IZEAfest Day Two Brings Social Strategy and Buckets of Booze
This is part two of our IZEAfest coverage. Part one is here. After the Icebar party and late night hotel room shenanigans, day two of IZEAfest in Orlando kicked off to the more subdued (and late) start. We'll be blunt. We missed the entire first half of day two having slept a bit late and getting caught up in picture editing and work. Though we hear the speakers were great.
Aaron Brazell gave the keynote and spoke to the issue of finding an audience, cultivating that audience and becoming a leader in one's area of expertise. Next Liz Strauss covered the area of leveraging relationships. Akin to building yourself up and establishing yourself as the go to person in a particular space, developing and maintaining relationships with others in the space is key to your continued success.
After lunch Brett Bumeter moderated a panel which included George Smith, John Andrews, Joseph Jaffe and Zena Weist. This panel dove into the realm of advertiser's needs and wants in the social media space and how that relates to bloggers creating content. While many topics such as urging marketers to join, listen and participate in social media were covered, a key take away was the need to target. And that's what blogging and certain aspects of social media can offer marketers, And, conversely, offer opportunity to anyone with the skills in a particular area to give that marketer a targeted pathway to building a customer base.
When Chris Brogan is on stage, it's never boring. That man could have a second career in stand up comedy. The way he subtly drops a relevant joke here and there is a true skill. Mostly, Chris' keynote was of the motivational variety. He shared his rise to fame, how he got there, how he stays there and how he worries it won't last forever. He urged people not to be afraid in their endeavors. It's just not an emotion that helps one move forward. So just grab it and do it. So to speak.
Last up were IZEA Founder Ted Murphy and IZEA investor Dan Rua. The pair, not in a bad way, basically gave a sales pitch for IZEA and the company's sponsored conversations offering. You can love sponsored posts/tweets or hate (we did, ferociously...but have since changed our tune a bit) them but one thing is clear. This isn't your father's advertising business any longer. Things are changing. Things have to change. And in order for things to change, one has to keep an open mind, see what new strategies and tactics work and which don't and adjust as you go along.
It's the only way. Otherwise, you'll be creating and placing :30s no one will ever see becasue they will either be skipped, ignored or not even seen in the first place because the media landscape will have changed so much there won't be a place for them any longer.
After IZEAfest MC Bob Kodis officially closed the conference, some cake tossing shenanigans ensued. When Ted returned to the hotel, we thought he had donned some kind of costume. Rather, he was covered in cake as were many others. Hey, this is IZEAfest. Not your average advertising conference.
So the final evening of IZEAfest brought the Howl at the Moon Party. Howl at the Moon in an Orlando institutions where the piano takes center stage. Well, that an bucket loads of specialty drinks with straws for as many people as are willing to consume. Throughout the night, Ted Murphy was seen delivering buckets of the stuff to table after table of IZEA attendee.
And yea. There was a lot of silliness, tongue, dancing and even more late night hotel shenanigans.
By now, you'd think any good conference would just end, right? Nope. Not IZEAfest. All attendees received a free ticket to Seaworld for use the day after the conference. So on Monday, hundreds headed over to Seaworld en mass where roller coasters were ridden, dolphins were admired, killer whales performed and penguins stood behind glass looking bored out of their freaking minds. In all, the day was a great excursion.
And in all, the conference was a a great learning/relaxing/wonderful/fun time. We're already looking forward to next year.