Yesterday I had the honor of speaking to Gary Vaynerchuk in reference to the Global Hug Tour. I’m at the Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas and Gary was the keynote speaker (check out 44:25 on the video link). In a room of thousands, during the Q&A section after his presentation, I briefly explained the Global Hug Tour and asked him for his recommendation on how to best share our story with the world.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR52l2qs6Xw[/youtube]
Gary’s thought the idea was “freakin awesome!” and said he’d personally hug everyone in the room. He went on to say that in order to get the word out, I should spend 4-7 hours a day doing whatever it takes to get this story in front of Oprah, the Today Show and other major players, because while social media is excellent too, this story also should be shared in the mainstream media, specifically with Oprah. Additionally, he recommend beating websites like the Huffington Post, Tech Crunch and Life Hack into submission until they’d cover the story.
Our team was inspired. The people in the room were inspired. After the speech Gary spent time greeting his fans and yes, sharing hugs with those that wanted them, including me. 🙂
Throughout the day many people approached me to say “Thank you” for what we’re doing with the Global Hug Tour, and to share how just hearing about it brightened their day. We were handing out hundreds of cards that said “HUG SOMEONE” and people were doing just that. It was almost if everyone had permission to hug someone else and the energy of the place shifted. The online community is already a very warm and friendly bunch but it was if another barrier between people had been removed.
At the end of the day a gentleman approached me and told me he owed me. When I asked what he meant, he reached into his backpack and pulled out a 8 x 10 photo of Gary V and himself hugging, which had only been taken earlier that morning. In spite of being at a trade show, he’d already had this printed and was proudly sharing it with others.
He went on to tell me that he believed the experience of him hugging Gary happened because we shared the Global Hug Tour. He asked me if I’d noticed a difference in the energy of the room and how the conference seemed friendlier because of the goodwill that we shared that morning. People were sharing hugs and he was grateful.
People were talking possibility.
Many asked how I can up with this idea in the first place. I shared that it came from asking a few simple questions…. “If I knew I could do anything and couldn’t fail, what’s the greatest way I could be of service in this world? What’s the biggest way I could play?”
I encouraged others to ask themselves the same questions. One guy shared that he’d always wanted to run for public office and now he was going to do just that. It was powerful to see the sparks turn on inside individuals, all because of asking a few questions and the sharing of a hug.
If this reaction is a microcosm of the effect on the world with our Global Hug Tour, we’re on to something here. If this idea can do this in a room can we duplicate it in a city or a country? Can we not only make a tangible difference through sharing of financial resources, but also through the sharing of love, hope and possibility? I believe we can and I’m really excited to find out.