Wednesday, April 30, 2008

SNCR's NewComm Forum

I'm starting this post out with a little background so the theme of it has some teeth to it. I've been in online marketing for 14 years (gulp, yep, ONE lie.)

I know that dates me, but I wanted to illustrate my years (along with blood, sweat, tears and bounced paychecks) invested in this industry, to let you know that I've had the time to attend several Internet, Web Marketing, and Tech conferences from Internet World to iMedia Summit to ad:tech to ITEC, etc.

And ya know, a conference, is a conference, is a conference with an exhibit hall and parties and some interesting keynotes. Lots of business cards exchanged, some information is relevant, some not - a good excuse to get out of the office and network. Overall for me, I haven't come across a must attend conference. They all kinda blend together.

At the beginning of this year, I spoke with an industry friend, Rick Murray, about my social-media-conference-with-a-slightly-different-lens search: more research based and a focus on conversation not marketing per se. He suggested I check out "snicker," explaining it's an acronym S N C R for a New Comm organization.

And that's how I ended up at last week's Society of New Communications Research's (SNCR) (again, pronounced Snicker) NewComm Forum. Given I'm in brand marketing, I thought this conference might be slanted toward PR or Corp Comm so I had my doubts going in, but Rick knows his stuff and I did asked for different. I definitely got different, but good different in the form of a social media conversational marketing recharge.

There were many tracks to choose from including separate ones for PR and Brand. I jumped around and was impressed with the depth of preparation, the timely case studies and the research findings shared at the sessions.

The keynotes were a mix of presentation, interview-style, and conversation. It was very "un-conferencey" and I know that's a term that's being thrown around quite a bit, but truly for a conference that is focused on research, it was very casual, adaptive and conversational.

The SNCR team lead by Jen McClure worked their booties off orchestrating the entire event flawlessly down to the minute details of introducing new attendees to speakers and tracking down extra drink tickets for the afterhours event.

And saving the best for last, SNCR was my first tweetup! I've heard so many twitterers talk about how amazing and surreal their first time meeting other twitters IRL is. And wow, words can't explain's an overwhelming experience to connect with so many twitter buds at once in person.

I have a few more personal takes on SNCR that I'll save for another post. Bottom line, SNCR's NewComm is definitely my must attend conference.


francois gossieaux said...

Hi Zena - it was great to meet you in person and I am very glad you liked it!

jenmcclure said...

Hi Zena - Thanks so much for this post. We are delighted that you enjoyed the Forum and found the Forum valuable. And, I hope you'll stay involved with SNCR! We could benefit from your expertise and energy!

Best wishes, many thanks and looking forward -