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Today’s the Last Day to Get NMX 2014 Tickets at Early Bird Rates!

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Did you know that this is the last week to purchase an early bird ticket for NMX 2014? Register today so you don’t miss out!

I might be a little biased, but NMX is my favorite conference of the year. Here’s why I like to go to it:

  • A Mix of Speakers: At a lot of conference, you see only the same-old, same-old speaking every year. At other conferences, there are so many newbies that you don’t know what you’re going to get. NMX has a good mix of familiar faces and new speakers every year, so there are always a variety of choices when choosing what sessions to attend.
  • Great Tools on the Show Floor: At many conferences, you’ll find big brands who are great to approach about sponsorships or review products if you are blogging in their niche, but at NMX, you overwhelming find companies who have tools that help you becoming a better content creator. That means the show floor is universally relevant, no matter what your niche.
  • The People are Amazing: Every year, I am overwhelmed by the sheer amount of awesome people I meet at NMX. People are there to learn and to network, not to get drunk and party. That’s the kind of conference I want to attend. Last year, we held a networking reception in the conference center one night instead of having another networking party at a nightclub or bar and it was a HUGE success.

I could go on and on, but if I haven’t yet convinced you to register today, let me give you a little more concrete information about the event, including who you can expect to see speaking there!

speaker group 1

NMX 2014 is shaping up to be a great conference! Earlier this week, we announced our first group of what will eventually be 300+ speakers:

  • Rob Barnett from My Damn Channel
  • Amanda Blain, the Queen of Google+
  • Rich Brooks from flyte new media
  • Mitch Canter from studionashvegas
  • Dave Delaney, author of New Business Networking
  • Dino Dogan from Triberr
  • Chris Ducker from Virtual Staff Finder
  • Kristi Hines from Kikolani
  • Aaron Hockley from Hockley Photography
  • Jessica Northey from CMChatLive
  • Cynthia Sanchez, an expert on Pinterest
  • Robert Scoble from Rackspace
  • Andrea Vahl, the edu-tainer behind Grandma Mary

You can read more about each of these speakers on our announcement post from Monday, which includes information about how to connect with each of them before the show. You can also check out our speakers page to see up-to-date information about speakers added in the future.

NMX 2014 will include not only sessions about blogging, podcasting, web TV, and social business, but also a full trade show floor, a speed networking event to help connect you with companies, networking receptions to help you meet other attendees and speakers, keynotes every day with some of the biggest names in the industry, and more! We’re working hard to make the NMX experience better than it has ever been before. Our goal is to always raise the bar.

TODAY is the last day you can pick up a ticket at early bird rates. They start at just $97, and learn more about all ticket types and register here.

Got questions? Let me know and I’ll be happy to answer them! Just leave a comment or ask on Twitter (@allison_boyer or @NewMediaExpo).

Announcing: The Social Shake-Up Conference

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The Social Shake-Up

For the last several months we have been keeping a secret from all of you and it has been killing us!

We are thrilled to announce we are partnering with our friends at Social Media Today to produce The Social Shake-Up Conference. You are most likely already familiar with Social Media Today but just in case you are not, it is a thriving, independent, 150,000+ member community of PR, marketing, advertising, and other professionals whose thorough understanding of social media is mission-critical.

What is The Social Shake-Up?

A conference and networking event focusing specifically on the needs of enterprise level businesses who are looking to evolve beyond a business with a social media policy into a true social business.

We recognize that your enterprise level business has unique needs and challenges when it comes to social, local and mobile. That you need a dedicated event where you can network, discuss and learn from your peers, thought leaders and vendors in the social business world.

What kind of content will the conference offer?

The conference will include four keynotes with world class speakers. Stay tuned for those announcements soon. We will offer several half-day, in-depth workshops and six tracks of break-out sessions covering: Big Data, Community and Customers, Content and Marketing, Mobile, Strategy & The C Suite, and The Social Organization.

