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SOBCon08: A narrowcast effort for sponsors’ brands

SOBCON08 – definitely a good event on all fronts – hotel, venue, food, people and content. There are plenty of great re-caps online about what took place at SOBCon from a content perspective, lessons learned, visuals and a even musical spins, but not a whole lot on the sponsors of the event which definitely help make the event a success. Several key sponsors participated throughout the Jim Beam, Utterz, Buzz Logic and Network Solutions, which I’ve labeled “platinum sponsors” based on my ability to remember mainly. There were a couple of bronze and tin sponsors thrown in, but since no of the other stuck in my head, I’m focusing on the platinum sponsors.

With a focused group of bloggers north of 100, each of the sponsors below innately improve the impression of their brand with the group and create awareness for their offerings and brand.

Jim Beam

They brought the brand manager and his pitch seemed completely honest, if just a little bit unstructured. Even a little humorous with his public declaration of “what is blogger casual”? I didn’t know either, so my laughter was for a different reason. Brand guy spent 3-5 minutes doing a recap of their nascent social media strategy while acknowledging this was all a new thing for them and they came to learn. Thanks to his rambling confession of lack of knowledge, every Sicilian Kiss I order going forward will be with Jim Beam.

What is a Sicilian Kiss? A Sicilian Kiss is a drink which is 1/2 Whiskey, 1/2 Amaretto and a splash of orange juice chilled (shaken over ice) and served as a shot.


The bald guy was there – he pimped a Bessie or two, did some demos and did the video ad thing which Jen won. The selection process Sim engineered was very egalitarian and represented the voice of the people. The process also offered another opportunity to meet folks and share ideas.

Overall the Utterz participation was a cool thing all around. I just seem to like this company just a little more after their sponsorship and am wondering when I will just make the call and shave my head. What was your tipping point Sim?

Buzz Logic

A company I had previously not heard of which apparently does influence visibility, ok I have see folks post on them like Jeremiah, but didn’t spend any time figuring out what they did. Know that I know, there are just a bunch of uses for this for businesses and bloggers alike. Uses from companies range I suspect from competitive intelligence, brand influencing and as strategic planning tool for social media. It could also be used potentially for demand shaping. Buzz Logic invested throughout the event starting on boat night. Great music and a reasonable liquor thanks to their willingness to throw down some hard earned VC cash.

Buzz Logic not only was nice enough to sponsor, but they sent two hotties as the demo team, Valerie and the other one. Both provided real-time product demos on topics of interest for each person they engaged – personalized demos WORK! Good stuff for everyone which got the opportunity to work with both of them over the conference.

Network Solutions

Active participants throughout the event. Provided web site analysis for the participants which I personally didn’t benefit much from, but I may not of asked the right questions or something which impacted the value. They even had a guy who was now going to blog after his attendance based his newly found understanding of blogging. Dude, let us know the the URL when you’re “online”, as I would like to see what you do. Your name would be cool tool.

A Humanized Brand

After re-reading my post so far, I’ve noticed a common theme – humanization. By deciding to engage people and not crowds with their sponsorship each company developed relationships with users/buyers/influencers/evangelists. While I may not remember all the components of everyone’s solution, stories or names – I do remember the effort. By sponsoring this event these folks have done more than an Ad, blog post or “coordinated” social media campaign could.

At the end of the day, that’s what SOBCon was about – meeting people, learning thier stories and trying to improve. There was very little personality driven discussion or focus it was more about process – trust me as the short guy with that cool chick Emily.

PLEASE NOTE: I authorized the use of the term hottie prior to posting with both Valerie and the other one, Sandra Ponce de Leon.

L is for LOSER

It’s official I am a LOSER in the SOBCon08 contest. Emily would also say L is for LAME too, but I try not to think about all the negative L-words. So I didn’t win the SOBCon post contest, but I did create some new connections and had a great time doing it. To that end, I’m glad that money is as good as cash, not an exact quote from Yogi Berra, but I was able to register on my own and did so ONLY because of the contest. So Chicago here I come!

So the winner was the Free guest post guy @ New Music Strategies, not sure how he is going to award the guest post to himself, but he apparently has options since he is the WINNER! Congrats! See you then Andrew.

Are YOU going to SOBCon08? Leave a comment to send me a tweet and let me know if you are going to be there.  Look forward to making some new connections before the show in ORD.  SOBCon is going to be great, hope you can make it.