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Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis & St. Paul Has The World’s Largest Event

I can be a little (a lot) competitive and for my friends around the country who talk about how cool their Social Media Breakfast, happy hour club or professional network is let me say this...

We kicked your ass today.

Has your event ever had 300+ people, met 16 months in a row or had a jumbotron? Yes, I said jumbotron. Minneapolis/St. Paul is not the flyover prairie you think it is so step down from your “I am so cool sitting here on a coast” pedestal. (sorry, had to get that out of my system)

We owe this effort here to one guy, Rick Mahn (@rickmahn) Founder of Social Media Breakfast – Twin Cities. Rick is one of the nicest guys you will meet. He will mention he has had some help planning events and sponsors (including me two times in the beginning) and that this is about the community (which it is) but without Rick’s leadership this thing would not be what it is today. He is not doing this for himself but believes we have a great community here and it should get together.

Rick (and this about as serious as I ever get) we all thank you for the work you have done. It is not easy getting an event like to day with 300+ folks coordinated and put together. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

More folks to thank today include Deluxe Corporation and PartnerUp for hosting and sponsoring the event. Both companies are hiring and you can find their jobs posted at Deluxe Corporation Careers and PartnerUp Jobs.

Speakers were Steve Borsch (@sborsch) with "Personal/Professional Hubs: A place to aggregate your digital life", his slides posted here Presentation from SMBMSP #16, and Tim Brunelle (@tbrunelle) with “Impact of Social Media on the Advertising and Marketing Industry”.

I forgot one thank you, Mother Nature. This event was outside at Deluxe Corporation and other than being a little warm and humid it was awesome. For those who folllowed the Twitter stream there were lots of jokes about people getting a free breakfast, some learning, networking and a tan or in some cases sunburn.

Speaking of suntan/burn many of us are looking a bit odd this evening. We were facing south so the left side of our faces were facing the sun. So for me, my left ear has a bit of red color to it and the right ear as white as it was. Clearly some (or many) in our group need to get out more.

I joked with Rick that now I need to find a way to get one of my Minnesota Recruiters events to 350 attendees so I can take back my unofficial title of largest grass roots event. Hmm, I wonder how many chairs I can get at Best Buy....

Last note, I had some awesome conversations with people today. I truly believe we have seen the bottom of the recession in Minnesota and today was more evidence of this. In some cases a very small but noticeable bump up is being felt. People today had more good news stories than previous months and their attitude is much more positive than 3 months ago

I went a little nutty with my camera today so the rest of this blog post is photos:

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Deluxe Sign 2 2 SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Welcome to Deluxe Corporation 2

3 SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Welcome to Deluxe Corporation 3 11 SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Deluxe Hat
Welcome to Deluxe Corporation and PartnerUp. These hats were not only a great give away but needed by the attendees.

 4 SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Deluxe Corporation Is Hiring 6 SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 PartnerUp Is Hiring
Deluxe Corporation and PartnerUp are hiring

9 SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Phil Wilson and Steve Borsch 19 SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Rick Mahn and Brian Kennett 
Phil Wilson and Steve Borsch                   Rick Mahn and Brian Kennett of PartnerUp

13 SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Stephanie Jones 
Meet Stephanie Jones. Stephanie and her husband Andy are going to Turkey for 2 years. They are raising money to help cover their costs. They are good people and going to do good things. You should consider making a donation (not very subtle on my part). Learn more here at their blog Turkish Crossroads.

14 SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Breakfast Line 15 SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Bacon
Breakfast line                                           We have BACON

 SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 PartnerUp on Jumbotron SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 023

Jumbotron I was not joking

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Attendees SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Deluxe Hats 2

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Rick Mahn getting started 
Attendee group pics

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Jeff Pesek and Paul DeBettignies SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Keith Privette and Paul DeBettignies

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Kristin gast and Paul DeBettignies SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Paul DeBettignies and Tavis Hudson
Photos with me and Jeff Pesek, Keith Privette, Kristin Gast and Tavis Hudson. I learned that I suck at taking picture of myself. Clearly a skill I need to work on.

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Greg Swan SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Graeme Thickins
Greg Swan                                              A photo of Graeme Thickins taking a photo

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Nathan Eide and bacon SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Rick Mahn working on his tan
Nathan Eide delivering bacon                   Rick Mahn post intro’s working on his tan

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Lee Odden And Doug Pollei and Tim Brunelle SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Mykl Roventine and Doug Pollei and Albert Maruggi
Lee Odden, Doug Pollei, Tim Brunelle        Mykl Roventine, Doug Pollei Albert Maruggi

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Steve Borsch Presentation SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Steve Borsch Presentation 2
Steve Borsch doing his presentation

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Tim Brunelle gets everyone standing
Tim Brunelle got everyone to stand. I took 2 more pics but they cam out blurry. Sorry Tim.

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 Social Media Palooza 
Social Media Palooza, that’s an understatement

SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 After SMBMSP # 16 6-26-09 After 2
Hey!!! Hello!!! Where did everybody go? I was the last person standing.

There are some blog posts and photos from others that I will be linking to as I see them. What I see so far:


Tim Bursch

Thanks for sharing your pics and encouraging the community. Keep up your great work.

Rick Mahn

What can I say. Thank you for all the support you've given me and the SMB community that we're a part of.

As you mention, we have a great community in MSP and I'm greatfull for every person that I meet, as I learn much from everyone. I'm very glad that everything we do has so much value to the folks to keep attending.

Thank you Paul,


Great post Paul, I couldn't have said it better myself. We are so fortunate to have such a great social media community in the Twin Cities and people like yourself and Rick really don't get all of the credit you deserve.

I don't have that sunburn because I wore my hat diagonally on my head. No, my arms weren't folded and I did not say loudly "YEAH BOIIIIIIY." LOL

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