Here are a few of the topics to be covered in the break-outs:

  • The 360 Customer: How Customer Care and Marketing Can Share and Use Data to Deliver a Better Experience
  • Stop Telling Me to Think Like a Publisher: Content Production Models for Brands
  • Throwing Open the Floodgates: Empowering Employees, Your Most Passionate Ambassadors
  • Playing with Lawyers: Social Media Governance
  • Frankenmarketer: The Expanding Skillset of the Marketer of the Future (my personal favorite!)

You can view the entire current schedule here.

Will there be networking opportunities?

Absolutely, tons of them! We have several informal networking events scheduled in the mornings, afternoons and evenings as well as a two hour “speed dating” period where you can set appointments with other attendees and vendors you have pre-selected to meet with before the event.

Will there be vendors?

Yes, but floor space is limited so if you are interested in participating as a sponsoring vendor please contact Patti right away at Patti@blogworldexpo.com or call 858.309.4747 ext. 109

When and where will it happen?

September 15 – 17, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta Georgia.

What does it cost?

A full access pass is $1,997 but if you are one of the first 100 people to register by May 10th you can save $1,000 and get your pass for $997!

When Can I register?

Starting right now!

When our friends at Social Media Today polled their community and asked if they wanted to attend an event like this, the response was an overwhelming yes. We have limited space for our inaugural event and it will sell out. So please register early.

Stay tuned to The Social Shake-Up site and our blog for more speaker and sponsor announcements over the upcoming days and weeks.
If you have questions or suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments section. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!

One More Day of BWELA 2011: How to Rock It

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Today, thousands of bloggers, brand ambassadors, social media professionals, internet marketers, and all-around good people will come together one last time in (this year at least) for a finally day of networking and learning. BlogWorld LA 2011 is winding down, though I hate to use that phrase. It’s actually winding up; although we’ll all soon be boarding planes and jumping into cars to go back to our separate lives, we’re leaving with more ideas – and friends – than ever. It’s a good feeling, right?

So on this, the last day of BlogWorld (until next year at least), how can you totally rock it?

  • Take pictures.

You never get home and think “Woah, I took way too many pictures.” You can always delete the ones you don’t want! Several times, however, I’ve come home from events wishing that I would have remembered to pull out my camera. You’ve probably seen some awesome professional photographers roaming the event, but don’t rely on them to capture the images that mean the most to you. Snap pictures with the new friends you meet, the speakers you adore, the expo floor…anything and everything. You won’t regret having those pictures as memories.

  • Attend sessions.

At BlogWorld, it is easy to get distracted in the halls and never make it to sessions. Networking is uber important, but try to sit in on some sessions today too. They’ve been pretty freaking amazing so far, and today’s are going to be great too. Even if you think you don’t need more education, I guarantee that you will walk away with new tips and tricks. Heck, I even saw Darren Rowse and John Chow attending sessions this weekend. If popular a-list bloggers can get value from our sessions, so can you.

  • Blog.

We get so busy with education and parties and awesomeness that most of us don’t actually blog while at BlogWorld. Don’t forget about your readers back home, though. I’m living proof that you can attend BlogWorld and keep your blog updated while there. You don’t have to write a 2000-word killer post. Just do a quick status update, report on one of the sessions you attended, post some pictures, etc. Or, at the very least, get some posts outlined as drafts so you can clean them and post them rather quickly when you get home.

  • Say hello to the BlogWorld staff.

We don’t bite; I promise! Everyone on the staff is super friendly and we roam the halls regularly. You can catch some of us in sessions (I intend to check out as many as possible tomorrow), and if all else fails, follow us on Twitter to find out where we are. We’ll all definitely be at the party afterward, so if you don’t see us during the day, hunt us down there!

  • Make plans with new friends and partners.

Saying “I’ll tweet you when I get home” or “we should definitely do a project together” is great, but it’s rare that people follow through. If you really want to make a lasting connection with people, make more solid plans before you leave. Set up a time to talk via Skype, come up with some tasks that you can both work on developing, or otherwise come up with a definite plan instead of just a wishy-washy “see you around the internets!”

