I’m attending two major conferences in the next month, in different parts of the world and for very different reasons.
Its easy to dismiss conferences these days, probably because there are so many of them, especially around marketing, social media and tech. I’m fairly confident I could fill up most of my year attending all the industry conferences that hit my inbox. On top of that there are the regular social media and tech get-togethers, like Social Media Club and Digital Citizens. The options are endless, and for many who attend numerous events each year it is easy to become complacent and dismissive of the content. For industry “veterans” much of the information is considered basic or already familiar.
But in my view many of these conferences play a big part in the growth of our industry and shouldn’t be so lightly dismissed. Its also why I am fairly selective about the events I do attend – I’m interested in the one’s that I think might make a difference.
The two conferences I am about to attend both address very different audiences and serve different purposes, but in my mind are both equally important.
Firstly, I am flying to San Francisco to attend the Web 2.0 Summit. This is an invitation-only event with some of the biggest hitters in the industry attending and presenting. Its an annual event where leaders of the Internet Economy gather to debate and determine business strategy.
I expect Web 2.0 Summit to be a real eye-opener for me, exposing me to cutting-edge thinking and a strong view to where the industry is heading. Its clearly a stand-out conference by any standard.
Speakers include: Mark Pincus from Zynga, Eric Schmidt & Susan Wojcicki from Google, Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, Don Mattrick from Microsoft, Susan Lyne from Gilt Groupe, Robin Li from Baidu, Evan Williams and Biz Stone from Twitter, Carol Bartz from Yahoo!, Mark Benioff from Salesforce.com, Scott Thompson form PayPal, Jeff Weiner from LinkedIn, Tony Hsieh from Zappos and many more.
The following week in Sydney I’ll be attending the iStrategy Conference. Rather than being aimed at the tech and social media industry, iStrategy is a gathering for Business, Marketing, Business Development, IT and Creative professionals involved in all aspects of online media and strategic management positions.
I see iStrategy as an important cog in the education of the corporate world about online marketing and digital strategies. While I am hoping to learn a few things here, I am more interested in understanding what the corporate world is learning about the industry and how open they are to new ideas.
Once again, its crucial because this sort of education and discussion grows our industry and creates greater demand for the services of digital marketing professionals.
Speakers at iStrategy Sydney include: Nick Love from MySpace, Kerry Bridge from Dell, Craig Hepburn from Nokia, Cliff Rosenberg from LinkedIn, Andy Ridley from Earth Hour and World Wide Fund, B. Bonin Bough head of Social Media for Pepsico, Harry Lowes from Digital Marketing at Commonwealth Bank, Naomi Simpson from Red Balloon, Glenis Carroll from Fairfax Digital, Emily Raynor from Austrereo, David May from JetStar and many more.
I’ll be very keen to hear what these people have to say about digital marketing here in Australia and the reaction of the corporate leaders who are attending.
Two big digital media conferences. Both important for different reasons.