Now that the dust has settled, here is the view from the peanut gallery at the “Digital Marketing Conference”:http://www.the-cma.org/events/digital.cfm.
First off, kudos goes out to the event’s Organizing Committee – what a great job you did! If you’ve ever organized a conference or special event, then you know how much blood, sweat and tears goes into one. If you haven’t, trust me. I’m not being melodramatic, I am speaking from experience.
At first, I was unsure about the event being held at “The Guvernment”:http://www.theguvernment.com, but the venue was perfect. It was big enough to host a large crowd yet still able to keep the event’s energy in one spot.
The ability to use wireless was a nice touch, as was the feature of instant survey questions, with responses being displayed on the overhead screens. Both were very cool dimensions of ‘interactivity’, which makes sense at a Digital Marketing Conference, no?
One area of improvement was the sound system and coordination of audio visual presentations. It was below average at times but the speakers did well under the circumstances. As “Joseph Jaffe”:http://www.jaffejuice.com/ commented, “You only notice technology when it sucks.” How true.
Speaking of Jaffe, the speakers were very impressive for the most part. Although one suggestion for Frank Triveiri from “General Motors”:http://www.gm.ca; Please ease off the gas pedal a bit. A short sales pitch is fine but if I really want to hear a full-blown commercial about GM cars I will go to the Car show. (No, I’m not just picking on GM because I drive a Toyota vehicle.)
Having said that, you have to give the man props for being on stage and participating in the conversation. When the big boys such as GM come to the party, you must be living in a cave if it hasn’t dawned upon you that digital marketing is here to stay. Sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich will not ‘make it go away’.
The conference started to gain momentum once “Mitch Joel”:http://www.twistimage.com/blog/ kicked off with his 6 Pixels of Separation. Talk about raising the level of energy in the room. You can tell the man has spoken at some “Power Within”:http://www.powerwithin.com/ events. The thing that struck me about Mitch’s presentation was passion. He is passionate about digital marketing. The same for others cats such as “David Weinberger”:http://www.onedegree.ca/2006/10/19/david-weinberger-on-misinterpreting-the-cluetrain, “Bryan Eisenberg”:http://www.onedegree.ca/2006/10/24/bryan-eisenberg-on-getting-to-know-your-customers, “CC Chapman”:http://www.managingthegray.com/ and the grand finale by Joseph Jaffe. All of who were very good speakers.
For more detailed play-by-play on each presentations check them out over at the “CMA Blog”:http://www.canadianmarketingblog.com.
Other elements worth mentioning were the roundtable sessions on Day 1. Tara O’Doherty from “Bluespark”:http://www.bluespark.com/ did a great job running a round table on usability. She was straight-shooting and responded to questions in an honest manner. Other people said the items covered at their roundtable sessions were interesting as well. The 2007 DMC Organizing Committee should keep this concept.
And finally, the Industry panel on Day 2 was a pretty good who’s who in the online space. Some very good discussions and debate went on. What was refreshing was that the panelists didn’t just blather on about their companies and products. They actually spoke about the state of the industry and its current and future challenges as well. It’s too bad the Q/A session moderated by Mark Evans had to end so quickly, it could have lasted for at least another hour.
All in all, this conference was well worth the 227 unread emails waiting for me in my inbox late on a Friday afternoon. It’s not often one can say that with confidence about a conference.