Between meetings, I managed to catch half a day of a conference that my company is running, Integrated 2.0 Communications that Christina (one of our conference producers) put together. Sitting in the back of the room I was first impressed that the back channel strategy of using Jiwai.de as a way to stimulate questions was actually having some effect. Being a multi-lingual event with some presentations in Chinese and some in English, the audience wasn't extremely interactive but by having posts to a dedicated number on jiwai, projected on a secondary screen beside the stage, allowed for comments as well as questions to be posed anonymously which I think went down well with a shy audience, especially with the overseas speakers. We tried this last year at another event that we did called Nurturing and Commercialising Online Communities and it was probably not as well received as this year. I can see us using this more and more in our tech related events.
The presentations that I did get to see were the ones from Ginger Zhu of Nike, Len Starnes of Bayer Schering Pharma and the one from Michael Darragh of Ogilvy PR.
The presentations from Ginger and Len were a good insight into the mentality of digital strategists and their strategies as well as a peek into the rationale behind some of the strategies that were adopted. Nike's focus seem to be about engaging their customers and positioning Nike as more than a footwear and apparel brand. Through their Nike Plus campaign in Australia they challenged runners through the Nike + Ipod product by creating a virtual competition of who could run the furthest in a two week period. A truly inspired strategy in my opinion to tap into the addictive nature of running.
Len on the other hand looked at the various platforms that already existed in the US and Europe for the healthcare sector. He mentioned a couple of services that I had never heard of such as Revolution Health & Sermo that is evidence that doctors are actually a really lonely bunch of people.
The day concluded with the presentation from Michael Darragh outlining strategies on how the traditional principles of media management really do work with bloggers and BSB's. The underlying principals being to be personal, honest and to give something back. Sounds a little like my twittiquette suggestions but of course, my opinion comes straight from my arse as opposed to years of research, trial and error.
Overall, the first day of the conference was a good look at the tip of the iceberg. Tomorrow promises to also be a good day with presentation from Cisco, Unilever and a mini workshop by Shelly Bernstein. My only regret is that I've managed to miss Sam Flemming on all three occasions that we've had the honor of having him on stage. (Sam, if you're reading this, you gotta let me buy you a beer or something).
Disclosure: I run the company that is running this little get together.