Firstly, hats off to the “organizers”:http://www.meshconference.com for setting up the Mesh Conference in just 9 weeks. They also *sold out* without any traditional marketing; it was strictly via word of mouth and blogs. Talk about ROI.
The conference attendees presented a nice mix of techies, marketers, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, students and PR folks. It was a great opportunity to network with others.
The sessions on day one were very productive, especially Blogging 101 by “Tris Hussey”:http://blog.larixconsulting.com/blog. He didn’t lose us rookies in the room and facilitated interaction amongst the audience. There was some debate about whether blogs generate revenue, but one attendee pointed out his client had many sales leads and referrals for other businesses not to mention job offers because of his blog. Looking strictly at ad revenue from Google Ad Sense is a myopic view.
Mesh also had these cool _15 minutes of fame_ sessions similar to the “DemoCamp”:http://barcamp.org/TorCampDemoCamp6 experience that two friends recently introduced me to. However the 15 minutes given to “Elissa Gjertson”:http://areyoufrank.com raised some eyebrows. The presentation was…well…some kind of marketing proclamation. She should have been frank. But at least she was at the podium in front of tons of people so you have to give her props for that.
My favourite session on day two was ‘Building a Brand Online.’ A key takeaway was that improving the online customer experience is critical. You can spend until the cows come home to bring customers to your site but you’re just ‘throwing good money after bad’ unless you close them noted Jonathan Ehrlich, SVP of “Chapters Online”:http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/. This struck a chord with me.