The past few years chalked up many changes in the search marketing and social media world. Start-ups, mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, shake ups, break ups and make-ups - but one group of industry leaders banded together under a single label: BlueGlass.
The mission is to create a brand that offers remarkable digital agency services and also headlines its own conference … a conference that is boutique in nature and coined to be a digital marketing experience. That conference is known as BlueGlassX.
You might notice some familiar faces on the BlueGlass senior management team including vetted SES speakers and search marketing experts Chris Winfield, Greg Boser, Loren Baker and the most recent addition Richard Zwicky. As CEO and Chairman of the Board, Zwicky joined the BlueGlass team in early 2012. He brought his legacy of successful business leadership to help the company continue its focus on long-term value.
Why BlueGlass? “The list of reasons is long. But the opportunity to work with such an exceptional team was compelling, and frankly still is! The dedication that the BlueGlass senior team displayed to quality and value, coupled with each of their backgrounds and unique areas of expertise in online marketing made for a very attract group of domain level expertise,” said Zwicky.
What’s Inside that BlueGlassX Anyway? BlueGlass refers to events as “experiences” because they’re more than just a conference. They are an all-inclusive, 48-hour experience where we take care of every detail so attendees can completely focus on learning new things and meeting new people who can hopefully help grow their business.
Small Venues, Intimate Details, Private Conversations. Zwicky believes the value of a conference is very much defined by the people you share it with. To that point, BlueGlassX 2012 - scheduled for Dec. 3-4 - has been sold out for months; partly because it is limited to just 125 attendees.
“Because of this, our speakers are willing to share much more insider infothan they would with a huge crowd. You can expect to hear the kind of information normally reserved for private conversations,” Zwicky said. “The person sitting next to you may be a competitor, but they’re also a peer. BlueGlassX is an opportunity for industry leaders to convene, share information, network, and learn from one another.”
Decisions, Decisions: So Many Conferences, so Little Time
With the avalanche of growth in the marketing industry - hundreds of marketing conferences have popped up in all the niches from mobile to social to niche blogger conferences - how does a marketer decide where to go?
- Have a plan and clear objectives: Do you want intimacy or do you want a huge event? There can be benefits to both. As with most purchase decisions, a good place to start is by doing your research.
- Google the speakers: Watch some of their past presentations. Are they all the same? Do they switch it up? Hopefully, you’re attending a conference (and spending the money to get there) to hear or see something that you couldn’t on YouTube at home.
- Look to see who’s attended past events: Who attends frequently (and becomes return guests)? Are these people industry leaders? Successful business leaders? Have they gone out of there way to write a blog post on the event? Check it out, see what past attendees have to say about the event.
- Check out the content: What’s on the agenda? What industry intelligence are you lacking? What are you looking to learn? How are the topics covered going to impact your business? These are all important questions to ask yourself when considering an event to attend.
“If you walk away learning something valuable that’s not on your list, you’ve come out of a conference ahead of the game,” said Zwicky.
The Agency of Record is? How to Pick an Agency
Everyone is an expert these days and it can be increasingly difficult to differentiate a caliber agency versus the smoke and mirrors of one that is learning as they go.
Zwicky gives this advice when challenged with the task of choosing an agency:
- Strong leadership team
But above all, look for a proven track record of results, he noted.
2013 Search Marketing Professional Words of Wisdom
- Stay true to the core values you can deliver, and excel in those areas.
- If everyone is talking about it, it's too late. Online marketing, and search marketing are bigger than just Penguin or Panda.
- If you're actually delivering solid long-term value to your clients you won't be obsessing about the events after they've happened.
- Promise what you can deliver, and work to overachieve.
- Read about more than just search, or online marketing. A broader perspective allows for creative thought that you can bring back, and use to improve everything you do.
2013 Trends to Watch: Content is no Longer King, it's the Emperor!
“Seriously, content as we perceive it from a search marketing perspective has changed dramatically over the last few years from simple textual content to include video, interactive, Infographics, and more.” said Zwicky. “Content will continue to evolve, and the best search marketers will always be working on the next wave early, but focused on the underlying fundamentals, and how to leverage the latest trends into ongoing strategies, not to just change course and chase the latest fad!”
2013 New Year’s Resolution: Focus
If you are planning your list of New Years Resolutions and time management or productivity is an issue; you can glean insight from Zwicky’s daily routine. It’s all about focus.
“I get up between 5 and 6 a.m. most days, focus on immediate work issues, and don't start reaching out to people, or returning calls until after 8:30 PST. Unless it's urgent, it can wait, and I can organize my thoughts and priorities for the day, and get my most urgent things done, before I start dealing with everyone else's,” he noted.
You can find Richard Zwicky, Chris Winfield, Greg Bozer and members of the BlueGlass team speaking at SES 2013 events or if you want to see what happens behind the blue velvet curtain, watch for BlueGlassX 2013.
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