Part one… You had me at wine.
When I was offered a ticket to experience that serial, self promotional. Wine entrepreneur turned social media Guru…Don…King… the names are endless. The guy who has been inspiring and influencing mine and my mentor / #BIGDaddyPRBoss Steven Thompson’s work over the past year. Of course I was available for that date… Yes i’ll cancel that wedding, birthday, holiday, WHATEVER I’M DOING THAT DAY. For the chance to experience Gary Vaynerchuks wisdom from the horse’s charismatic, brash mouth himself…and the fact he curses as much as I do well… Ahh! we have something in common already.
(For those who don’t know this internet famous “influencer”. He has created 2 companies with amazing success. One being Wine Library brought to the top with his online channel, where he discuss’s wine in all of its glory. He’s a best selling author, has a million, billion, twitter followers, 1.24million to be precise and he can dazzle a room and be paid for it for a tasty sum. It’s safe to say he’s doing alright.)
Also, I wanted to suss him out for myself. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a wee bit skeptical. I mean, you hear the words, motivational speaker, billions, ego, internet personality, book launch and fame, all together as one and its hard not to have a niggle of doubt. How does this one guy know everything and not be a money dwindling, egotistical fake? Is it my Essex pessimism seeping through a little there or just common sense? I had to meet the guy. Oh yes. I knew I was going to have a face to face conversation before I even got there. I have my ways. I think the term they call it is hustling? I’m not sure. Gary you heard of this? Or in my case.. Get at the back of the queue and wait your turn to get your book signed. Amen!
The day arrived, glad rags were on, obviously, I was meeting the one and only that day. Gotta impress and after what I learnt from last year, you never know who you could meet, what opportunities could come in day to day life. Sure it’s all about personality, however, sometimes its just nice to look nice / I don’t think I would get the time of day wearing a bin bag.
A combination of excitement over 1. the fact I was going on my first “business venture” outside of Norwich. Which finally hit home that I’m now officially part of the #BIGDaddyFamily full time, slipping into that percentage of being one of those people who can honestly say they “#lovewhattheydo” and 2. Some badass Social Media/ life public figure is going to be talking straight, inspirational words at me to a soundtrack of hip hop. In a fiery environment surrounded with lights, cameras, VIP areas, the works. It Enthralled me.
We opted in driving to London. That’s right…ROAD Trip. After vast amounts of snap chatting, tweeting, broadcasting to the world of our whereabouts, to mainly Gary Vee of course, to make sure they knew it was a Norwich take over, we arrived.
The venue was held at the WeWork building down Moorgate, next to the Barbican. With a cheeky vino before at a nearby pub ( would be rude not to)
In a sea of aspiring “entrepreneurs” waiting for the event. We proudly managed to get a retweet from the man himself. Steven heckled him to join us for a beverage or 2 before the #AskGaryVee book launch sponsored by IBM Marketing Cloud I’m not going to lie, I got a buzz from it. I felt like a groupie waiting outside the back of a gig waiting desperately to get that autograph. Social media really is a powerful thing. To be able to make contact with someone you’ve paid to see and never met before is fantastic. For those social media haters out there. Don’t mock, you have a voice. Its a revelation!
Feeling a little giddy we waited in the inevitable Gary Vee conga line outside the WeWork building. We definitely turned it up a notch. Tweeting fellow fans we had met in the queue, getting a great response. People were saying hello to us via various platforms, who we couldn’t even see. I guess we did stand out, me with my red hair, beetle juice trousers and Steven with his Distinctive dapper facial hair and pimpin green trainers. It was brilliant, everyone was thriving off of each other, I’ve never seen so many people using their phones at one time. That in itself was slightly bizarre, but, it is the perfect example of how social media is actually very social. The amounts of gig queues I have experienced and everyone keeps to themselves. Here we were communicating to people at the other side of the building. Its a virtual ice breaker. Awesome!
When we entered the building and received our lanyards, we were welcomed with crowds of people. A Camera crew, a Dj playing hip hop… Nice! I was quite surprised by the venue. In my head I was expecting almost a grand theatre of seating with a stage. A classic seminar venue. However, it was a big open plan room with rows and rows of seating, segregated into 3 parts, VIP at the front, some of whom had paid for 50 books (mental) which entitled you to a question for Gary Vee. Premium which was us, 5 books and literally a couple of rows behind VIP, which in my mind wasn’t really worth it for the VIP’ERS because of the layout. I’d have been a little peeved if i’d paid the full VIP price. I must confess though, that Mr.BigDaddy cheekily hustled us to VIP anyway soooo… Well done Good Sir. Then Standard seating was at the back, Nevertheless, it was a fairly distributed room. Everyone had a good view so that in itself was great. It felt right with the tone of his welcoming aura and character. Despite people paying to be in the various seats, everyone was worth the same amount of his time and voice.
Like any other gig there was Merch. Steven decided to buy EVERYTHING, even a mug for me, so I would never complain. My contribution was 1 #Vaynerchoc a chocolate bar, very similar to a Willy Wonker bar. The proceeds were for such worthy cause towards a Bowel cancer fund. So there was no guilt whatsoever devouring this delicious treat. Each chocolate included a number for a raffle which would be taking place at the end of the show. Goodwill, food and gambling… He’s won me over already.
I can understand why he has such a broad audience from aspiring youngsters to older, Wolf of Wolf Street Business types, who have been around since the beginning of time. There’s something for everyone, gimmicks, professionalism and he knows his shit.
Anticipation surrounded the room. Everyone was hyped up like we were at a show, not some seminar where we learn business. This was way too much fun, there must be a catch. As he made his big entrance to the front of the stage. Everyone went crazy, taking photos, hi- fiving across the room. We managed to have a seat at the right end of the row, again, thank you Steven. Gary Vee conversed with us as he recognised him from the snaps complaining about his GeoFilter not working. First world problems… I KNOW RIGHT? Brilliant. Also,we may be on his Show…just saying. I recognise those trousers anywhere. Claim to fame.
So Part one…You caught the Vaynerchuk fever yet?