A few weeks ago, I started noticing that a lot of people were talking about Blog World Expo 2010. BWE, as it’s known, is held in Las Vegas, and it’s basically a Thanksgiving buffet of everyone I could ever want to meet from my Social Media world. People I admire will be speaking. People I admire will be roving the halls. Did I mention it’s in Las Vegas?
I have been hearing about a lot of other shows and conferences aimed at the Social Media world as well, and I have been dreaming about attending. I have fantasized about how nice it would be to get to have one of my Twitter chats in real life with some of the folks I talk to every week like, SITTING RIGHT THERE. It sounds terrific. It sounds like it would be a blast. But then I say to myself, “Hold up a minute, self. How would this help you reach your goals? How would this help your clients?”
Marketing is a service industry
Everything I do comes down to the core of my professional self. I am here to help our clients. I am here to help my co-workers help our clients. I am here to help other people, either in a friendly way or in a business-related way.
For me, right now, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to be at work, fully accessible to our clients and to my co-workers. Times are still uncertain, as everyone knows. I want our clients to know that I am keeping my nose to the grindstone at all times, learning so that I can pass knowledge to them, working so that they can flourish.
Does going to Blog World meet that criteria? I would certainly learn a lot. But the fun I would have would far outweigh the direct business benefits our clients or our company could get out of my trip. Meanwhile, I would be rather inaccessible, not only due to being at various panel talks but also because of the time difference. Does that send the right message?
Preaching to the Choir
For me, going to a Social Media show would be a selfish trip right now. I would be hobnobbing with other agency people, with other people who love Social Media, with other people who know all of the panel speakers and who think of the whole thing like a Social Media Lollapallooza. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of people I’d love to meet in person. I think it would be fabulous. But having a fun time at a conference is not my job right now, and it’s not where I am needed. The only way I’d really be able to rationalize a trip is if I was going as a speaker for a panel that would be there educating people. I would be living up to my mission in that way, but do I think I am at that point just yet? Not yet.
I am not judging
This is the way I see things. I am not sitting here saying that this is the Holy Grail of marketing philosophies on conferences. Like I said, I would love to go. I understand the networking potential. I understand the learning potential. I am jealous of the fun that attendees will have in Las Vegas this year. In the end though, for me, none of these factors outweighs my complete commitment to our agency and to our clients.
Being a marketer is being a server of ideas. Being in advertising is being a server of organization and efficiency. Being in a family-run business of any kind is knowing your priorities. I am in the business of providing marketing ideas and services. I wouldn’t have it any other way.