One of the funny things about this business is how different groups have such different cultures. No place does that come out more than at some of the smaller, more specific, conferences that bring together a community that knows each other. If you've ever been a regular at one of these meetings, you'll know what I mean.
I'm taking off this week to join one of these meetings, but one in a community I'm just getting into. These are not my people. I'm the outsider, busting into a group that has been citing each other and collaborating for years - bringing my approach to their system and trying to shake things up a little.
As much as I enjoy the small meetings that I try and get to because of the familiarity and discussions that always break out, I also look forward to these opportunities to be the new guy. Some of the most amazingly productive meetings I have ever been to have been those where I had never met any of the other participants before getting there. Sometimes a little fresh blood in some of these meetings makes a huge difference, and sometimes being that fresh blood leads to a hole host of benefits, including collaborations you never see coming.
Looking forward to it.