I get to go to my fair share of conferences. Panels and open discussion forums can quickly digress into personal agendas (see Bandwidth Conference, but perhaps the music industry just isn’t mature enough to progress but only rehash because it can’t get out of it’s won way).
This week I flew out to Indiana for the first time for the Exact Target (that’s a two word title folks, no affliation with Target retail stores but that is part of my story too), a back-end hub for email, web and marketing intiatives online. This conference was so well organized, they had buses waiting for participants to take us to the hotel. Registration took all of two minutes.
I was a little bummed to realize the conference was starting the same day as Target’s Missioni sale, but fortunately I had just enough time to order a few pieces online before I left for the airport- although the net being slow at the time, I’m super bummed I didn’t scoop up a few more of the homeware pieces. I think this is the first time they have launched one of the designer collections on a week day ultimately leading to the Target servers crashing. I digress… here are some of my personal highlights from the Exact Target conference:
1. Starting with keynotes the focus of the conference was the Power of One (also a really great book of that same title by Bryce Courtney is one you might want to check out darlings!). I believe in the power of one. One person can make a difference and there’s nothing that makes that easier than the Internet and it’s tools.
2. Keynote speaker Jimmy Wales founder of Wikipedia talking about the collective “ones” who make up the world’s free encyclopedia. Wales broke down his contributors are 86% male, somewhat due to the complicated code needed to update parts of the site. This isn’t a sexist statement because as I’ve referred to in the past, females enrolling and graduating with engineering degrees are down since lower than the were in the 70’s. Wales gave further insight saying their’s is an authoritative website and there’s nothing man like to do more than talk authoritatively about subjects they no nothing about 🙂
3. Everyone is a winner! My coworker and I both won $5 bucks and $5 dollar Starbucks Gift Certificates. There were notes each night as motivation in our hotel rooms along with treats and even the baseball field next to the hotel was branded with “Exact Target.” Free goodies were plentiful wherever you looked.
4. I attended a panel with someone from NASA. Seriously if that is not the coolest social media job ever than you need to rethink your American Dream. 🙂
5. Katy Perry in concert was part of the conference. Seriously. Now Katy can write a great hook and some really catchy tunes, but Katy could you stop with the gross-out humor and writing for a soprano when you are an alto? I share that same fate and honey, nothing is sexier than hitting the right notes.
6. Meeting an English Bullie named Blue. Turns out Blue is the mascot for Butler University. When I was informed of that fact I recalled watching something on TV about him. Celebrity Mascots. Love it! Blue was asked to sit, instead, shiny waxed floor had him spralled out on his belly on his attempt.
7. Being amongst digital people who want to improve from all sorts of backgrounds. My people!
Overall I would say this was my favorite conference this year- sorry SX you totally jumped the shark a few years ago for me and now I just endure you.