BlogWorld may be coming to a close today, but there’s still time to enjoy the conference and the company. What are you doing today to totally rock it before you leave LA?

Stay Outside Your Comfort Zone

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Stay outside your comfort zone!

It’s one of the most important things you can do with any new media site, be it a blog, podcast or customised video channel. You can change the product at any point. It could be radical, or more likely it will be a little tweak here, some reworking of an element there, and the website continues on it slow evolutionary path.

But to do that you need to keep the ideas text file full of things to try out? What’s the best way of keeping your mojo flowing? Apart from thinking that BlogWorld LA might be a neat idea?

For want of a better word, keep grazing around the Internet like you graze a Conference’s Exhibition Hall.

Take Facebook as an example – with your lists of friends, and the status updates and links they post, you’re going to see, well, everything you’re expecting to see, things that you’ve told Facebook you like. If none of your friends are listening to "Anke Engestrom’s Podcast of Sand" then it’s super-unlikely you’ll ever stumble on it when staying inside your circle of friends. You need to actively go out there and "find the new."

And then you need to make a point of reading, listening (or watching) this new material. With an open mind. Just because you have no interest in pan-continental singing contests, you might learn something from a podcast about Eurovision that you can apply to your daily Major League Baseball round-up show. You’re not listening for content, you’re listening for technique. How do they handle background music, reading out URL’s, listener interaction, sponsorship messages, content structure, and everything else that goes into making a good podcast?

Where to start? Well, iTunes is a good place, primarily because of their "people listening to this also listened to" feature. Start at your favourite podcast, click on a random "people also listen to" choice… three times. Okay where are you now? That’s a good question. There’s probably a handful of ‘casts listed, so even though you’re not strictly here for content, might as well go for the most attractive one.

Do this once a week, and not only will you find some lovely little gems and broaden your horizons, you’re also going to expose yourself to a huge range of styles, techniques and the occasional "must make sure I never do that" shows. Keep a track of everything, good or bad, and listen to your own shows with that same critical process.

Oh and while you’re at it, drop an email to whoever you’ve ended up listening to. They’ll appreciate just as much as you do when you get fan mail. After all, isn’t it all about making human connections and sharing knowledge in the end?

Image Source: Rachel Clarke, Creative Commons

Get Your Blog Ready for BlogWorld New York

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You’re probably going to this week’s BlogWorld NY to meet people, to forge new links for your business, to put yourself “on display”, or a mix of all the above. Before you head in to the Convention Center, you’ll probably check yourself out in the mirror, making sure you’re at your best.

Have you done the same for your online presence?

Just before you get on your flight to BlogWorld, take five minutes to look over what everyone else will check out once they’ve met you. The first impression in the real world counts, but so does the first impression in the online world. Are you making the best use of that first moment?

 

Let’s start with your blog. If it’s not frequently updated, now is the time to put up a fresh post. My own blog is more a map to my other activities around the web, but in advance of BlogWorld, I’ve put up a short post saying that I’ll be at the conference, the best way to get in touch with me while I’m at the conference, and what I’m looking for while in New York to start the ball rolling before I even land..

It also has a recent picture of me, so people who do want to find me know what to look out for. That might not be as important to me (after all, “look for the kilt” isn’t going to turn up too many false positives)

Next up is my Twitter account, and specifically the main web page. Is the background showing what I want to show, is my avatar reflecting what I want it to reflect, and will it match with what people see after they meet me? I think it does. And is the 140 character bio still suitable?

To a certain extent the same goes for Facebook. Depending on your privacy settings you might want to keep your timeline clear of any pictures from a late night in Dusseldorf with a Maltese pop star (ask me over a pint, I might tell you then). If you’re going to be hitting the social scene at BlogWorld, keep an eye out for the tagged photo that causes mayhem. One trick you might like to employ is to create a “banner image” at the top of your profile that uses all five images to create one image (how to do this? Shane Richmond has the details). Striking and discrete at the same time.

