Tag Archives: Conferences

Jul 22

BlueGlassLA Goes Full Circle & Drops Knowledge

When it comes to conferences let’s just say I’ve been to a few. Okay maybe more than a few…maybe more like a lot. Okay fine! I admit it…I’m a conference junkie.  I can’t help it, somewhere between too much coffee, a few too many cocktails, and a lot of handshaking I find myself completely elated to be in this industry…with all of you.

{Enter BlueGlassLA.}

This past week I have been in Los Angeles (huge thank you to Rand—my boss for allowing me to work from coffee shops and enjoy the Southern California sunshine), for the first ever BlueGlassLA conference. For those of you (clearly living under a rock) and not sure what BlueGlass is, you can read all about the merger here, and quickly understand why I was excited for this one.

After tweeting out I was attending a few weeks back I got a DM from someone—who I will not publically embarrass at this time—and it said, “seriously what could possibly be special about this one, it will be the same old stuff.” My reply was, “just you watch, this one will be special.”

{Pats self on back for being right}.

BlueGlassLA didn’t just attract a top-notch speaker lineup, but it filled the room with people that are making waves in our industry. I was literally shocked to see all of those faces in one room, and even more shocked to see them all meeting each other, hitting it off, trading biz cards, clinking glasses. I mean wow…just…wow.

Okay this post isn’t meant to make you feel bad about missing BlueGlassLA (although it may not have been your best decision ever) instead I wanted to highlight something original that BlueGlassLA reminded me of…

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

What the hell am I talking about? BlueGlassLA set out to change up the conference agenda. You can tell by scoping out the schedule they wanted to capture the full cycle of Internet marketing, from the very beginning (seeking out investment) to the middle chaos (trying to build a community and harness attention) to the end challenges (increasing traffic, making money, optimizing the pieces).

While I have always been aware that you needed each piece to perform for success, I think somewhere along the way I forgot that it’s not about having each piece do well, it’s about having them intersect and do AMAZINGLY well.

The BlueGlassLA speakers each spoke to their successes, their failures, and everything in between but perhaps even more importantly, in my opinion, is that they all alluded to this idea of reaching out to your network for help in the areas you don’t know. In doing this, you are able to make sure that no piece is overlooked, or half-assed.

Even the moderators and BlueGlass employees themselves touched on this as they complimented each other (in typical sarcastic, smart-ass ways) on how well they each know their piece of the Internet marketing pie. By surrounding yourself with people that are the best at what they do, you start to see a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

I felt like this whole damn conference exuded this tenet, and I was privileged to sit in the audience. I think in many ways the conference audience became an extension of the knowledge on stage…again demonstrating the power of smart people eager to learn more.

Too often at conferences there are “tracks” of topics, and I go about my paid search, SEO, and social panels. While I get to see friends, and hear about a new site or tool to check out, I rarely walk away thinking “Jesus that just blew my mind.”

By tearing down the walls between the different parts of Internet marketing and filling in some, too often overlooked, holes, I think this conference reminded me just how little I know. For those of you who know me well, you know that I value few things more than “knowledge” and “exposure to new ideas.” They keep us humble, and stretching, and motivated.

While I could have written about my experience at BlueGlassLA in a few different ways, I felt the need to really reiterate—what I believe—to be BlueGlassLA’s biggest achievement—the way in which they took a bunch of really smart Internet marketers and reminded us just how much more we have to learn.

For that I think the audience walked away from the conference a little more excited to “get after it,” and that is freaking priceless.

Did you mess up by not attending? Yeah. You. Did.

Luckily for you, and for me, it looks like they are going to be putting on another one later this year in New York. See you there? I’ll be up front eating my piece of humble pie.