Today is Wednesday here in Columbus, Ohio, and I’m sitting here by the pool doing some work after the Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference wrapped up last night. This is the second time I’ve been to this event, the last time was in Houston in April this year. I decided to come back to attend the event a second time round as I really felt like I had missed out on a lot of content the first time round. Typical of most events, there were multiple streams and as always you can not be in both streams at once hence the comment about missing out on things. I was not disappointed in my investment of time or $$ to be here.
I really must congratulate Jennifer Laycock, Rachel Philips and their team for putting on an amazing event. The food was fantastic, the speakers were spot on target and the attendees represented a mixture across the board from other SEO gods and goddesses to small business owners trying to grow their business using smart ways online. My ONLY negative comment from this whole event was that the Internet access sucked. Having said that I will make two further comments – 1 being that they were reliant on the venue’s Internet access facilities and based on what I saw they didn’t even know how to secure the wireless access points from the default configurations, and 2 being that I’ve seen bigger events run by Microsoft such as TechEd Australia with 2000 attendees where even MS could not make the Internet access work reliably.
I was pleased to be able to help with a donation to the Charity Auction of an Aussie Gift Pack – this was comprised of some things I brought from home including an Aussie BBQ apron, Aussie Slang T-Shirt, Aussie stubbie holder (they call them coozies here) a large pack of Tim Tams, and a number of packs of Freddo Frogs, Caramello Koalas, and Cherry Ripes. Jackie Baker from SiteLogic was the highest bidder of the pack and promptly refused to share it with all and sundry (and I really can’t blame her cos I would not either ;-)).
One of the other things that I brought with me was Ken – Ken Garoux is his full name – he’s an inflatable Kangaroo that travels with me on my international jaunts. Ken is a great Ice Breaker and it’s really a way to break down the initial "hellos" very quickly. Ken was a bit of a star and appeared around the place in various sessions and even took part in the Speed Networking event prior to the start of the conference itself. Being that this event was all about online marketing, Ken quickly established himself with a Facebook page, a Twitter account (@kengaroux) and a Gmail account (firstname.lastname@example.org). Basically it was a novel way to break the ice and provided some fun "alter ego’s" for a few of Ken’s minders over the event. Also it’s one sure way that I – Wayne Small will be remembered amongst this crowd of people as more than just "that crazy aussie" – see – that’s all part of my marketing plan really.
The question is what is your marketing plan? What are you doing today, tomorrow and next week to market your business and make people remember your name? Think it’s too hard? Think again. Over the next few weeks i’ll assemble a few great links on how you can build your marketing plan quickly, and cost effectively.
STOP PRESS: I just found out that Ken Garoux has been mentioned by Anita Campbell on her Small Business Trends website http://www.smallbiztrends.com/2008/09/top-ten-online-marketing.html/ Thanks Anita – I’m glad you enjoyed the fun 🙂