Conferences. They can be awesome and...awkward. Raise your hand if you’re familiar with the scene below.
You just arrived at a new conference. It’s your first time and you’re not totally familiar with the topic but hey, that’s why you’re here! All your devices are charged, you’re looking good and excited to start learning.
First stop, registration. Second, coffee and breakfast networking event. Armed with a name tag and swag bag, you head towards the food. As you get there, you feel a few twinges of discomfort. Will I meet people? I don’t know this topic, what will I talk about? I wonder if there are other people who do the same kind of work I do?
Next thing you know, you’re balancing your laptop, swag bag, and food plate in one hand and a cup of coffee in the next, looking for a place sit. Trying to make eye contact with people to find a place to sit without seeming weird and wishing someone will strike up a conversation with you.
We don’t want this to happen to you at the 2015 Widen Summit next week. We want you to be as comfortable as possible. Since it’s likely you are new to the Summit (66% of attendees are), we’re going to introduce you to some of the people and companies that will be there, followed by stats about the group overall like what kind of industries people come from and what type of role they fill in their company.
When it comes to Widen staff, you can meet all of our session leaders in the Summit overview articles, which include videos by all presenters. The articles are arranged into the following groups:
• Topics by DAM experience level
• Hot topics in DAM
• Connecting DAM to the big picture
• Stop listening and start doing
Ok, on to the attendees!
People and Companies
The Widen Summit this year is bigger than ever. We’re just shy of 200 attendees, up from 130 last year. A lot of them are new customers, getting into digital asset management (DAM) for the first time. A note to everyone - new and repeat - we are a casual, comfortable company. Business clothing (even business casual) is not required. Wear what you want and don’t be surprised if you see staff in jeans and Converse.
To give you some background on the crowd beyond what they might be wearing, below are some articles, videos, and content examples from companies and people we work with.
The athletics marketing team created a fantastic site at ThisIsMichigan.com filled with dynamic video content. The site is built on the integration between Media Collective and Wordpress. UM Senior Business Systems Analyst Kathy Wilson, who just presented at High Ed Web with our Marketing Director Jake Athey, will be at Summit.
We’re excited that Zeiss global admin Frankie Buckle is joining us from London again this year. Buckle is an experienced Media Collective user and a lot of fun (not to mention her great taste in socks).
— Frankie Buckle (@FrankieBuckle) October 14, 2014
The profile on AWF graphic designer and digital asset manager Grant Wheeler was published in 2013, but it’s still a great overview of how he uses the Media Collective to connect content coming in from the field to marketing and communications teams. It’s his fifth year as a Collective user and he’ll be at the Summit this year.
Jennifer Neer, a Data Integration Specialist, will be at the Summit for the second time this year. What does she think about the conference? “The Widen Summit helps me to discover, or rediscover, features that I may have forgotten about that may help us better utilize the system. Sometimes the features give us ideas to use the system in ways we didn’t originally think about.“
All digital assets have value and big ones, like billboards, deserve special attention. Jennifer Hurley, Director of Marketing at Clear Channel Outdoor submitted a winning entry to our storytelling contest this summer with the Slurpee Mustache Straw billboard. You can meet her this year and ask about how that stunning image was shared and used.
Now that you heard some of the personal stories, let’s look at a breakdown of industry, individual roles, and where people are coming from.
We have customers in all types of businesses. In terms of numbers, the largest areas represented are higher education, travel and tourism, and marketing and advertising.
Ok, so we know what kind of industries people are coming from. What kind of work do they do?
You might not be surprised that most attendees are in Marketing Communications. They have job titles like Brand Manager, Digital Marketing Specialist, Chief Marketing Strategist, and Product Marketing Manager.
Heads up that knowledge management includes Digital Asset Managers, Digital Archivists, and other Information Professional.
Despite that this is a map of the United States, we do have customers coming from Germany, England, and Canada. Most people coming from the states, though, and here’s a map of where.
What to Expect
We’ve covered some people, content, and companies to look out for, the dress code, and demographics of Summit attendees so you should have some idea of what to expect. It’s a comfortable, learning environment where you can explore the Media Collective and bigger themes in digital asset management and content marketing.
The only aspect we haven’t gone into detail about is fun. The Summit is designed to be fun, with physical activities and events that highlight the best that Madison, Wisconsin has to offer. Last year it was rock climbing, pizza-making, and a tour of the capitol building.
This year, take a hike around Picnic Point, play some laser tag, or have a virtual reality session.
Looking forward to seeing you next week!