Utah Event Recap: Engage Summit 2011
If the content is good enough, not even bad weather can stop you from getting it. That is one of the many takeaways from the Engage Summit, hosted in Park City, May 15-18. Given the mid-May conference date, you wouldn’t expect the 6-8 inches of snowfall that resorts in the area received – just on one day of the Summit I attended.
Many Utah social media and traditional marketers braved the storm to hear Guy Kawasaki and Jeremiah Owyang speak. The state has proven its ability to attract high-caliber speakers before, but it makes each event no less exciting.
There are two things worth recapping for those who missed the event: first, the role Allegiance played in making the event social media-friendly (something all Utah businesses could learn to do better) and second, the actual content of the presentations.
Social Media Event Planning
The Engage Summit is held annually, not only as a user meeting for Allegiance clients (Allegiance deals in web-based data collection and analysis tools), but also as a broader net for those interested in “voice of customer” analytics.
What did Allegiance do that other businesses can learn from?
- Location. Hosting the event at The Chateau in Deer Valley made the event memorable, and likely attracted a more diverse group than if they had held it in Salt Lake City (weather notwithstanding).
- Speakers. Give credit to Adam Edmunds, Chris Cottle, and the Allegiance team for knowing the social media landscape well enough to know who would attract an audience. In addition to Kawasaki and Owyang, they brought other known business leaders like Arkadi Kuhlmann, President of ING.
- Social integration. Allegiance (@allegiancetweet) had hashtags for the event (#VOC and #EngageSummit – don’t ask me why they had two) and made time at the beginning of the day to highlight the previous day’s “best of” tweets. They even gave out awards for the most active tweeters and the funniest tweets of the previous day. I think that was a great approach to multi-day conference. The use of Eventbrite was also smart, as it allowed people to post registration to their social profiles.
What to rethink?
The only difficulties I had with the conference were sketchiness of the wi-fi (a major barrier to social sharing and one reason they’ll be moving the event to Vegas next year) and the lack of pre-event networking that could have been smoothed over either by making the Eventbrite attendee list open or by encouraging interaction with a LinkedIn event or Facebook event. At very least the conference should have its own Facebook page, which I couldn’t find.
Top Content Takeaways From Guy Kawasaki
As a former Apple evangelist, Guy is all about flair and entertainment. He currently curates for Alltop, notoriously uses ghost tweeters, has written numerous books including the recently published “Enchantment” and he likes hockey.
Guy reminded the audience that life is good for marketers right now. There are more ways to reach more people than ever before.
- How to be effective in social media? You either need to provide (1) information, (2) insights, or (3) assistance.
- Remember the truth about the A-listers online. They don’t make companies succeed. They just report on successful companies.
- Before your team launches anything, consider having a “pre-mortem” meeting, where you evaluate in advance why you might fail, and take steps to curb each excuse.
- Your social media plan needs to scale. Focus on being able to engage fast, often, and with many people.
- Be enchanting. Enchantment as an individual starts with likeability, which includes physical qualities (genuine smile, dress to match the occasion, good handshake) and professional qualities (doing the dirty work).
Top Content Takeaways From Jeremiah Owyang
Jeremiah comes from a background of research and practitioning. He consults on web strategy and is plenty popular as a social media pundit and tech blogger.
Jeremiah focused on tools and strategy for effective social implementation.
Social strategy should be grounded in:
Socialgraphics (along with demographics, psychographics, etc). This includes being able to answer
- Where are your customers online?
- What are their behaviors online?
- What social information do they rely on?
- What is their influence online? Who else trusts them?
- How do they use technology in the context of your products?
Rapid Response Process. Companies like the US Airforce, Gatorade, and Pizza Hut are using command centers and decision models for quick response to positive and negative feedback in social channels.
Social CRM. There are over 150 companies designed to monitor the web for real-time customer feedback, but most companies are doing very little in the way of tracking individual customers. At a basic level, several companies use something like Radian 6 paired with Salesforce to accomplish this.
Social Sign-on. Companies should ditch registration in favor of other social sign-on capabilities that will help them learn more about visitor behaviors and enable them to build social customer profiles.
Jeremiah also covered a concept called the Customer Hourglass, as a way to track and serve customers at every step of their pre- and post-purchase stage, which you can read more about in the presentation on his blog.