Finally, and the one that quite a few people forget about, is LinkedIn. This is much more business-like and always feels like a “living CV” to me, but it’s one of the largest social networks out there. I’ve always got a handful of projects going at any one time, and it’s always good to make sure everything is up to date in LinkedIn with those achievements.

An event like BlogWorld for me is about making initial meetings and starting relationships – it’s one of the big reasons that I don;t mind doing a four day transatlantic trip. I want to make an impression on all fronts, and to make sure that people who want to meet me, and perhaps work with me in the future, are getting the true story no matter where they turn.

So cast an eye over your online presence – even if it’s just in the departures lounge of the airport. There’s always room for improvement!

A Complete Suck-Up’s Guide To Conference Networking

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Conferences offer one the best environments for industry leaders to get together, teach aspiring professionals and collaborate with intelligent minds from around the world. Between the official panel sessions, break room debates and after-hours discussions, there’s no lack of quality learning opportunities bundled into the price of the conference pass.

But that’s not the real reason why you’re attending. You’re there to meet people. Important people. You don’t even plan on sitting in on most of the talks. Why waste your time learning a thing or two in a boring session when there are are dozens of “influencers” just outside the door waiting for you to flood them with your awesomeness?

You’re the conference suck-up.

To you, networking is the be-all end-all of attending conferences. Learning, listening, participating, collaborating… those are activities for the feeble minded. You already know everything about everything, right? Now’s the time to let everyone know this with brute force. Business cards in hand, you fling them any chance you get – especially towards those higher up on the perceived ladder. Of course, why even waste them at all on people who can’t help you get ahead one bit?

Your conference success depends solely on how many A-listers you can get noticed by. The amount of intrusion you can muster into their discussions. The ability to mention your “it’s like a mix between a photo-blog, social network and bird watching” project as many times as physically possible in a 90 second conversation.

This is a war of attrition. Take no prisoners. All superficial glory. Do you think all the industry superstars you look up to reached their status simply based on talent? Nonsense. You know better. It’s not about bringing value to the table. It’s all about sucking up.

As a blogger, BlogWorld Expo is the holy grail of networking events. Tons of A-listers. Tons of attendees. While you may be the jedi master of fake handshakes locally, realize you’ll be heading to Las Vegas to compete against the very best suckuptologists in the world. Be prepared for cut-throat tactics. Be prepared for casualties. It most definitely will be a dog-eat-dog environment.

What can you do to gain an extra edge on all the other slobber-overdosed networking fiends?

1. Buy the booze.

Not even the straightest edged blogstars can turn down free drinks. It’s as natural to them as cloaked affiliate links. Go with top shelf, though. Remember, their time is money. After downing six Johnnie Walker’s, it’s the perfect opportunity to discuss a joint venture deal. C’mon, you actually think they’d even consider your awful project when they’re sober?

Make sure you shove a dozen business cards in their pocket because there’s no chance in hell they’ll even remember you otherwise the next day. Sure, you may not get much out of it, but at least these rockstars will never forget the name of who got them totally hung over the morning of their important keynote.

2. Don’t just follow. Stalk.

Anyone can exchange fake pleasantries after a conference session. That’s what your competition will likely do. Instead of being part of the suck-up swarm that surrounds speakers after their talks, get guerrilla on their butts. Using your mobile phone, set up a command center to keep tabs on all the important influencers. Twitter, Foursquare, the whole nine yards. If they’re not on your list, consider everyone else as collateral damage.

Show up at breakfast. Show up at dinner. Show up at their hotel room. Call ahead and find out if their hotel stocks translucent shower curtains. It’s a perfect hiding spot to catch them alone. Once you do, shove their best selling book in their chest, mutter something incoherent and pass out. Seeing your half-naked body on their hotel room floor, the rockstar will almost be forced to help you at that point. Either they do or risk 500 other bloggers writing disparaging posts about their “inappropriate business dealings”.

3. Swag it up.

Nothing says you’re the real deal more than useless swag. That’s the secret key to a successful personal brand. T-shirts, stickers, caps, key chains, coffee mugs, mouse pads, candlesticks, arrowheads, car mufflers, tiger leashes and water towers. If you can make it on Vistaprint or CafePress, go for it. Spare no expense.

