One of my goals this year was to go to more Conferences. It was the concept of, If you want to be a big fish act like a big fish. I mentioned it in a blog called How Agencies Can Move Up the Food Chain.
Now I put a lot of skin in the game making this decision because I have to personally pay for all the expenses. I did get a free pass to one of the Conferences but I also had the brutal shock of a hotel bill in NYC.
I attended two conferences this week. One was a Branding Conference in New York and the other one was Interactive Day in San Diego which is certainly closer to home.
The Branding Conference certainly had a lot of heavy hitters on the panels and attending. There were representatives from major brands in financial services, consumer products, and a myriad of other industries. The companies that are on the NYSE. You know the type. The speakers worked at all the big places with all the impressive titles. Some of them remain firmly entrenched in the Old Normal.
Some of the speakers’ introductions mentioned the Ivy League School they attended. I thought of a friend I know locally who is 26 and hasn’t graduated yet. He is busy growing his digital firm which has 6 employees. He makes the payroll.
At the Conference in San Diego Speakers mentioned the Thiel Foundation which pays 24 top students $100,000 not to go to school. The New Normal.
At the Branding Conference they talked about the importance of authenticity in social media. A speaker from a Major Financial institution shared the efforts of how they managed the company’s C Suite leaders on social. Somebody asked if those individuals managed their own social media efforts or if they were implemented by the marketing department. A mixture of both was the answer.
Authenticity at its core for a financial services company but then again they are used to bending the truth.
I think that the appeal of attending Conferences is the hope of potentially meeting some of the heavy hitters that moderate and speak on the panels. The names that are thrown out to promote the Conference. There was some of that. But there were a lot of folks that came in five minutes before they were going to speak and left quickly afterwards. A presentation selfie. Suitable for a tweet or a LinkedIn profile update.
The Conference in San Diego had a CEO panel. You could ask them questions. They stayed afterwards for a meet and greet and maybe a card exchange with the folks that gathered in a line after they spoke.
I plan to attend another Conference in the fall to see what more I can learn about the Old and New Normal.
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