For the last three days I've been in Dallas attending and presenting at the Social Media Optimization Summit. The event was organized by Tami Siewruk and her team, and in many ways, I was an outsider. Which was a good thing.
The event was aimed primarily at the apartment industry and property managers. While Tami put together a very solid lineup of social media speakers, such as Jason Falls, Chris Penn, Geno Church, Charity Hisle, myself and others, many of us had little visibility in Tami's 'space'. This was great, because it meant that the audience, for the most part, had no pre-conceived notions about us, and our ideas and teachings had to stand on their own merits.
What I loved about the audience was that every thought we put forward was refocused through the lense of 'how does this work for my industry?' Normally when I speak at a marketing/social media event, the audience isn't this laser-focused on one particular sector or industry. But the people I met at #optsum were passionate about learning more about social media, and how it can work with and be incorporated into their current marketing efforts.
But I have to admit, as the event unfolded and I sat in on several workshops, I began to get a bit worried about my workshop. My Think Like a Rockstar workshop was focused on how rockstars create fans for their music, and how companies can replicate this via social media to create excitement for their own efforets. It was definitely the black sheep of the agenda, but somewhat to my surprise, there wasn't a chair left when the workshop started. I think that's because these people are passionate about their tenants and WANT to connect with them and were excited about the potential of using social media as a way to create and nurture relationships with their customers. It was very inspiring to see!
And speaking of inspiring, I loved how all the attendees were so passionate about Tami and her events. This is the first time when I have had attendees refer to a series of conferences as being 'life-changing events', but I heard that description more than once. Tami is planning on having a similar event (only bigger) back in Dallas in September, and if you are in the apartment industry (or even if you aren't), I highly recommend you attend!
BTW if you couldn't make it to Dallas, here's the slidedeck from my Think Like a Rockstar workshop: