Audience Conference Returns to New York

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Last November, The Audience Conference made its debut. It's making its second appearance this year Saturday, August 14 the day before Affiliate Summit East kicks off. The conference, produced by 1938media and Affiliate Summit will be held at Caroline's On Broadway. For more information and to register, head over to the website.

So that you have an idea what this conference is all about, we'll share with you the content and our experiences from last year's inaugural outing. MC'd by the acerbic Loren Feldman, speakers included Jason Calacanis, Joe Jaffe, Brian Clark, Rae Hoffman, David Binkowski, Jeremy Shoemaker and many others.

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There were no panels. It was all about the speaker and the audience. In fact, Feldman insisted no one tweet or blog from the event and that audience members actually pay attention to what speakers had to say. He even (not so humorously) threatened to throw anyone out he caught tweeting. The notion of audience handing over 100 percent of their attention to what was happening onstage - which included musical acts as well - was refreshing in today's always connected, always on environment.

Here are some highlights from the event:

- The Cult of the Audience's Andrew Keen said Twitter is a scam. No one using Twitter is making money (debatable). The only ones who are are founder Evan Williams and his management team. He said creators and authors must be authorities. Humility will get you nowhere and the audience won't do your work for you.

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- Rachel Marsden said politics is about people, kissing babies, shaking hands. It's not about social media. Think then speak...social media is not a good platform for this. The immediacy of social media has eroded the well thought out response. Obama didin't win because of social media. He won becasue he uses a Blackberry and is more like his voters.

- Frank Roche said internal communities are just as important as external. Most employee communication is committee written and sounds stupid. Treat people like they are adults. Tell the truth. Don't manipulate.

- Jeremy Pepper said there's no value in the social media echo chamber. There's no point in shouting a message because no one is listening. Small groups (Motrin Moms) have inordinate influence over brands.

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- David Binkowski said businesses have forgotten how to talk to their customers. And they've forgotten how to listen. He claims word of mouth efforts can help with this.And WOM is triggered by producing the right content at the right time. If the right tools are provided, brand fanatics are more than happy to help spread the message.

- Of Michael Arrington's no show, MC Loren Feldman said, "He's not a great speaker so we're going to move on." Gotta love that.

- David Dunne said the involvement of the audience improves content. Which has always been the case but with the proliferation of social media tools, it's become incredibly easy for people to talk, express and share.

- Joe Jaffe says people watch TV because they are lonely. Brands should respect their audiences, their intelligence and cease appealing to the lowest common denominator. There is a need for authentic authority; people who actually know what they're talking about.

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- Rae Hoffman, after being introduced by Feldman as "not a blond and no big breasts," said the size of the audience is not important - the audience you want is an audience that cares what you have to say. If you can't monetize, there's no point at all to social media.

- When asked by Feldman, "What's missing from advertising," Brian Clark responded, "Advertising suffers today becasue we've lost the art pf story telling." He cited the Hathaway eye patch guy as an example of an advertising story.

This is just a sampling of the amazing content shared at the conference. This year, no doubt, will be equally as enjoying. We encourage you to attend. It will be unlike any conference you have ever attended before. Get the details here.

All the pictures from the event are here (pre-party) and here.

by Steve Hall    Mar-31-10   Click to Comment   
Topic: Industry Events   

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