BlueGlass LA 2012 from Downunder.
It seems appropriate to me to use an analogy of a cocktail for an event like BlueGlass LA. Not because it is all a party but more because the connotation of a cocktail party is that of fun chic people, sipping on neat drinks, lightly snacking and having the time of their life.
To me that’s kind of how this conference / gathering felt. Yes there were some of the smartest (online) marketing people going around. Some of them are people I now get to call friends from a number of years of catching up and spending time together, and others are new acquaintances that I hope to form equally strong relationships with.
Is that what conferences are all about? In some ways, yes. Of course it is about learning and sharing knowledge, and figuring out how you can take ideas and make something of them. It is more than that though, and being at a conference - especially one as small and cosy as BlueGlass LA - is very much about face to face time with other people in the same industry.
One can only agree with Chris Brogan who made his commen:
“At #blueglassla, where everyone here is smarter than me. ?”
In some ways it feels that way because there were so many smart and focused people in the room, but that is the other side of it that made it special, the smart people in the room felt the same way about people around them. The conversations and banter that followed in between sessions and over meals and drinks was unique and worth every minute of being there.
I have been to a number of larger conferences and going it alone from Australia often means you are amongst a huge crowd of people that know each other and it is easy to get lost. At this conference, yes it helps that I am part of the BlueGlass family, but the single track option, highly social agenda and great people meant you were always meeting new people, enjoying company of others you had met before and able to get into meaningful (and fun) discussions with people that know what they are talking about – one on one.
If you go to a conference and don’t make an effort to do that, you would often feel like the conferences themselves were good but not worth the investment. A BlueGlass conference is deliberately setup to be an event that people go away from feeling good about who they are, what they do for a living and the industry they work in.
Remember SEO is dead right?
So what did I learn?
A lot, some of it great reminders about things I already knew but put into context of the here and now and what I need to take action on.
That’s the great challenge for all of us. And Brian Clark laid it out perfectly
“There is no silver bullet, there’s just execution”
Too many times I think businesses are looking for the online marketing silver bullet, the quick fix for this update or problem. The reality is that there aren’t quick fixes, there is no option to just add water, you need to be prepared to build great content and build a great online product.
There are some great posts that are already written that highlight the key content. Enjoy the recaps and posts that get into more detail about the message that I can do justice to:
What really happened at BlueGlass LA
50 Tips & Takeaways from BlueGlass LA
BlueGlass LA Photography and Headshots (yes I was playing the fool in this one)
Top Marketing Experts Converge to Provide a True Internet Marketing Experience.
My challenge is to take the understanding that it appears US companies are investing much more in their online assets and overall online marketing than their Australian counterparts and help to show businesses down here where they are missing out on great opportunities by not expanding their thinking.
The key thing following a great cocktail party is not to get caught in a hangover but to have left on a high and able to carry that high into the following days. BlueGlass LA was a great cocktail of marketers and business people who helped stir up my enthusiasm and to encourage more people to understand that there is a big difference between being online and online marketing to build your business.
I have sipped at the bar and stirred ideas with a swizzle stick of friendship and comradeship and loved being so warmly welcomed by the people I don’t get to see regularly enough, as well as many new friends. I have tasted some new flavours and mixed up some old favourites. Time to invite some local people to the online marketing party.