Make a friend, meet Tommy
Sometimes it’s easier to go to your first BASHH or feel compelled to seek out new people if you have some familiar faces to approach, so in that spirit, meet Tommy Landry, founder of a fast growing internet marketing agency called Return On Now.
The company originally started out as little more than a vision and a blog, but it quickly evolved into a full time venture. Tommy and his team consult with mostly small and medium businesses on online marketing strategies and campaigns. He also provides custom trainings for local companies and at local marketing meetups. After two previous startup ventures, he has finally found his proper niche and doesn’t plan to look back.
The following interview is unfiltered, uncensored, fun, and a great way to meet a BASHHer, so let’s go!
Tell us about your first BASHH
I don’t really remember my first BASHH, but my first BATHH (Big Ass Twitter Happy Hour, the predecessor to BASHH) was way back in 2009, when I was working for a small tech company in Northwest Austin. I had heard about BATHH from several of my contacts on Twitter, so I decided to get out from behind the keyboard and hop over to the Iron Cactus near the Arboretum.
As someone who had, previously, had a fairly negative impression of local networking events, this one changed my opinion! The folks at the greeting table were very engaging and inviting, and they quickly introduced me several other interesting attendees. From there, I met a list of people I had encountered on Twitter, and several others I had not yet found. I am still in touch with most of the great people I met that day. All in all, it was a very positive experience and an enjoyable event.
What keeps you coming back to BASHH?
BASHH remains my single favorite networking event in Austin. There are no presentations, no sales pitches, just real people being themselves around other real people. I’ve met some amazing folks from ATX (and some visitors), many of whom are now friends and business partners. The contacts I made at BASHH over the years have helped with the launch and build up my own small agency, Return On Now, to what it is today. Thanks, Lani and Benn!
What connections have you made at BASHH?
I’ve met all sorts of people at BASHH, some whom I already had met online, some through introductions from others, and countless more that I met through simply striking up a conversation and engaging with them.
The beauty of this crowd is that you can make professional contacts in a low pressure situation, and you can build true personal friendships both online and IRL. Every one of the attendees has a story that is well worth hearing. Seriously, just ask anyone what keeps them going, where their true passion is, and you’re almost certain to learn something new and intriguing. I can’t wait to see who else joins the party in 2014!