I’ve been attending the Digital Non-Conference Conference (yeah, that’s the name) put on by the Ad Club of Cincinnati : www.AdClubCincy.org . It’s been a great conference so far, but my battery is dying so I’ll make this short (need power at each couch next year). The conference is hundreds of people in the agency and creative world that are involved in online and interactive media for their clients. And in some cases attendees are the clients themselves. Everyone is here for networking and to hear industry leaders speak about topics of relevance.
So for example, this morning was Pete Blackshaw from Nielsen Online speaking on how “Loyalty isn’t enough anymore – Advocacy is Bigger than advertising”. This topic rings true with me as I’ve been preaching this for several years to clients such as GlaxoSmithKline in a campaign we did for them and BlackBerry in regards to a retail kiosk we did for them that has peers telling why they love their BlackBerry’s. Seems like everyone at Pete’s seminar are catching up and learning why consumers are more likely to buy if recommended by a friend rather than watching a commercial.
The Conference has been one of the better conferences I’ve been to in awhile. The content itself is insightful and from industry peers so its relevant and in some cases eye opening. The event is quite well run with great food. Sushi and gourmet pastas, etc. the first day as an example, show off the Hyatt Regency’s ability to cater high quality food at events in their ballrooms. The main ballroom itself is quite well done with artsy colors, big projection screens that actually work flawlessly (pro AV crew ensures it) and the ballroom is not a room full of hard chairs lined up in rows, oh no… that would be your typical non artsy conference. They chose to use couches, acrylic charis, bar stools at long rectangular cafe tables, and a mix of mod looking chairs straight out of a James Bond film (or Austin Powers perhaps). What a relaxed and comfortable way to enjoy speeches? Kudos to the AdClub and their event producers: Accent on Cincinnati (strange name for an event company, but as long as they do a great job… who cares?)
Another interesting method they have used to keep it interesting is to have each break out session on different topics (Creative path, Marketing Path, Technology Path, Academic Path) and hold each session at local bars and restaurants, like Sullys, BlackFinn Saloon, Via Vite, & the Lodge bar. While you have to walk 2-3 blocks between sessions, it is a more creative and relaxed environment to listen to someone going through a slide show and talking about projects they’ve done. And if you are so inclined, you could have a martini while learning about “Social Media’s Influence on Buying” (Daphne Kwan of ExpoTV). I like this concept, and combined with all of the above I predict next year’s Digital Non-Conference Conference will be bigger and have more attendees.
Benjamin Palmer spoke at lunch on Saturday about how “Brands are people too”. Interesting guy and very creative. Great brand concepts. He showed some of their viral marketing campaigns done for Milwalkee’s Best beer. Great video, great flash games, what a great presentation with a young hip creative viewpoint. I actually had dinner with him and the AdClub folks Friday evening. He sat next to me at the Hoffbrau house and I had no idea who he was. Now I know…
Follow my Twitter posts at: http://twitter.com/KioskGuy to see play by play comments today during the event. Comment on this blog post below if you have questions or comments.