It was a little bit of business and pleasure at the 2012 Marketing Profs B2B Forum in Boston.
The town was covered with a thick fog when I arrived at dusk to the Westin Copley Place for the event. Despite traveling all day and desperately wanting to order room service and lay in bed, I convinced myself to be social. So after a quick, much needed shower, I grabbed a cab with a couple of fellow marketers to the welcome reception. During the 10-minute drive, I learned they were the keynote speakers for the social media marketing track, Amber Naslund and Matt Ridings, Co-founders of SideraWorks. After exchanging stories and admiring the city sites as they whipped by, we arrived at Lucky Strike Lanes for a night of networking and bowling.
As I walked into the swanky lounge area that prefaced the room’s private bowling alley, I immediately saw Matt T. Grant and Tim Washer, two pros I had met at SocialTech 2012. It was great to see some familiar faces in a sea of new ones and after catching up with them I met several other friendly marketers from all over the U.S. and Canada. I even joined a bowling team and played right up until the last bus left. I was pleasantly surprised that my otherwise low-key evening had turned into a really fun night.
The next day, I had breakfast with a woman who I quickly learned was Ardath Albee, CEO of Marketing Integrations, Inc., and a speaker at the event. It wasn’t until I was in her session that I discovered she was the author of my most recent read and new favorite marketing book, “e-Marketing Strategies for the Complex Sale.” Ardath’s presentation was fabulous and it was a treat to hear her expand on the same strategies she covered in her book.
Michael Brenner from SAP, gave another great presentation, demonstrating how to build a content strategy and offered some great actionable tips. I also sat at a luncheon roundtable with social marketing strategist and author, Paul Gillin, who’s book, “Social Marketing to the Business Customer,” I had just started. The table shared and discussed content and social marketing strategies and I got some great insights from Paul.
After the first full day of sessions, I was elated to have met two great authors and marketers, as well as attend some great, relevant sessions on topics from content marketing to tradeshow strategies.
The evening continued with an event at Clery’s pub, just a few blocks away from the hotel. After a long day, it was nice to share a pint and good conversations with an intimate group of conference attendees. But the fun didn’t end there.
A group of us then moved over to a sponsored after party at Storyville bar, where we continued to network, goof off in the photo booth and sip on signature drinks. Although it was fun to experience the Boston nightlife after a long day of learning, there was still one full day left.
The next day continued with great presentations, including stand outs from Joe Pulizzi on Content Marketing and Lee Odden on integrating various digital strategies to optimize the sales funnel. There was even a heated debate about customer acquisition verses customer development that provided great insights on where companies with limited resources should focus their efforts.
After two packed days of B2B marketing education, it was time to leave Boston. It was a quick, fun and educational event where I gathered awesome insights and connected with great pros and peers.
It’s always great when you can get your business done, but also find time to have some fun.
Disclosure: I was not given any type of compensation for mentioning any of the people, books and/or companies in this post. I am mentioning them because of the great impression/impact they have had on me as a professional.