The problem with living in such a connected, digital world is that sometimes the personal connection is overlooked. Last week I had the pleasure of attending Evo ’11, Evolution of Women in Social Media, conference in Park City, Utah, and was reminded the importance of good ole’ fashion networking and relationships. Ted Rubin, a leading social marketing strategist and the current brain behind Collective Bias, focuses on the “Return of Relationships” instead of ROI, and I couldn’t agree more. Evo seemed more like a retreat where people bonded on different levels than a traditional conference. Who wouldn’t feel inspired with the literally breath-taking scenery at altitudes sometimes as high as 8,000 ft.
Minus the kumbayas around the campfires (also known as scary gondola rides up mountains), geeky conversations and workshops were aplenty. As a female in the digital space, the women (and men) behind parenting blogs continue to impress me. The workshops included in-depth SEO, analytics, HTML and Facebook promotions panels with one-on-one coaching from some of the brightest minds in the digital world. Yes, that’s right brands and agencies, Mommy and daddy bloggers know their stuff. Need proof? You can watch some of the sessions on Evo’s Ustream channel here.
The evolution of the blogger –especially parenting bloggers – is something everyone should be aware of. Not only are mommy and daddy bloggers learning how to market their blogs and increase traffic, they are efficient business women and men while still maintaining their unique personalities and sometimes hilarious stories of their family. At times I think parenting blogs, have the same appeal to reality shows. People are nosy. People like to read about other’s everyday lives and outrageous experiences and often can relate.
Overall, the value of attending conferences and events is even more important in the digital world. Developing relationships with bloggers from a brand and agency perspective will only help your future initiatives when determining who is appropriate for your client’s brand based on their personalities, overall objectives and ultimately a win for BOTH the brand and the blogger. Once again, it’s not a one-sided partnership and has to work both ways in order for the campaign to be successful.
My top three takeaways:
- Keep it personable and develop the relationships. Yes, smile and say hi to someone IRL (in real life).
- Log off. It’s important to log-off and enjoy life and what’s around you.
- You are never too old to jump in a pool with all of your clothes on. Life and business can be serious, but stepping back and having fun will help you stay creative and happy.
And if you are looking for a dose of inspiration, watch the closing keynote from Me Ra Koh here and make sure you have some tissues handy.
Did you attend Evo? If so, what were your most memorable moments or takeaways?