Driving to New Media in the Seat of Old Media
Rob Kleine [Digito Society], an Associate Professor of Marketing at Ohio Northern University, dutifully points out that our entire marketing effort for the HotTopic Blog Seminar, up until this blog was launched, was via old media. Rob found this ironic, but I find it very logical. Why?
Well, when we take the surveys of the attendees, you might be surprised to find that the people interested in learning about blogs are not bloggers themselves, and have come to get a "101 view" of marketing for bloggers. Ergo, if we were to achieve maximum attendance (one of, but not the only goal of the AMA for these seminars), we need to reach people in their medium, which, up until the conference, was almost anywhere BUT blogs.
In reality, our target market here is not "THE BLOGGER", but rather the professional marketing practitioner who is interested, but not yet on the bandwagon. The final 'pull onto the wagon' is our job, and now that we've got them here, we can segue into the blog world, hence the blog you're reading now.
This is no different that web marketing 'drive-to'. I always spent more on offline drive to in advance of an online initiative than I did in online. Trust me, this is still the case for many companies, and it was/is true for us as the AMA as we try to reach people in their medium, and pull them into the blog world.
What are you NOT expecting from the AMA blog seminar?
Saying "come with an open mind" almost goes without saying. Though, many of us, before embarking on a journey to a paid conference, have to lay out what our objectives are so that we can get funding for the trip. It's these objectives that sometimes drive a parochial, tunnel vision when it comes to getting the most out of a conference.
I suggest that you come with two agendas. The one that your company has, and the one that they/you don't have, at least until now.
Take a few moments and conjure up some of the things that you wouldn't expect to glean from a seminar. Before you go off the deep end & write down "circus show", or something, let me explain.
Think simply in opposites first. Let's say that your coming to get a better idea on how to communicate with your customers. Well, then perhaps your 'alter agenda' should reflect communications & relations with suppliers, employees, and contractors, as these were groups may not have crossed your mind when you crafted your initial objectives. Let's also say that your coming to discover some answers on blog technology. Well, look at the non-tech things like strategy, process, training, and the like. Plan ahead to look for the unexpected and you never know what you might find!
Ten Tips for Panel Discussions
Here's a few panel discussion watch-outs from Guy Kawasaki for those of you who have panel discussions coming up, and for those of us at the AMA blog seminars. Good stuff. Keep an eye on us up at the front - make sure we're towing the line!
1. Control your introduction.
2. Entertain, don’t just inform.
3. Tell the truth
4. Err on the side of being plain and simple.
5. Never look bored.
6. Don’t look at the moderator.
7. Make casual conversation.
8. Answer the question posed, but never limit yourself to the question posed.
9. Never say, “I agree with what the other panelists have said.” Just say something different or new.
10. Provide a way to get in touch with you.