Lessons learned at the 7th annual AMA Marketing Conference in Madison, Wisconsin

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I never tire of attending marketing events. There’s always some perspective shared that I haven’t yet considered, great people to network with, and new ideas for our company’s annual conference, the Widen Summit. The 7th annual AMA Marketing Conference in Madison was no exception. 

The conference theme, Unleash Your Brilliance, was inspiring and set the tone for what we wanted to do while there – tap the brilliant ideas of other marketers. What I realize more and more, is that brilliant ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, at anytime. They can be big and audacious, but more likely they’re a small nugget of a brilliant idea that grows over time.

With that, here are our team’s takeaways from the conference:

1. Live events have not lost their relevance. 
Five to ten years ago, events were on the decline. The rise of the internet, social media, and digital marketing left events struggling for relevance. Today, they are on the rise as an untapped marketing channel. 

Widen attended as a speaker/sponsor and discussed how live events and content marketing work together, and Amy Lokken with Mud Modular – a local events display company – shared a presentation about maximizing your presence at live events.

Al Falaschi at AMA Madison Conference 2015

How Content Marketing and Events Work Together

Lessons:

  • Attend and host events you’re passionate about
  • Record events and repurpose that content
  • Make time to plan for events, whether you’re attending, sponsoring or hosting, so you get the most from your investment
  • Make sure the right people are at your booth and equip them with the right talking points for the audience
  • According to Amy Lokken at Mud Modular, 88% of life is just about showing up and following up. We agree!

2. MINI Coopers are cool. And it’s all about the brand.
What a great example of living the brand. Widen and MINI spoke together about customer engagement and brand curation. The energy from Rebecca Simpson, of MINI Madison, filled the air. She was visibly passionate about the MINI brand and could so easily cite the personality traits of the brand as they appear in the followers of the MINI community: artsy, quirky, adventurous. It’s a true subculture engaged around the lifestyle associated with the MINI brand.

After everything Rebecca shared, we wanted to tour the MINI dealership, test drive a MINI, and become a part of the uber cool MINI community. 

Jake Athey at AMA Madison Conference

Loyalty Created Locally

Lessons:

  • Know your brand, own it and live it. People will flock to you as a result.
  • Seek out events that are reflective of your brand (Comic Con was a great example)
  • Share content just to share (without a hidden agenda and without incentive needed)
  • Form a community around your brand and leverage customer generated content

 

3. Print is Back.
The day started with Keynote speaker, Trish Witkowski from FoldFactory.com. Witkowski’s passion for print and paper folding shown through from beginning to end.

Lessons: 

  • Consider different trends and interesting ways of utilizing print to your advantage
  • Try many techniques with printed pieces to get them opened and read
  • Be creative and stand out

 

4. If there’s only one social platform your business makes time for, make it LinkedIn.
Wayne Breitbarth shared all the things you can do with LinkedIn to build your personal and organizational brand. Become a thought leader, share your POV, and connect with market influencers at a low cost, or even for free.

Lessons:

  • LinkedIn is a content share stream, blog, and contact database all in one
  • Keyword the heck out of your profile to make sure those you want to find you, can do so easily
  • If you don’t have a company LinkedIn page. DO IT NOW. 

 

5. Networking is always a good thing.
By participating in the LOUDTables (speed dating for marketers), we explored many topics and pain points others have in our industry and beyond.

Lessons: 

  • Others share the same pain as we do
  • We may have good information to share with others and don’t even realize it
  • There is always something to learn from someone else, you just need to keep your ears open 
  • Relationship building is everything

 

6. You can become a Chief Breakthrough Officer.
The final keynote of the day was by Simon T. Bailey, former sales director of the world-renowned Disney Institute and founder of Brilliance Institute, Inc. 

Bailey brought to light the concept of becoming our own Chief Breakthrough Officers by surrounding ourselves with people who challenge us and by focusing on connecting with people on all levels and areas of our lives. Bailey’s laugh and infectious presentation style was fun and impactful. He helped us to See our brilliance, learn how to Harness our brilliance, and finally, learn how to Ignite our brilliance! 

Lessons:

  • DO something...anything! Just do.
  • Look outside the box to challenge yourself
  • Define and create your own results 

 

For more great marketing information, visit our resource library on widen.com.

And to understand how digital asset management can help leverage your marketing content, contact our DAM advisors.

Topics: Events

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