Dave Lutz, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting
This latest MTO Summit in Chicago was a lively mix of strategy overview, first-hand experiences and comedy. The event was attended by many of the movers and shakers in the expo industry. And along with heady discussion around mobile apps ("don’t be just the ‘iPhone guy") and the reemergence of white label event communities (be wary of "Ghost Town"-like adoption) a number of fresh ideas kept bubbling to the top.
Chris Brogan’s warned against being the "iPhone guy", but he was hardly against incorporating mobile technology. He noted, in fact, that people were more likely to leave their keys, wallet or children behind at a restaurant, then even walk ten feet away from their mobile device. The real mistake was to leave behind, and alienate, Blackberry and Android users.
Another recurring theme from Brogan: "Be human."Social media are out there as tools and how one uses them is what's important. "No letter from your mother begins with 'If you're having trouble viewing this message…."
Following Chris’s keynote were fluid discussions from highly-qualified presenters revolving around Supplier Consolidation and System and Data Integration, Connecting Buyers and Suppliers, and Customer Acquisition (combining Broadlook’s ever more powerful people-finding tools with content-heavy communications), and countless side-conversations about newer tactics like affiliate marketing.
The elephant in the room was virtual and hybrid meeting technology. Although it wasn't specifically on the agenda, a number of discussions about the threats and opportunities that this evolving technology offers were argued.
At the end of the event the MTO audience was broken down into sub-groups and gave them the chance to follow up with facilitated topics most interesting to them.