To be an attendee at a large conference and not be plugged into Twitter is like experiencing the event at a fraction of full value. At Photoshop World, every time I was in my room with the laptop I plugged into a #PSW TweetGrid search to keep track of what was happening throughout the conference as a whole, beyond the scope of only those whom I follow. As an event organizer, you should be living in that TweetGrid (or other such search) before, during, and after the conference.

In my zeal, I retweet frequently during conferences; there’s lots going on and it’s good to share the RT love. Thursday morning I retweeted something about a contest, the primary detail of which involved having your picture made with Joe to enter. In the world of Photoshop World there is only one Joe: McNally.

Later when I ran across him on the Expo Hall floor, I immediately remembered the tweet. I seem to have above average luck with this sort of thing and even though I had no idea what the prize would be, I wanted a chance to win!

Throwing caution to the wind, I approached Joe and explained to him that there was a contest that involved having your picture made with him. The fact that he looked skeptical should have been a major red flag: surely I wouldn’t have been the first to approach him requesting a photo, right? I grabbed an innocent bystander, who took the picture.

tweetMinutes later, I scoured TweetDeck on my iPhone and saw that the contest was from MPix. At their booth, I discovered that I was supposed to have my picture taken with Joe at the MPix booth, not Joe McNally. The guys at MPix had a good laugh with me, and I proceeded to snag the real Joe, get a shot with him from my iPhone, and tweet it in proper contest-entering fashion.

Bright and early the next morning, I was awakened by a DM (direct message on Twitter) asking for my address and telling me I’d won. “Won what?” I asked. An autographed print of the Photoshop Guys!

In the end, I won the prize and got a picture with living legend, Joe McNally. Thanks, Joe.

Joe and I

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