I had the privilege of attending the ASAE Great Ideas Conference in Colorado Springs at The Broadmoor March 10-12, 2013. I was certainly not in a position to capture all that was happening at this inspiring conference. My hope is that if you attended this will serve as a reminder of the material covered in the sessions. Also, may this post and the notes, tweets, photos, and resources below provide you with enough insight that you too will be challenged to think differently about the challenges you and your organization face.
Conference Catalyst, Thom Singer
- This is not a junior high dance. Ask questions. Power in the word, “Hello.”
- #1 reason that people attend conferences: networking. But then we stink at it. Smile. Have name tag visible.
- Invest in people. Anything you need… it’s probably somebody’s 1st cousin who holds the answer.
- Plan while at the conference how you will follow up with people you meet.
Opening General Session: The Fascination Advantage: From First Impressions to Lasting Value, Sally Hogshead
- Are you giving your members the orange ticket- a distinct, irreplaceable experience?
- What kinds of personalities do you want to attract to your association?
- Fasination is an intense focus. You’re engaged, in the zone.
- A $39.99 UPS costume. They’re getting your kid to dress up like an employee of a company. Think about it.
Helping Your Association’s Innovators, and Generating Non-Dues Revenue, Jeff Glassie, Whitney Kulesz
- How do we support new business ventures that can transform professions/industries?
- TripLingo: 1st to receive angel investor award from ACTE.
- One difficult obstacle to overcome for angel investing from an association: just selling people on a new idea.
Associations Got Talent, Mark Milroy and Jay Daughtry
- Select 5 objects that describe you.
- How would you finish the sentence “I am…” ?
- How do you identify hidden abilities that others possess?
- Getting people to talk about their talents helps them identify their dreams
- What cues lead to misperceptions about people?
- Give people the freedom to try something new & fail at it.
Career Mapping Tools: Charting the Present and Future, Shawn Hulsizer, Scott Mackenzie
- Creating a career map can help members understand and identify their professional pathway.
- Career mapping helps rethink and reorganize association products, services, website, education, etc.
Creating Meaningful Business Relationships, Shari Harley
- In building relationships, ask more, assume less.
- Going bowling won’t help people work better together. Talking about working style preferences will.
- The people we work with often think they told us what they want, even though they didn’t.
- Candor questions: 3 things that will keep you with organization? Worst boss you ever had? Best boss you ever had?
- Do you prefer to communicate via: email, voicemail, text message or IM?
- When do you do your best work: early am, mid-day, late afternoon or evening?
- Choose candor over comfort.
Components & Strategy- Lessons from Sun-Tzu’s “The Art of War”, Cecilia Sepp, Lowell Applebaum
- If people can help build it, they’ll support it.
- When we lose focus, that’s when we start to hear the noise before defeat.
- Every member of an association should be a volunteer.
- The best marketing tool you have? An engaged volunteer.
- Do what you can when you can with what you’ve got.
Closing General Session: The Vuja De Moment: Shift from Average to Brilliant, Simon T. Bailey
- Reach the point of being uncomfortable with being comfortable.
- The same letters that spell “listen” spell “silent”.
- People engage because of authenticity.
- What are we doing to ignite a fresh a fresh vision?
- There are 20,000 moments in a day. We are in the business of managing, creating & mastering moments.
- In the dictionary failure is before success. Embrace failure. Failure is not final; failure is feedback.
- What would I do if no one paid me to do it?
- An association is a memory, a connection, a collection of moments.
- Ask yourself what makes your association come alive.
Innovation in a Box, Rick Johnston and Becky Granger
- Exercise: In 30 seconds name as ways as you can think of to use a brick.
- Think beyond the normal. Don’t let your mind edit you.
- Win like you are you used to it; lose like you enjoy it.
- Take someone else’s idea and put your spin on it.
- Innovation: Don’t worry if most ideas don’t seem immediately implementable- keep them in your back pocket for later.
Thanks to all who followed my tweets from Great Ideas. Thanks to so many who added my understanding while at the conference: Gabriel Eckert, Libby Hoppe, Dan Scheeler, Amy Lestition, Rachel Johnson, Brian Cheung, Rhea Steele, Katie Paffhouse, Kylee Coffman, Ron Moen, Jenna Crane and more. I also appreciate the numerous conversations in hallways, before and after sessions, at meals, and at receptions. All of this made it a richer experience.
