I attend conferences more for the conversation and inspiration than for the panels. So I was pleased over the past two days to meet a bunch of smart, interesting people.
For example, last night at dinner I had the opportunity to sit next to Jim Nail of Cymfony. His company has recently gone through a rebranding effort centered around the concept of Influence 2.0 and they now have a blog and a forthcoming e-book of the same name. He reports that other companies in the industry have received the effort warmly and some may participate in the public drafting process for the new book, using a wiki that Cymfony has created. Jim has also been blogging about WOMBAT and he offers a number of interesting observations.
For much of the past two days I shared a table in the main ballroom with Stuart Sheldon of Coca-Cola. He’s a smart guy who understands word of mouth and technology, as well as the challenges facing major corporations in navigating these waters. I couldn’t help but notice that he seemed to be in high demand from other corporate execs who were comparing notes on how to effectively bring WOM techniques to their own companies. In fact, there seemed to be considerable networking among the larger companies represented to make a concerted effort at sharing best practices and ethics guidelines.
And I shared a couple of breakfasts and a dinner with Erik Rabasca of phd, an agency in New York. He "gets it" and had an interesting story about how he got to where he is today. Turns out he actually toured as the guitar player in a band for several years before joining the agency rat race last year. We had some great chats about online WOM strategy for on of his clients.
And there were countless other folks who I only got to spend a few minutes each with, but it all served to get my mind rolling and my creative juices flowing. Who knows, I may just have to start another company!