I Finally Got to See Chris Brogan Live

Okay, first, this has to be said: the Business Communicators Summit sponsored by the Kansas City IABC was INCREDIBLE!

While I leave many conferences feeling like, “Oh crap, I’m so far behind and won’t ever figure out the cool things other people are doing,” nothing could be further from the truth after yesterday’s conference.

Leaving Kansas City’s Uptown Theatre at day’s end after hearing Steve Crescenzo, Chris Brogan, and other great presenters, my brain was zooming with pages of ideas including some breakthrough ones which only seem to emerge during a highly-creative day removed from the regular routine.

Rather than writing presentation summaries, here’s a sampling of innovation instigators from throughout the day.

  • If you’re in B2B, continually watch the consumer world for ideas to co-opt. People make every B2B buying decision. Appeal to what motivates people as individuals, not as businesses. And people care about people, so put actual people with genuine stories in communications.
  • Great refresh of the tired old “Ask for forgiveness, not permission” quote from Steve Crescenzo: “Proceed until apprehended.”
  • If you’ve got customers who are spending time on social networks, then there’s got to be a customer service dimension to whatever your company’s considering in social media.
  • A pivotal mashup idea from the mouths of Steve Crescenzo and Chris Brogan: Communicators need to be talent scouts. That implies looking for people inside the company who are passionate and ooze the brand. These are your communicators in social media channels, regardless of what department they live and work in. Time-saving tip: when you start your talent hunt, begin in customer service.
  • Deliver people an artifact as quickly as you can, even if it’s a rough version of a concept. People unfamiliar with new concepts will say “no” until they’re presented with something tangible. That means you start big ideas before you get permission, and share tangible stuff before you get perfection.
  • Customers don’t give a crap about the mechanics of what you do. They’re interested in recommendations, and most importantly, the results. Go there first and fast!
  • Just like “-ista,” adding “-ati” to the end of a word makes it sound like a bigger, cool deal.
  • Great presentations are example and story-based. Are you (and by “Are you, I mean “Am I”) taking dramatic steps to make sure your presentations reflect that? Now I’m completely rethinking a blogging presentation scheduled for next Thursday.

This is simply a smattering of ideas triggered by the innovative content on social media and broader communication strategy.

If you attended the BCS (and there were a few Brainzooming readers I talked with), please share what big revelations you had in the comments section.

If you weren’t in Kansas City or were and didn’t make it to the Business Communications Summit (go ahead and kick yourself – no need to wait for permission from me), check out the live tweet stream, while it’s still available. Or as another cheat, here’s a link to notes from Chris Brogan’s presentation the day before.

Thank you KC IABC. What a day! So glad I attended. – Mike Brown

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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14 Responses to “I Finally Got to See Chris Brogan Live”

  1. Alex says:

    It was a very reaffirming event. So often you start feeling like you’re hopeless behind–then you get with a group of peers and experts in your field and realize you’re on the right track–or at least you can easily get back on track. Kudos to KCIABC. Great meeting the BrainZoomer in person, too.

    • Mike Brown says:

      Great to catch up with you in person too Alex!

      The thing that was great about this event and the attendess was with so many people in transition in their careers, it seemed like everyone you met provided an opportunity to both learn and to share your own perspectives. I talked with Lindsay Shannon of Concera Media at the networking reception. He started his business with a partner last year, and it’s going really well. Not only is that great news for them, it’s reassuring to know others are finding success in new roles!

      BTW readers – Alex has written an e-novel called “Pilate’s Cross” that you should check out!

  2. Great takeaways — had planned to blog about it myself, but not sure I could say it any better!

    • Mike Brown says:

      Thanks Jennifer, but don’t let this post stop you from blogging on it too. There were too many great break out sessions to attend them all, so it would be great to hear what other insights you walked away with.

  3. Alex says:

    I agree–success is out there. Thanks also for the book plug–if anyone reading this wants a 33% discount on my ebook, just use this code at checkout: CB95J

    Mike, you are a true gent!

  4. Sara says:

    Thanks for the Kudos to the KC/IABC team. I can’t take responsiblity, but I will pass along your compliments to them. I agree that they did a fantastic job – and thanks for sharing the creative bits. Your blog is just as inspiring as the event itself. I don’t know how they do it – but it gets better every year!

  5. Mike Brown says:

    Thanks for your kinds words Sara! It was wonderful to meet you yesterday, and do pass along congratulations to the KCIABC planning team!

  6. What a great post. Thank you for all the awesome tweets, by the way. Sorry I didn’t get to @ you back, but I was on that stage thingy.

    Hope you’re well. I’m really glad you felt so much great stuff from the event. Steve was brilliant. Wished I’d caught more of his stuff.

    • Mike Brown says:

      Chris – Thank you for taking the time to check out the post and comment. You covered a tremendous amount of ground in your presentation in a very straight forward, conversational manner. You don’t see that much in keynote presentations. Looking forward to seeing you again at the Business Marketing Association conference this June in Chicago. Conference Chair Gary Slack asked me if I’d like to introduce one of the speakers. I told him I’d like to introduce you. Hope that happens! Mike

  7. Mike:

    Thanks for the great recap post . . . you captured a lot in a short space!! Cindy and I had a blast . . .and came away with quite a few great nuggets of our own, especially from Chris Brogan.

    It was so refreshing to see someone get up there and just TALK, sans PowerPoint, and have so much to deliver. I got six pages of notes.

    Glad the conference went well, and glad we built in extra time to stay for the day and the networking reception. And, if you’re a KC local, the Frou Frog is one of the better restaurants Cindy and I have ever eaten at . . . and we eat at a lot of good ones!!

    Thanks again.

    Steve C.

  8. Paul Arnhold says:

    Your feedback is greatly appreciated by the team at KC/IABC! The event is a huge undertaking by a number of folks on our team (first and foremost Amy Stewart), but it’s comments like these that make it all worth it.

    Glad to hear you were able to pull a number of practical nuggets from BCS. Storytelling was a common theme that really resonated w/ me.

    Twitter – @parnhold

  9. Mike Brown says:

    Steve –

    I sat in on both of your presentations, and they were both outstanding. With the presentation to do on business blogging the week after the IABC conference, I was rethinking everything I had planned to talk about based on just your keynote, let alone the follow up. Thank you for your contribution to the conference!


  10. Mike Brown says:

    Paul – Thanks for your comment. Beyond practical nuggets, the day led to rethinking some fundamental elements about what Brainzooming offers. It’s always a great day when a conference can force you to relook at your business approach!



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