Rohit Bhargava is a well-respected marketer and blogger and frequent speaker at conferences, including the upcoming MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer. Having attended countless business, marketing and social media conferences, Rohit makes sure that attendees get the best possible experience—before, during, and after each event.
Here, he shares advice on how to get the most from the conference experience and discusses where social media is headed, as well as how businesses can make the most of it.
Q: You're a very popular speaker and have a constant list of conferences to which you've been invited to speak. But it seems there's a new marketing/social media conference popping up every day, and for potential attendees it can seem a bit overwhelming. What are a few things that attendees should look for from an event to ensure that they will get their money's worth?
A: You're right, there are a ton of events coming up, and it's tough to choose which ones to spend time at. The most obvious way most people probably evaluate events is by the quality of the speakers who will be there. That's a measure I use to decide where to speak as well. The quality of the programming is also important in terms of what the session topics are and how the event is organized in relation to what you are most interested in learning about.
The other thing I would pay attention to is the companies who will be exhibiting or sponsoring the event. They have had to do the work to determine if the conference is worth spending money to sponsor, so any event that can bring in a good assortment of sponsors is obviously doing something right.
Q: Earlier this year, I met you and several other members of Ogilvy PR at South by Southwest and Blogger Social. As a result of connecting with you and your colleagues John, Kaitlyn and Virginia, I now have a better opinion of Ogilvy, as a result. How important do you think it is for companies to have their representatives attend events such as these and connect with influencers and potential customers?
A: This is hugely important because it speaks to a topic that you know I believe in—that brands need to have a personality and bring their company to life through their employees and their brand evangelists.
For us in our Digital Influence team, the fact that we're at these events is a big deal for our business not just in getting new clients but also in getting really high-quality people interested in working with us and joining our team.
Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.
LinkedIn: Mack Collier