For a recap of the 2012 conference, check out my The Greatest of Great Ideas in Less Than 180 Seconds post.
What lessons did you learn from Great Ideas ’13? What were the highlights for you? What other posts or resources from this conference have you found helpful?
xPotomac was billed as an event “where the digital media future meets businesses. This groundbreaking conference features seven media technologies most likely to impact businesses and marketers in the immediate future.” xPotomac was held at The Source Theatre in Washington, DC on February 25, 2013. This post is taken from my notes and tweets:
Dino Dogan, “The New Groundswell”
- Gutenberg democratized access to information.
- 1% of blogs get 99% of attention. And they don’t deserve it.
- Traffic + ads is an antiquated attention model.
- The next big opportunity is in attention plus influence.
- If you could get attention without traffic, would you want it?
- Google, Twitter, Facebook had a chance to do something different; they chose to show us ads.
- Always cognitive dissonance when you try to match message w/ influencers who don’t mesh w/ your brand.
- Empires crumble, whether you’re talking about Persian empire, Ottoman empire, or Facebook.
- There’s a flaw in our logic about how to drive traffic. What if Google is not best way to drive traffic?
Ken Yarmosh, “Multiscreens: Anytime, Anywhere”
- Too far-fetched to have screens on coffee tables for magazines or to download games?
- What if calls could be seamlessly moved from screen to screen as you walk through your house?
- Every device we have should have the same information without configuration.
Geoff Livingston and Patrick Ashamalla, “Looking through Google Glass”
- A great user design doesn’t demand attention; it focuses it. -Patrick
- Wearable computing technology will make smartphones obsolete in 5-6 years. -Geoff
Shonali Burke, “Social Scoring: Are You Worthy?”
- Don’t look at numbers, look for context in influence.
- Technology is not for technology per se.
- Great champions beget more champions.
I was able to win a signed copy of Geoff Livingston’s book Welcome to the Fifth Estate at the beginning of this session when Shonali asked who knew their Klout score. I qualified it by stating that I don’t believe in Klout scores and said that mine was 57. I looked it up moments later to find that it had risen to 58, most likely due to xPotomac activities. As of the writing of this, my Klout is at 59. I’ve compared it to an SAT score. It’s a snapshot, but a number doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about a person. I’ve also compared it to college football rankings. I believe it reflects a certain American obsession with ranking and scoring everything- and on an ongoing, all-too-frequent basis.
Greg Verdino, “Digital Ubiquity”
- Futurists do not predict the future. Who does? Crackpots.
- 500 million devices connected to the internet 10 years ago. In 2008/2009, the number of devices exceeded human population.
- Average home in the US has 20 connected devices.
- Smart paint that tells you when your ceiling is going to crack exists today. It’s probably not in your house.
- If you have a product, you better be prepared to be in the services business.
- A refrigerator should be able to talk to a telephone, or we have a problem moving forward.
- Big data should be looked at as a core asset for your business.
- If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.
- As our population ages, more & more systems fail. We never see the Boomers coming.
Jen Consalvo, “Visual Revolution
- Not a lot of brand activity yet on Vine’s 6-second videos platform.
- 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day.
- People connect with pictures. Images gain more engagement.
Andrew Keen, “Big Data Threatens Privacy”
- No surprise photos are central to social media age. We’re in love with ourselves.
- No coincidence that social networks came along as we need to sell ourselves with self-employment, etc. We are brands.
I wasn’t as personally offended at Andrew’s comments as some of my xPotomac associates were. I thought he provided some interesting counterpoints to what we had been hearing all day. Andrew Keen definitely came across as condescending, insulting, and egotistical. Was it a thought-provoking presentation? Yes. Would I want to listen to him again? Not really. Rather than end with his naysaying and the negative feelings that ensued, perhaps it would have been better instead to have started the day with Andrew Keen to merely temper the digital enthusiasm we all felt.
Other noteworthy quotes and insights:
- You have two wallets: money & time. -Kathy Korman Frey, quoting Ted Leonsis
- Social scoring is often more about popularity than it is about influence. -Tinu
- Blogs- purposeful audience builders. These are what social scoring should be taking into account. -Dino Dogan
Also worth reading and reviewing:
Geoff Livingston’s Context Always Mattered, Now It’s Crucial
Sohini Baliga’s Augmented Reality: “Yo, Heads Up!
