happens. It is what charts the course for the future of the event. It is when traditions are started, when expectations are met, or surpassed, and when that which is unscripted gets recorded.

Plus if you go to the first Summit and keep coming back year after year you can say things like, “oh you should have been here for the first one!”

See? Doesn’t that seem like something that would be cool to say?

So I will be in Chicago, living it up, tweeting, maybe blogging, and definitely filming. It is going to be an incredible weekend.

Even if I can’t bring my manservant.