One comment stuck out for me which I think goes to the heart of how social media connections can turn in to face to face meetings and the start of relationships.
China Gorman, former chief operating officer at the Society for Human Resource Management (the US equivalent of the CIPD) put it succinctly in this interview (listen from 2.45).
The connections you make on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin are connections. I do not think they are relationships until you meet face to face . . . been fun meeting those connections face to face – people I can now say I have a relationship with. I can manage those relationships in a different way.
From the posts I have read from the event it seems that China's sentiment is a shared one – connections online quickly turn into face to face meetings from which stronger relationships emerge.