The Art of Marketing came to Calgary’s Jack Singer Concert Hall / Epcor Center on June 14, 2010.
The event was well attended with approximately 1000 delegates, although the Jack Singer Concert Hall can hold over 2000 and the organizers were hoping to get ~1200-1400 delegates. 1000 people for a Marketing Event in Calgary is not too shabby. (The Toronto event sold out, the event was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, I don’t know how many attended but the center holds 2600 people).
What I liked about the event:
Loved the emcee of the event, comedian / creative director Ron Tite reminded me of Ari Gold off the show Entourage. He is from the marketing and advertising industry, he was funny and kept the crowd going.
The quality and the variety of the speakers was well suited for the audience. Each speaker is an author of atleast one book, apparently a must to get on this speaking tour.
My favourite speakers were Gary Vaynerchuk and Mitch Joel – not a surprise as they were my favourites going into the event.
Gary was the only speaker to hold a Q&A session, surprising since everyone else is talking about engaging and conversing – but he was the only one that actually did it. I enjoyed Gary’s frankness with the audience, and of course his passion, stating “you should be embarrassed (as a marketer) if you don’t have a Twitter account” and “you’d be a f*ing idiot not to have one” (Facebook Fan Page).
Call it like it is Gary. The audience definitely responded well to his energetic talk. Check out Gary’s and Mitch’s separate books – very worthwhile: “Crush It” by Gary, “Six Pixels of Separation” by Mitch.
Sir Ken Robinson - he needs to join the comedy tour! He was absolutely hilarious, the audience loved him. His thoughts on creativity, innovation and human nature would entertain and rouse anyone. Sir Ken’s book: “The Element“.
Sally Hogshead, who spoke on persuasion and influence is definitely an interesting and articulate individual. She popped into the pre-event Tweetup on Saturday night before the conference. She was incredibly interesting and helped me breakdown my F-Score (your brand personality test) (I was a tad worried that my ‘dormant trigger’ was trust). Sally’s book: “Fascinate”.
Things that I didn’t like about the event:
Many attendees were either writing notes or typing notes, many capturing information to later blog about. Having this type of event in a concert hall was very uncomfortable. Six speakers, each speaking for about 45 minutes equates to 4.5 hours of sitting in a theatre chair, holding a journal and pen, or ipad, or computer in your lap… annoying. This type of event could be held in a proper conference hall, with tables or desk set ups – this would benefit the organizers greatly too – many more people would have tweeted about the event, posted faster blog posts and got the word out online while it was happening.
Considering I am an event snob, I look for the little things that kick up events, like music being played between speakers, interesting things to do during breaks and ways to keep up the energy and enthusiasm all day, which were lacking on this day.
Now for my least favourite talks:
Chip Heath - he is a professor, and spoke like a professor. He reminded me of my 8:00am College accounting class that I struggled to stay away in. He kicked off the day with the first talk. I found his talk a tad boring. But that was not a surprise as I found his book “Made to Stick” extremely boring too. Now don’t jump all over me, other attendees I spoke with really liked his talk, and also liked his book. His message is valuable, and he has done his research on “ideas”, but I find his book and his talks overfilled with lengthy anecdotes, I wanted him to get to the point faster.
Max Lenderman, unfortunately started off his session with a lack lustre, fizzling remark. He followed Gary V, who swears quite a bit, and I think it really works for him. Max walked on to the stage, and stated that because Gary swore so much, he too can swear. Max dropped an awkward F-bomb, that was not well recieved by the now silent audience. Needless to say he did not swear again during his session. Max did get me thinking about experiential marketing, definitely an arena for marketers to work in. I will download his book “Brand New World” on Audible and give it a whirl.
I would rate this event a 3/5, it was worthwhile, well organized and classy, it just needed a punch to make the venue more friendly to bloggers and the web 2.0 world, and it also needed some added punches to invigorate attendees and create some contagious excitement and energy.
Interested in other summaries of this event? Check out these local bloggers:
For more info: The Art of Marketing
Twitter hashtag for this event was #TAOM.