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Events: Keith Finger and CRMA

Just thought I would drop a note on some events which local people I know are involved in around the SFA/CRM space..

Art Hall and the CRMA folks are doing another round table which I’m lucky enough to participate in again at the Ashford Club, here is the abstract:

The Customer Relationship Management Association, Atlanta Chapter is pleased to offer our second installment of Social Media 3.0: The New Corporate Responsibility. Last month, we explored the rise of social media as a corporate function and profiled two Atlanta based companies that invested strategically in social media by creating “Heads of Social Media” or “HSMs.”

This month, we will continue to examine the role social media in Atlanta-based companies. Breakfast meeting takeaways will include:

  • How to develop a business case for social media marketing for your company
  • Measuring, tracking and communicating the value of social media marketing ROI
  • What is the social media governance model or policy
  • What types of skills are required to execute a corporate social media strategy
  • How do you integrate social media feedback to reinforce other CRM & Voice of the Customer (VOC) streams

Keith Finger is doing an interesting thing on lead gen which if it is anything like the whitepaper I read should be interesting.  Very Experienced Guy without a doubt and really, here is the overview from the landing page:

Convince and Convert: How to Pull More Prospects Into and Through the Sales Funnel

Are you happy with your demand generation process?  Would you like to spend more time speaking with qualified leads, while keeping other prospects nurtured until they’re ready to buy? It’s one thing to attract prospects, and it’s quite another to turn them into customers.  In this webinar learn the best practices smart companies are using to:

  • Make the best use of search engine marketing
  • Use demand generation to fill more of the sales funnel
  • Nurture leads to shorten the sale cycle
  • Score leads to focus on the best opportunities
  • The three common social media marketing mistakes to avoid

The Social Media Mountain Not Coming to You? Go to the Mountains!

So after attending a good deal of quality events over the last 18 months, regionally and nationally, few outside of SOBCon focus on delivering ongoing value after the conference.  Most conferences are “over and out”, except for the recap posts.   Ultimately you end up with a bunch of business cards, new twitter adds and some swag which probably doesn’t even make the plane.  So Mountain Social is a concept I’ve been working with friends on for about a year, exactly a year in June when I first spoke to some of the planned speakers and the real event planner, Emily.   The event became real after others were willing to share the risk and do the work, so with risk mitigated, commitment in place and folks signed up to help this is now a reality.  Mountain Social 2009 kicks off in the Mountains this fall.  A place which allow communing with nature, wireless, newly made friends and even family.

Many thanks to the folks which are making it happen and basically doing the work – John, Leti and Em.

So What is Mountain Social Focusing On?

The main focus is connecting people, enjoying the environment and providing an place for open discussion.  Each session, panel or workshop will provide real-world use cases of things that worked, didn’t work and those which the results aren’t in on.  With the increasing scrutiny on marketing budgets the group at Mountain Social will explore participant situations and collaboratively work scenarios as a group to help drive meaningful takeaways for the participants.  Below is the not-so-elevator pitch from the site:

The 2009 Mountain Social Media Summit focuses on the 4 P’s of Social Media: Personas, Problems, Projects and Profits.

Personas: Who leverages social media, what are the opportunities and why is social media important in a personal, professional and commercial context.

Problems: What challenges exist for social marketers? What problems does media address? What problems exist for social media.  Understand the opportunities, obstacles and value social media can bring to your business or your personal growth.

Projects: Understanding use cases and case studies which highlight key lessons and themes which are important.

Profits: Where is the market opportunity, revenue channels and process improvements.  Can social media increase customer acquisition, drive cost reduction and improve customer/market awareness?

Why a conference in the Mountains?

Why not?  Because the site works – scenic, wired and more to do than just geek out and drink, of course most will geek out and drink, but there are options and your headache is you own fault.  The facility rocks and so does the community, at least this time of year.

Nestled about 95 miles outside Hartfield Airport and equally drivable from TN, NC and SC, Helen is about one of the most scenic place in the whole state – Alpine Splendor and the Appalachian Trail.  The city of Helen also kicks off it’s biggest event of the year, Oktoberfest which is very similar to Alpenfest which was the local festival in the place I grew up, Gaylord, MI.

