Track5 Takes on Philly | Marketing Attends Digital Summit 2018

Sometimes, the most valuable thing you take away from traveling to a business conference isn’t industry related – sometimes it’s the connections you build with your team members, and the shared experience of going into it together. This week our marketing team traveled from Lancaster to Philadelphia for the Digital Summit marketing conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

There’s only three of us in the marketing department, and we spend 40 hours a week at work. So basically, we spend more time together than we do with our families, significant others or friends. Yet, were rarely spend that time getting to know each other or doing what some would call “team building.” This week, we were able to do both – grow professionally while learning more about each other. As a result, we have returned with new knowledge and as a stronger team!

With that said, here are four highlights of our trip to Philly and the top three things we learned at the Digital Summit marketing conference!

Four Highlights of Our Trip to Philly

1. We explored the city

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Philadelphia is notorious for its mural art and breathtaking architecture. But it doesn’t have the nickname of Filthadelphia for no reason… there’s lots of trash on the streets, and sadly, many homeless people who are struggling. Luckily, we were able to admire some art and feed a few of the less fortunate while we were in town. It was fun just to stroll through the neighborhoods and check things out together.

2. We got to hang out in a casual setting

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Our team enjoyed a few drinks at BRÜ Craft & Wurst. From left to right: Lenay, Troy, and Margaret

There’s something to be said about a casual happy hour with your coworkers. Want to try my beer? Ew, that one is gross. I like mine better. Seated outside on a busy, Center City street, we people watch. A group of drunk college girls stumbles by, one snacking on her leftover pizza right out of the box. This triggers story time… “I remember when I was in college… ” You learn a lot about your coworkers when you break free from the office walls. And it feels good to laugh and relate on a personal level after a long day of work and travel.

3. We ate some delicious food

We may have many differences, but thankfully, we all like Italian food. Not to rub it in or anything, but we ate pretty well on our work trip…

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Maggiano’s Center City Philadelphia

4. We learned a lot at the Digital Summit marketing conference

Just to be clear, we didn’t only eat, drink and gossip on this trip. We also learned a lot and shared an incredible experience networking with thousands of other people in our industry. I’ll admit it. We nerded out a bit and got excited about trending digital marketing topics.

With that said, here are the top three take-a-ways I learned at the Digital Summit marketing conference:

Top Three Take-a-Ways from the Digital Summit Marketing Conference

1. There are always new tools emerging for marketers

The two most helpful tools I learned about at the conference were related to SEO and page design. The first tool I learned about was an additional plug-in for Yoast that tells you what blogs you already have on WordPress that might be related to the one you’re currently writing. The plug-in lists these blogs on the right side as you’re typing, which is great in helping you create internal links. I can see this tool being especially helpful for people who are new to the marketing team. For example, our interns don’t necessarily know everything we’ve written about in the past.

Another tool I learned about, which would be extremely helpful for all of our brands is tinypng.com. It is a website that compresses your images so that the file size isn’t so big. Large images often slow down page load time, but yet you don’t want to alter the size and distort the image. This tool reduces the image file size without compromising its quality.

2. Talk to your consumers the way you wish businesses would talk to you

Sometimes people say the simplest of things, and yet a reminder of something so basic can change everything. For example – talk to your consumers the way you wish businesses would talk to you. One speaker pointed out that there’s probably a pizza shop in every town that is advertising as “the world’s best pizza.” We don’t believe those signs, right? Then why would we market to our audience that way? Think about how to deliver a message to your fans that is authentic, sincere and still incentivizes them to use your brand. This thought process can also be applied when emailing prospects for link building. Don’t shoot them a basic email with a weak sale. Talk to them like you would your friend, and see how far your authenticity will take you.

3. Don’t forget to work on yourself

The third and most memorable take-a-way from this year was something related to soft skills. Across the board, I think this is the most important thing we could all improve upon – time management and productivity. The final keynote speaker, Daniel Pink, is notorious for compiling and explaining various research on timing. A best-selling author of several books on behavioral science, he raised some really good points. For example, he asked, what point in our workday are we most alert? Then, what type of work are we doing during that time? He broke it down for us. Most people have three stages to their day: a peak, a trough and a recovery. What does that mean? Basically, you’re sharpest in the morning and at night, with a lull midday. Sounds familiar, right? According to Pink, you should do your analytical work in the morning (that means stop checking emails right when you get to work!), do your administrative tasks when you’re in your trough stage and do your insightful or creative projects last.

