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New Marketing Summit trip report

October 22, 2008

Time was, back in the day of the dinosaurs, I was required to submit a trip report after a customer visit, conference, or meeting.  I’m not really expected to do these anymore, but I think posting one on my blog is a great way of accomplishing that goal and getting even more mileage from it.

Last week, I attended CrossTech Partners’s New Marketing Summit in Foxboro Mass.  I’ve been trying to get out and about for a while, and when I saw David Meerman Scott and Chris Brogan tweeting about it, it seemed promising.  To be honest, I emailed both of them and asked them several questions about the conference so I could determine if it was worth my time.

As readers of “Confessions” know, I’ve been to a number of events in the past twelve months.  Some, like BlogHer Business were awesome.  Right on target with what I do, and what I want to do.   Some like SXSWi were a waste of my time.  A jumbled up mess of sessions wrapped around an excuse to have a spring break for geeks in Austin.  So not my thing.  I don’t mind taking a chance on something in NYC, but traveling raises the stakes a bit.  Both men assured me that they felt the conference would be offering insight and information that was unique and valuable. 

About a year ago, I attending a networking breakfast in NYC and wrote the following in my follow up post:

I attend networking events like this for several reasons. One is to get out from behind my computer and actually network. Talk with others who are out there doing what I’m doing, or better, what I want to do. Another reason is to learn something new, be inspired, and get energized about my work.

Twelve months later and not much has changed.  That’s exactly what I was hoping to gain at the NMS, and the good news is that goal was achieved.  I would not recommend NMS, if it is done the way it was in Foxboro, to new media newbies – people who are curious about blogging, Twitter, SEO and other tools of interactive media.  I would highly recommend NMS for those who are already doing it and want to do it better.  To hear from others in the trenches who are trying to motivate teams of people in online endeavors.  To understand the challenges that come from convincing higher ups in an organization to embrace social media.  To be more effective in my marketing planning, execution and reporting.  NMS helped me accomplish all these things, and returned me to my workspace ready to implement what I learned. 

The agenda seemed to be a bit jumbled in a way.  Day 1 was 100% on target for me, with intriguing and excellent speakers.  Don Peppers rounded out the day with a text heavy presentation that I soaked up every word of.  Day 2 brought on some good and some not so good 101 type speakers.  CC Chapman – so good.  Very basic stuff, but an excellent refresher for anyone, and frankly a presentation that I shared with my entire staff.  Next NMS, he gets a longer time slot, please.   “Podcasting guy” asking the group who’s heard of podcasting and who has tried it – not so helpful.  I need to know about successful uses of podcasting, how people have established channels and networks, not an overview of what it was. 

I also got to meet people I’ve followed for a while on Twitter, like Adam Cohen, and reconnect with others that I haven’t seen in a while, like Pistachio.  There were formal “networking” sessions, but maybe an impromptu BOF during the breaks could be something to plan for future meetings. 

That’s minor quibbling though.  Major quibbling  was already done about the food (except I left out the part about needing coffee break drinks and snacks.  Marketers like snacks. )  Depending on the agenda, I would absolutely think about attending again, and would recommend that people in my company attend as well.  2 days well spent, even if I was surrounded by Boston sports fans.  🙂

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2008 3:19 pm

    You confirm my view of attending multiple industry events out of necessity, Ellen. I always chose where I wanted to go, sometimes without expenses covered. I had a great time at each and every one, but couldn’t help but noticed the bored, desperate, or just plain unhappy expressions on the faces of many booth staffers. Usually midafternoon on the third day.

  2. October 22, 2008 3:59 pm

    This is really useful to me. Thanks for the perspective, and thanks so much for your ideas.

    There is definitely a struggle: how do I draw in the newbies *and* the experts, and I think the content I programmed reflected some of that. The fact of the matter is that I want to service both audiences, and I have to find a way to do that well.

    Another concern we got was that some of the vendors were too pitchy, even though they already had us as a friendly / captive audience. That’s always a challenge, especially when the companies represent the traditional as well as “our” world.

    Thanks for your perspective, because YOU were truly one of my model markets (meaning, I had about 3 people I pretended were writing the conference).

    Keep it up, and thanks for the attention.


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