Editor’s Note: Wednesday this week was the annual MIMA Summit held downtown Minneapolis. With our current workloads and schedules, I wasn’t planning on having TopRank staff attend, but received some last minute encouragement so I had Thomas and Dana attend the whole day and was able to slip in for the last 3-4 hours myself. The attendance nearly doubled over last year to 700+ attendees (an estimate I heard at the event). Hats off to MIMA members for a great job spreading the good interactive marketing word.
The following are wrap-ups from MIMA Summit veteran attendee Thomas McMahon and first-timer Dana Larson.
Going to the MIMA Summit is always a treat. It’s amazing to see how many local people are in the industry and take the time to come out and enjoy a day of great food, networking and great presentations.
The two presentations that stood out the most to me were Pimp My Reports from Bret Busse and the afternoon Keynote by Jason Fried of 37Signals (aka Basecamp).
Pimp My Reports was a short session all about tailoring reports to match the clients needs. Believe it or not, it’s just like the MTV show Pimp My Ride. Don’t believe me? Check out this MTV video and watch the episode where the 91 Ford Festiva gets transformed from a pile of junk in to a rock and roll mobile complete with tattooed leather sets and a Playstation2. That example might be a bit extreme, reporting back to the client should start with finding out what matters to them and tailoring the report their needs.
The afternoon Keynote was an eye opening look into a new way of working: silent. The guys at 37Signals have found out that talking to each other is a big productivity killer. To help fix this, they have days where no one is allowed to talk. Their example was to think of it like sleeping. If you constantly get interrupted, you never get a good night sleep. Work is the same way. By being silent and only communicating via IM or email, you are more apt to get into the zone and crank out more quality work in a shorter amount of time.
Another tip was to avoid meetings as they can be toxic. Some meetings can be an hour long, but really, the meeting could be 15-20 minutes and have the same outcome. It seems people are more apt to fill the time than have shorter meetings.
I have to say, Jason had some great ideas. I’m not convinced that they’d work out for all companies, but there was one take away that I can start doing today; and that’s avoiding “red flag” words. Words such as need, can’t, easy, just, only and fast are all words that don’t come across well in communication as it means you’re making assumptions.
“We just need this one feature.” “It should be easy to just add one more thing.” “Let’s do it fast and get it done with.”
These types of statements make it appear as if the sender is assuming that the receiverâ€™s job is simple. The receiver may feel insulted or under-appreciated. Avoiding those “red flag” words can help out communication quite a bit. I know I’m going to print them out and do my best to try and avoid them.
Being my third MIMA summit, I find it hard to believe how much it’s grown and how it gets better every time. They said that this year there were double the amount of attendees there were last year and they still had to turn people away. It’s really great to see such an active and passionate interactive marking community in Minnesota.
The MIMA 2007 Summit at The Depot in Minneapolis was my first MIMA Summit. It was exciting to see how many liked-mined individuals there are in the area, and I enjoyed the opportunity to be able to network with them. As Thomas pointed out, the MIMA Summit has grown pretty extensively over the last couple years, and itâ€™s interesting to be thrown into the mix while it is still growing and I can see how far it go.
The afternoon keynote was eye-opening in the ways that increase and decrease productivity in the office. Well, at least the 37signals office. We shall see how those tactics work in the TopRank offices. But I do notice interruptions a lot more often now, and I can see where implementing a â€œquiet afternoonâ€ might be beneficial in getting a larger amount of work done.
The session that stood out the most for me was the Internet Marketing Toolbox session at the end of the afternoon. Because it was the last session of the day and the panelists were well aware that the happy hour was coming up, it was a laid-back session with a couple presentations on web 2.0 tools. After the short presentations, audience members were able to shout out their own favorite internet marketing tools for the benefit of everyone in the room.
One of my favorites that was talked about was MindMeister. Here, a user can input a main idea with a few branch out concepts and other users on MindMeister can input their own ideas and concepts and brainstorm together with every other user. This creates one extensive concept map around a certain topic which can help any user with a presentation idea, a blog post or even planning a wedding.
You get around 7 free mind maps on MindMeister before you have to start paying for them, but for any dedicated planner, researcher, writer or presenter it is a very useful tool.
Since it was my first MIMA Summit, I didnâ€™t know what to expect. But I enjoyed the opportunities to network and I feel I learned something from every session I attended while spending the afternoon in a showcase of local talent and great Minnesota minds.