Pink - Digital Summit Marketing Conference

Best-selling Author Daniel Pink was the Keynote Speaker at the Digital Summit marketing conference.

Were you at the digital summit? What did you learn? Share with us in the comments below!

Conference Tips and Tricks | Digital Summits and Beyond!

As digital marketers, it can be in our nature to deal with things from the comfort of a computer screen — and yet as much as we’d like to forget, digital marketing takes as much real-life, human interactions as it does strategic marketing wizardry! With Track5Media’s marketing team preparing for the upcoming Digital Summit in Philadelphia, we thought we’d share some of our most coveted conference tips and tricks.

Whether your team is headed to an industry-related conference for the first time or you’re flying solo, there are lots of things to consider before even stepping foot in the venue. So let’s get started!

5 Major Conference Tips and Tricks

conference tips and tricks

1. Organize your Pre-Conference Plan

They’ll be dozens of sessions led by some of the top influencers from far and wide, so that means you’ll need to pregame! No, not the type involving shotgunning beers in the parking lot, I’m talking about getting your plan together ahead of time. Of all the conference tips and tricks listed here, this one might be the single most important!

If you think you’ll just “figure it out when we get there” you may be on track to throwing away hundreds of dollars and missed opportunities for networking! Believe me, you’ll want to plan out exactly just which presentations you’ll be attending, scouting out any meet-and-greets, and of course, maximizing each intermission to keep everything running smoothly. If possible, grab a map ahead of time in order to avoid walking into a speaker’s presentation halfway through — ouch!

2. Hit the Biggest Keynotes

There’s nothing worse than checking Twitter and seeing valuable industry news you missed while wasting time elsewhere. If there are any big announcements, insights, or reveals during a keynote speech you should absolutely be in that room! In a lot of cases, keynotes don’t often hold break out sessions, meaning you won’t have to worry about missing other speakers or events… as long as you mind tip #1!

In any case, these keynote presentations are the crux of any conference, helping you and your team to really engage in the conversation and find solid talking points for anyone else you may encounter during your time there. You may not have much to relate to someone, but attending the same session can really get the ball rolling!

3. Don’t limit Your Scope!

Although most conferences are unified by a central theme or industry, that doesn’t mean every session offered will apply to your day-to-day needs at work. At the same time, some of the best insights can come from seemingly unrelated topics. They say you don’t know what you don’t know, and besides being stupidly redundant, there’s truth in that.

conference tips and tricks

Even sessions that are less-relevant to your focus can be useful if they are highly strategic. You’ll find that most marketing topics are extremely interrelated, so all it takes is one unseen connection between two topics to spawn your next breakthrough campaign — who knows!

4. Have the Right Gear Ready

Most conferences are not said and done in a single day, so you’ll need to be sure you can keep your momentum going the whole time. There’s nothing more stressful than trying to enter a new contact or follow someone on social media just to have your phone die! Extra battery packs, memory cards, and other accessories can be quick fixes to an electronic pickle.

We can’t stress this next point enough: Pack enough business cards! In the event your phone dies or someone else’s kicks the bucket, having a good ol’ fashioned analog business card may just save the day when meeting new or potential clients. Maybe they’ll get flung into the trash, or maybe fall out of a folder at a perfectly serendipitous moment — either way these little pieces of cardboard are never without their use!

If you have products to display or demo, make that a high priority. No one likes to watch you fumble around with faulty internet connections or other difficulties when a potential sale is on the line. Additionally, we mostly buy products because they make things easier, so don’t be your own worst enemy when it comes to demos!

5. Follow Up However Possible

So now that you’ve had your fun, it’s time to return home and get digging through all that swag, those business cards, and your notes (you were taking notes weren’t you??). You can do all the pitching and networking you want, but if you never follow up with anyone… did it really happen?

Send whatever follow up emails you can, reminding your contacts where you met, what you discussed, and about any ways to further collaborate or connect. Conferences can be hectic, exciting, but ultimately very productive so long as you really take the time to digest the experience. If nothing else, be sure to hold a team meeting where everyone can integrate whatever valuable conference nuggets they’ve prospected!

Finally, the Track5 team is headed to the Digital Summit in Philly at the end of August. If you’re going- be sure to hit us up!

conference tips and tricks

Did you find these conference tips and tricks useful? Let us know how you’re preparing for your next big company event in the comments below!