Jamie Notter’s The Dark Side of the Revolution
Mike Shaffer’s Andrew Keen and the Negative 180s
Geoff Livingston’s Flickr photos of xPotomac reveal the smile of Shonali, the halo effect of Ken Yarmosh, and everything in between.
Eventifier’s compilation of xPotomac photos, videos, tweets, and contributors.
I’d also like to thank other xPotomac attendees who aided my understanding with their insights, comments, questions, and/or tweets: Melanie Spring, Sohini Baliga, Mike Schaffer, Shashi Bellamkonda, Sarah Oyungu, Debbie Friez, Tammy Portnoy, Kiki L’Italien, Colin Storm, Maddie Grant, Jamie Notter, Jim Long, Kathy Korman Frey, Isabel Saldarriaga, RaShonda Rosier, and others.
What stood out to you from xPotomac? What were the memorable moments, quotable quotes, and retweetable tweets? What were the lessons learned? What will you do differently in your business?
I was able to be a virtual partipant at PCMA‘s Convening Leaders (#pcmacl) in Orlando January 14-16, 2013. Thanks much for the opportunity, PCMA. I present to you my notes and tweets from a few of the sessions I participated in.
Monday, January 14, 2013:
Morten T. Hansen: “Great by Choice: How to Thrive in Uncertain Times”
- Fanatic discipline= consistency of action, makes difference between the great & the average.
- Reliable growth is better than spectacular growth; it’s a long march to greatness.
- Experiment. Fire bullets, not cannonballs. It’s how you innovate.
- Plan for everything going wrong. Productive paranoia. The path to greatness is not paved with risky bets.
- SMaC Recipe- Systematic: Formulas; Methodological: Works; Consistency: Durable
- Great conferences create vibrant, active communities.
- Don’t be a conference that tries to add community. Be a community that holds in-person meetings.
- Invitational marketing- a community saying, “Come be a part of us.”
- Online engagement is about building social capital, giving more than what you’re asking for.
- Foster (but don’t force) connection.
- Identify intangible indicators of success.
- Large events: Incubate small experiences.
- What resonates with you? What aspects of your job do you feel yourself come alive for?
- If you don’t feel passionate about the topics you’re organizing, you can’t expect your attendees to.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013:
- Digital isn’t as risky as renting a convention center.
- Socialize your content because it helps promote your brand.
- Content management for a virtual event is key. 20 minute presentations instead of 90.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013:
Tom Friedman, New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author:
- The biggest thing happening on the planet today: the merger of globalization & the IT revolution.
- In 2004 LinkedIn was a prison, and Skype was a typo.
- Phone calls from top of Mt. Everest begin w/ “Mom, you’ll never guess where I’m calling you from!”
- Employers are looking for employees who can do problem solving, redesign their jobs while they’re doing them.
- High wage, middle-skilled job has disappeared.
- 25% dropout rate in US.
- Think like an immigrant. Think like an artisan. Think like a starter-upper. Think like a waitress at Perkins Pancake House.
- Think like an artisan. Give so much extra that you want to carve your initials into what you do.
- Think like a starter-upper in Silicon Valley. Always be in beta.
- Passion + curiosity always trumps IQ.
- Think like a waitress at Perkins Pancake House. May not control much. Deliver extra. Think like an entrepreneur.
David Novak, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Yum! Brands: “Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen”
- What perceptions, beliefs, habits do you have to change, build or reinforce to grow the business?
- Two reasons people leave a company: they don’t feel appreciated or they don’t get along w/ their boss.
- David Novak is an All-World Ripper-Offer. He likes learning from others, getting ideas from other areas.
- Celebrate other people’s ideas more than your own. Tell people you want to hear them.
Other great resources and blog posts from PCMA Convening Leaders:
I’d also like to thank a few others I learned from and interacted with virtually. Thanks for adding to my experience and my understanding, Christine Melendes, Traci Browne, Sarah Beauchamp, Angela Carr, and Barbara Palmer!
It should be noted that there will be a Convening Leaders Redux on January 30, 2013, where some of the most popular sessions will be re-broadcast virtually. I’ll most likely tune back in. Will I meet/see you there?
What were your takeaways from Convening Leaders? What other sessions did you learn from? What would you add to my notes?