What was your first concert and what do you remember most from that experience?
I remember my first concert like it was yesterday. It was the summer of 1999 and my sister and her friends felt that I should join them and see Metallica play at the RockWerchter festival in Belgium. I wasn’t into Rock, Alternative or Metal music at all but something inside of me said I should go and explore, open my mind and simply try it out.
The moment I went through the security line and set foot on the festival ground I was already sold. The atmosphere was overwhelming. It felt like a place where everyone had the freedom to be their own unique self. There was so much unity in diversity. Everyone was there for the same reason, everyone had a passion for music and wanted to share the emotion together.
I was happily hopping over the festival terrain, exposing myself to new kinds of music. “Life” was giving away a great show, Marilyn Manson shocked me for the rest of my life and Bryan Adams was a bit of an outsider, as the supporting act of Metallica who headlined the festival.
As the sun was setting over RockWerchter the Metallica intro “The ecstasy of gold”” started to play. It felt as if the sound of music travelled underground and entered my body through my feet. I could literally feel the music all over. When the band entered the stage and James Hetfield started to play his guitar, I dropped my jaw and was completely in “awe” for the rest of the night. The moment was life-changing for me. I rediscovered the love for music and the great feeling of sharing it with others. After my Rockwerchter experienced I tattooed the Metallica logo and been going to the festival every year.
I guess, this was my first real life experience with a “Community.”
One of your best memories of attending a past LiNC?
I joined HP’s social customer care organization in 2010. My 1st time at LiNC was in 2011. I was very excited to be attending such a large industry event and felt like the “new kid on the block”. LiNC’s opening session, which everyone knows is always impressive, immediately set the scene as to what I was about to partake in. I was caught in the moment from that point on and wanted to be part of the whole experience. The keynotes, speakers and breakout sessions left me so inspired and helped me learn about the value of communities and the role of the community manager, a role which was still considered “new” and evolving at that time. It helped me accelerate into my new role. I made myself a promise that 1st LiNC—that the next year I would be on that mainstage with the other superstars.
At LiNC 2012, I was invited into the Lithium Stars Program. Another memorable moment. And I fulfilled my personal promise to make it on that LiNC stage!
Tell us an example of the value LiNC has brought to you and your team. Did you get certified at LiNC or learn a priceless best practice from a peer?
LiNC is a synonym for spending quality time with my team. As we’re spread out across the globe we try to combine LiNC with a face-to-face meeting. At LiNC we split up attending different topics and break out sessions, we fill our heads with information and insights, jotting down key take-aways. After the event, we come together, share learnings, brainstorm new ideas and shape our plans for the next year.
LiNC is also a great opportunity to attend a training or get certified. I earned 3 certifications but the best one was last year when I did the Social Strategy session with our manager of the team, Gladys.
For customers who have never attended a LiNC, what’s your top reason(s) they should attend LiNC London?
LiNC is the place where you will find peers to connect with, where you can bring your knowledge to the table and where you learn from others. Above all, it is the perfect opportunity to break away from daily routines, get inspired and (re)energized. And, make new friends, that’s always a bonus to me.
What are you most looking forward to with LiNC London?
I have high expectations from LiNC going local. I always found there is so much value in having conversations with peers around challenges, new developments, key initiatives. These conversations typically happen when in a break with a small group so I hope the regional, more intimate event will facilitate more of that. And naturally I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new people.
Finally, for people traveling to London, what’s one tourist site that’s worth a visit?
Well, I am not from London so I can only tell you what I remember from my visit many moons ago. I enjoy walking around a city, just observing and sniffing up the culture. And I really like watching street performers. Covent Garden (Piazza) is where you will find all sorts of street performers. Just sit on the Piazza and enjoy the entertainment.
Be sure to register for LiNC Local London on June 20th!
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