Rationalization: Helen’s Oktoberfest is like 3X the size of Alpenfest due to it’s closeness to other population centers and in a much more scenic landscape.  Unicoi also offers options for every budget (rooms on resort, cabins, and camping), level of comfort and general interest in things like mountain biking or hiking the water falls which may be of interest of others you know, who otherwise might not consider traveling with you on one of these events.  It is after all about relationship and building a sustaining community of folks to call on, get insights from and work with in the future.

Reality: Emily and I basically dig the mountains and sharing experiences and developing relationships is critical to succeeding in the marketplace.ustry over a weekend and carrying forward the relationships.

The first Mountain Social should be a great time, hope to see you there.

The Facts

What: Social Media Conference

Topic : Social Execution and Branding.

Type: Panel

Date: 9/11/09-9/13/09 – I think I’m just taking the 10th-14th to relax in the mtns.

Price: $495 through 6/20, after $545 to $595

Would be cool to catch up with y’all.  Cheers!

SoCon09: Oh the people you meet outside the perimeter

#SoCon09 basically proved it was Atlanta’s premier Social Media event yesterday without question.  The event however was not located in Atlanta, much to the chagrin of Andrew Wilson, who just might understand that Atlanta has a brand identity issue.   The conference had record attendance of like 325 folks.

Some of the highlights from my perspective:

  • KSU got a $1.5M grant to research journalism in context of social media
  • Chris Carfi rearranged the room and lead the engaging keynote discussion on markets
  • basically STOPPED due to refreshes for those on the KSU network
  • #SoCon09 sustained as a trending topic right up until the end of the day
  • Met at least 6 people from Twitter I hadn’t met before – real life can be fun
  • Met EVEN MORE people who I will now get to know better on Twitter
  • Learned about really cool stuff people are doing in Atlanta – where are you people the rest of the year?
  • Jeff Haynie reaffirmed that Your Idea Sucks and it is about execution!
  • I met a person more theoretical and conceptual than myself, ok I met Greg Bond before, just didn’t realize it.
  • Plenty of pictures shared in real-time
  • I learned that facilitating a discussion is far more rewarding than giving a presentation
  • I figured out you can go to a conference and make it to baby shower without issue, even if you start your day in Kennesaw

So who was there? A bunch of people, but to highlight a few and create pseudo blog roll:

At the end of the day, a big thanks has to go out to Leonard Witt, Sherry Heyl and all the folks at KSU.  The event clearly shows that technology interest and expertise isn’t in short supply in Atlanta.   As a follow up, I started trolling through the event tweets and the tweet below made me ask myself a question: So why would we wait until next year to synch up?


We shouldn’t!  Every month ATL Tweeters and Social Media Club Atlanta meet to share ideas, discuss things we are seeing in the community and try to find ways to get just a little more social in ATL.

If I left you off the “blog roll”, I apologize, I recreated via hash tags and cards I had in my pocket – so leave a comment and your link so everyone can read other folks out there in the Greater Atlanta Area.

Great meeting y’all and see you at either ATL Tweeters or the next Social Media Club meeting.



SoCon09: Social Atlanta Proves Events Aren’t Dead!

So who says events are a thing of the past?  With over well 100 people registered for dinner on Friday from ACLU lawyers to everyday folk — marketers are getting geared up for SoCon09.  I don’t know the exact count, but day 2 is over 225 participants.

This unconference will span the practical to the theoretical and should provide significant insight into effective social media strategies and tactics.   The conference includes local business folk like me, the curious and those who are passionate about social media in the south.  For a complete list of the leaders and their bio’s you can get it here.  Hopefully the group will look forward to talking about Social Media and B2B and how social media can effect business communities and the impact of social media on social good.  Friday night provides for focused discussion tables around multiple topics and Saturday includes a conversation with Chris Carfi.

Registration ends in the like 3 days.  So if you are in Atlanta and have an afternoon to spend, come learn best practices and meet others in the community trying to change how they engage their customers and the market.

Many thanks to Sherry and Leonard for getting me involved and keeping the south active in social media.