My Yulbiz Montreal August report or How Facebook improves networking

After skipping a month, the monthly Yulbiz Montreal event took place last Tuesday evening, on August 28. As always, it’s a great event to meet fellow bloggers, entrepreneurs, creative workers, marketers and all those interested in what’s happening on the Web.

You must know that if you go to such an event and you don’t have a Facebook account (yet), you might be missing out.

To explain, let me recap my own experience.

First, a few months ago I had heard about Yulbiz in Les Affaires. I wanted to go with Kim, had put the event in Outlook, but we were too busy that day. Then, the next months, we had forgotten about it. Then, in June I learned that Michel Leblanc that I had met at my office through François Aubin, was on Facebook and we became Facebook friends. Because he’s the instigator of Yulbiz, I quickly received an invitation though Facebook for Yulbiz.

So, I went last June and I had met a lot of great people like (in no particular order) Pierre Bellerose, Josh Nursing, Katheline Jean-PierreSebastien Provencher, Laurent Maisonnave and many others. They became Facebook friends. With the genius that is the Facebook feed, I learned a bit more about them. Because of these friends and their information on Facebook, I learned about and went to a bunch of other event like:

To these events, I met again a lot of people I know and they introduced me to other interesting people.

Understand that I am not too good with names, but because of the friends’ pictures in Facebook and because its feed made me think about the interesting new people I met, I now rarely forget a name. So, this is really helpful.CoverYulbiz200708

So, back to Tuesday Yulbiz…

Because Sebastien had posted a link on Facebook that Duncan Moore from The Code Kitchen and myself commented, Duncan sent me a Facebook friend invitation. He thought, and I agree, that we share similar views on the future of the Web. At that time, which was about 2 weeks ago, I did not know Duncan. I don’t usually add friends that I don’t know. However, I went to see his profile and I saw that he had many of my Yulbiz friends in common. So I accepted since chances were we would meet at Yulbiz. Well, that happened this Tuesday and we had some really great discussions and yes, we share some similar views. Additionally, I discussed a Facebook application I am developing in secret and he offered to help me have some visibility through a good contact he has. Great! When the main business I’m working on in stealth mode is in need of his expertise, I’ll make sure to think of Duncan.

I also first met Kim Auclair a young, fun and bright entrepreneur. Because she had commented on the Yulbiz group on Facebook, I already knew a bit about her because I had seen her picture. I remembered her name and almost got her blog address right (it’s a .ca, not a .com!). That’s a pretty good conversation starter. Kim Auclair also presented me to her friend Aurélie Ponton to whom I spoke quite a bit gave me a great impression.

Other people I met for the first time somehow knew a bit about me because they had heard about me through their friend’s feeds on Facebook. When you look at it the other way around, it’s pretty flattering. Someone even knew my name before I told him!

Since it’s a small world, I also met Mathieu Bélanger, president of K3 Media. He already knew about me because we had a forgetful mutual ex-client, but also because he had assisted to a conference I gave in the past. We had a really great talk and I was glad to meet him.

Because of Michel Leblanc, who had a T-Shirt to move the Calder man statue following his Facebook group/movement which recently made the newspapers and other media, I met Pierre Bouchard with whom I spoke a bit, but not long enough.

As usual, Pierre Bellerose, who is a Vice President at Tourisme Montréal, was present. He introduced me to Louise Collignon who manages communications at Tourisme Montréal and to Véronique Arsenault who is a consultant at Morin Relation Publiques. I also talked to Jean-Julien Guyot, a strategist who works for SidLee (remember Diesel?).

After 9 PM, with almost 20 remaining Yulbizers, we went to have dinner at Cafeteria. At my table was Alain Theriault that I had previously met at the June Yulbiz, with whom I had a great discussion and exchanged some tips on wines. At our table, I met Ariane Labelle who works at The Code Kitchen. Ariane is quite a fun person to know because I had a great time speaking with her. How often do you meet a girl who not only talks about poker, but also about .Net and C#? I learned that she sometimes publishes her friendly poker events on Facebook to invite her poker friends at her place. The thing is that because of one of his Facebook status updates, I knew that Pierre Bellerose, which sat beside me, also liked playing friendly poker games. I hope we can get invited at Ariane’s next poker game, because I have been looking for friends who like playing poker for a while.

Before he left, Pascal Veilleux of NSI Solution spoke with me. He has quite a few ideas of Facebook applications to develop.

Two days later, Yesterday, I met again a lot of the people I mentioned above at the inaugural apéro du Jeudi, which was organized by Katheline and promoted through Facebook.

In conclusion, Yulbiz Montreal is a great event to meet great people.I also love to use Facebook to improve my networking. I don’t use Facebook to pass time in front of a monitor, I use Facebook to keep in touch with people I know and meet and to continue to socialize with them in person. That’s what’s important.