We’re really picking up steam with our tips on Iternet Marketing Conferences, appropriately enough, during SES San Jose. Our next tip comes from Robert Scoble, Managing Director of FastCompany.TV and blogger extraordinaire.
I caught up with Robert at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco and he agreed to play along and answer a few conference tip questions. The insights below are transcribed from the video interview I did with him during the event.
It’s tough because I’m the guy who likes to hang out in the hallways. I hate being stuck in a conference session unless I know I’ll learn something. To me the hallways are great because that’s where I do my networking and find out what’s really going on.
Stewart Butterfield showed me Flickr in the hallways of the Emerging Tech conference and he didn’t even have a spot on the stage, he said, “Hey check this out:”. Typically that’s been true that the more interesting stuff happens in the hallways. Unless you’re at a really top rate conference like TED or Pop Tech then it’s an experience. So if you go to one of those, I always sit in the front row.
I went to Davos and sat in on several sessions and always sat in the front row. Mostly so I can capture video and see things and participate in the conversations better, get seen if I want to ask a question.
Watch Twitter. Twitter is now the back channel for a lot of these conferences and you’ll see people talking, particularly in a multi-room conference. At SXSW there were several things going on at one time. The Twitter stream sort of told you what other people were experiencing and if the talk in your room was really boring you could switch rooms and go to another talk that might have been much more interesting.
With the parties being able to pace yourself is important. With SXSW there’s so many parties that you could go to, you’d be up to 4 in the morning every morning, you can really burn yourself out pretty fast.
Have a sense for what exhibits are there and see what people are talking about. During the day, I would watch a site like Techmeme (at least if it’s a tech conference) to see what other people are talking about at the conference that you might want to see or partner with or build a relationship with.
Learn about new technologies so that even if you don’t use it, you’re educated and can inform your boss, who’s paying for you to go. If it is something you might use, you’d better get business cards from the people that you’d want to partner with so you can make things happen.
Bring business cards that are memorable.
Super advice Robert, thank you.
Who could possibly be next you’re wondering? What further internet marketing conference wisdom could possibly be in store? Out next tipster is none other than Danny Sullivan of Third Door Media and the Search Marketing Expo series of conferences.
Do you have tips for getting more out of internet marketing conferences or any kind of conference for that matter? What insights can you share? You never know, maybe one of these conference organizers might actually notice these posts and your brilliant ideas and ask you to speak or moderate or who knows? The future looks brighter with your internet marketing conference tips in the comments below.