BCAMA hosted their Vision conference on May 14 at the Rocky Mountaineer Station in Vancouver. It was a bright an early morning as the conference started at 8am. Free parking was provided at the Edgewater Casino with a shuttle to the venue, which was nice. This was a completely jam packed conference, so I will highlight some of the key takeaways below in a quick summary.
The theme was PLAY, and it resonated throughout the conference. Name tags were coloured in four different colours with a large letter on the back- P L A Y. There was even a point when we were encouraged to find three other attendees who had different letters and spontaneously engage in conversation. This was a fun way to encourage dialogue.
First up on the docket was Gabe Zichermann, author of Game Based Marketing. This was a great kickoff to the conference. He covered the subject of an engagement crisis and ways to effectively use games to engage with your audience. Key takeaways included:
1. Don't create a “crappy” marketing game. No one is going to pay for your version of the FREE Candy Crush game.
2. Engage your audience with challenges and achievements to create the “yeahhhhh” feeling, encouraging an intrinsic reinforcement need.
3. The three F's users want–>feedback, friends and fun. The more times these areas can be touched upon, the more successful your strategy will be.
Up next, was a series of five “loud tables”. These were a collection of speed networking type sessions where you were able to select and choose your speaker and hear from them for a short 20 minutes, then rotate through four more. There were nine speakers to choose from, and my only critique here is that there were no female options. However, this was noted on social media and the BCAMA team was really quick to respond and take note of this consideration. Hope to see more female representation next year.
The speakers I chose to hear from revolved a lot around brands I admire (Herschal), social media and mobile development. This was a really neat way to present a variety of different perspectives in a relatively short period of time. As the first time I experienced this type of presentation at a conference, I surprisingly really enjoyed it.
The last notable I will mention was the closing keynote, Dustin Garis, (who doesn't seem to have Twitter) of Proctor and Gamble. This was absolutely one of the most engaging speakers I have seen to date. He opened up with a “stunt double” who break danced. It was definitely a well needed wake up call, as it was getting towards the end of the day and I was fading.
He further engaged with the audience by bringing up a human beat boxer, who was amazing, a laughing yoga instructor and an brilliant live artist who illustrated a large portion of his talk in real time. It was really something to witness. His key points were really focused on creating innovation to add more humanness to marketing:
2. How can you use marketing to make the everyday extraordinary? (i.e. West Jet Christmas campaign)
3. Be innovative by doing innovative things. Diversity your research. If you are only going after your target market, you will only get typical response. Think more broadly and try something you haven't done before.
These are just a few point from pages of notes I wrote down and typed onto my phone during the 2014 Vision conference. If you weren't able to attend, definitely check out the hashtag #bcama to see some more nuggets of vision or wisdom.
Congratulations to the BCAMA for an impressive conference filled with inspiring takeaways and loads of networking opportunities.