My colleague Raissa Evans,Senior Manager, Practice Grwoth, attended the 2010 Interactive Strategies Conference at the House of Blues last Thursday. She wrote a great report which is below:
Last Thursday a few hundred of Houston’s interactive marketers, designers, creatives and technorazzi converged on the House of Blues for the 4th annual Interactive Strategies Conference, hosted by the Houston Interactive Marketing Association. Sal Baldovinos from TopSpot served as Conference Chair, along with his dedicated team of volunteers on his committee.
What an amazing team of organizers! True to their interactive roots, the conference was promoted strictly online and by social media, including a well-manned Twitter account @ISConference and Facebook page www.Facebook.com/isconference. Havoc ensued when just weeks ago the original venue, Angelika Film Center, closed down suddenly in the middle of the night. Organizers were left scrambling to find a new venue and work out all new logistics.
All that hard work payed off, as this conference rocked! Divided into four session tracts – Social Media, SEO, Strategy and Creative/UX – it truly had something to offer everyone with a passion for the interactive world. Speakers included such heavies as Jeremiah Andrick from Logitech and Marko Muellner from Webtrends, to local mavens like Allie Herzog from integratePR and Amber Rodriguez from Noah’s Kitchen. The central theme seemed to boil down to “Get Real”, both in the sense of realness being authentic conversations with our market, and the realness of acknowledging that in the end, to be of value to our firms and clients we can really do three basic things: we can make money, we can save money or we can improve customer satisfaction. As keynote speaker Hugh MacLeod put it, “We are programmed biologically to respond to people who are smart and nice. Not Neanderthals who just want our money.”
MacLeod (@gapingvoid) talked us through some thoughts he’d outlined around how we can all begin to have smarter conversations with our markets, drawing from such inspiration as the Cluetrain Manifesto, peppered with his own thought-provoking and often jarring sketches he has become known for. The conference wrapped up with a truly interactive panel discussion featuring JR Cohen from YMKM Agency and We #SLGT, Kami Huyse from Zoetica Media, Michael Garfield, The High Tech Texan, Esther and Jay Steinfeld from Blinds.com and Aimee Woodall from Black Sheep Agency.
And of course, the value of the conversations had throughout the day with new friends and old cannot be overemphasized. The best of all results, I was left with a tired brain and renewed spirit.