Nevermind the fact you just started a blog yesterday on Tumblr to share your pointless diatribes about the latest American Idol episode – the only way to make it is to fake it, baby! Bring enough swag to give to every human being within a 50 mile radius. Those A-list superstars would have to be blind not to notice you every step they take that weekend. Scream out your blog’s tagline “I’m going to bloggywood!” every chance you get just for good measure.

4. Photographs and autographs.

There’s no way better to pad a blogstar’s already enormous ego than to request an autograph. Of course, you don’t even have their best-selling book for them to sign since you’ve never actually read it in the first place. Having the least bit on knowledge about the A-lister’s work shouldn’t stop you from needlessly trying to leverage their influence.

Forget the digital camera, though. Bring a Polaroid so you can have them sign a photo on the spot. This way you can bring proof of your awesome sauce back home with you. Do you really care if your brother’s first reaction is “who’s this overweight slob standing next to you?” Remember, for extra bonus face time with the rockstar after taking the photo, make sure you stand near him/her awkwardly for the next 35 minutes without saying a word.

5. Ask lots of questions.

This one separates the true networking ninjas from the vomit-inducing wannabes. To prepare, map out your conference session schedule so you can be present at the end of as many talks as possible. Everyone knows that most speakers only have gas for about 45 minutes until they resort to filling time with Q&A. It’s a perfect opportunity to interject yourself as the center of attention.

Q&A is your time to shine. Raise your hand immediately. Run to the microphone. Spend the first full minute proclaiming how awesome the speaker is. In the next two minutes, ramble on about who you are and where you blog. For the following five minutes, share all your insipid thoughts on why you’re even asking the question in the first place. Forget said question. Now that you’ve completely wasted all the time for anyone else, there’s no person the rockstar will remember other than you!

Jordan Cooper is a 14-year professional stand-up comedian who showcases his sarcastic humor with videos and written rants about blogging, social media & marketing at Not A Pro Blog. Follow his hilarious daily antics on Twitter @NotAProBlog.

Speaking of Speakers

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keynote It has been a long road or journey, one that I might pack for differently given what I know now, but a journey that has been fun.  I first agreed to help work this conference as far back as 2006 when I first met Rick Calvert in Seattle at a blogging conference.  I have seen our BlogWorld & New Media Expo go from an idea to one of the largest, if not THE largest conferences in this industry.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to have worked in the capacity of Conference Chairman this year, putting together the lineup.  I have some big shoes to fill with Dave Taylor having done this in previous events.  It has been a number of 20 hour days and lots of phone calls and meetings and emails and tweets and pony express riders to get to this day but we are finally here.

The speaker “grid” as we like to call it has been posted and we will be discussing it at length today on Blog World Expo Radio on Blog Talk Radio.  My guest on the show will be Rob Walch, the brains behind the podcasting and video tracks.  The tracks Rob worked on were very important because they are a culmination of experts that will be representing our first blending of New Media Expo and BlogWorld& New Media Expo.  As you may remember, we acquired that event that was similar in nature to ours and that announcement was made back in December of 2008.  We hope that the lineup we have for this year will be as great as the podcasting and videocasting world has come to expect from that event.

Feel free to give us feedback on the lineup thus far.  As you can see with its current state it is a living and breathing document.  Believe me when I say I have tried numerous times to beat it into submission and make it behave, and most of the time it has beat me back.  There are some tracks that we have yet to put into the system and some that are still be worked on and probably the most difficult items are yet to be completed, the keynotes for the event.  I can assure you those will be dynamite!

Thank you for your patience, especially to all of the hundreds, of people that made submissions for sessions or presentations.  It was very difficult to choose from the number of presentations.  We did not have any difficulty in getting quality speakers from the many that submitted.  I would urge you to get your ticket and register for this group of fine presentations. The speakers and experts we have assembled will allow you to justify spending some time in Las Vegas, October 15-17, 2009.

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