Connection Points

Mar 16 2016

by Haile McCollum


Photo above of The Vine’s Market space, a true connection point, in St. Simon’s Georgia.

There’s something about Thomasville, Georgia, where I live, it’s kind of a Kevin-Bacon-seven-degrees-of-separation thing. Someone always knows someone from Thomasville or is talking about Thomasville or is headed to Thomasville. I love that connection point thing about Thomasville.

So, when I presented my “Brand Bootcamp” session at the Southern C Summit last year, I was not at all surprised to run into Bryce Vann Brock, co-owner and Landscape Designer at The Vine in St. Simons who is, from Thomasville. Of course. And her business partner, Kelly Revels, who’s not from Thomasville, but loves it, too.

During the Southern C Summit Bryce and Kelly’s heads were spinning with all their new knowledge, connections and ideas. They’d been “working in their business not on their business”. The knew they needed to be doing a more focused job of connecting with and engaging their clients. They asked us to lead them through brand strategy planning and ultimately through a brand development process. You can see the beginning of the results in their newly launched website:

Even though we knew each other (and had Thomasville in common) we had to go all the way to Charleston in order to connect with each other at the Summit and start collaborating on brand strategy for The Vine.

I know that this audience does not need reminding how fabulous the Southern C Summit is, but, I do want to remind you that deepening connections is what it’s all about. My sister-in-law, Nan Myers of Firefly brought me to my first Summit in Nashville. I’m not a natural big-group-networker so it’s taken me a few Summits to get better at connecting with people.

A few connection tips (especially for all of you polite southerners):

Don’t sit with your friends at every session. Branch out. Introduce yourself to the person next to you and start a quick conversation before the session starts.

Find a super connector and shadow them for a while. There are people who know everyone, or seem to! Ask them who you should meet.

Make sure to listen and ask questions, don’t just fill up silence with chatter about the weather.

Be a connector. Make sure to introduce other people to people you know or have met and share one thing you know about each of them.

Make sure to meet Cheri and Whitney. Yes, they are busy, but they would love to know you. They are the ultimate connectors, after all!

I can’t wait to branch out and connect, make sure to say hello! The countdown is on.


Haile McCollum View More Blog Posts from this Author

Haile is the Owner of Fontaine Maury a brand and design firm in Thomasville, Georgia. Fontaine Maury works with emerging and growth minded companies and non-profits to engage their audiences in a more meaningful way and maximize profits. She develops, documents and extends brands through creative business strategies including: brand messaging, brand strategy, print design and digital design.

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