June 25, 2012 By evan,

Location/Time:  San Diego Hilton Bayfront, June 15th

With coffees still close at hand, and having just settled into their seats, the waking 2012 San Diego Interactive Day (SDID) audience was asked to stand up to prove a point.

“Now, all first year attendees, please sit down”.

Over 400 then sat down (including myself), revealing that apparently the San Diego digital marketing community has undergone a baby boom of sorts.  (Digital Operative’s rapid growth over the last year would validate that notion.)

The individual paths through SDID were many.  With awesome speakers lecturing across eight sleek lecture rooms and an ongoing Shark Tank pitch contest, everybody who attended all five sessions absorbed nearly seven hours of spoken content.  The sessions I attended were intimate, casual and fun.  Speakers did not seem to read from a script, rehash prior addresses or stick closely to the agenda, but rather tailored their content to a relevant audience of interested marketers.  Although the stage could have easily been used as a soap box for their company, the great majority of speakers were more interested in sharing about the process rather than bragging about the results.

These were some of the largest ideas presented:

  • The audience is the media.  Involve them in your marketing story.  (Robyn Freye and Eujin Hong)
  • Gamification of the User Experience – Use the Carrot, Not the Stick. (Steve Patrizi)
  • Small brands led by individuals need to just be themselves first to gain lasting social success. (Ryan Berman and panelists)
  • The conversation is the canvas. (Steve Pietsch)
  • Earned Media is the way to go.  It’s cheaper and does more for your brand. (Rand Fishkin)

I’m not going to regurgitate the content that I heard, after all that’s what Twitter is for - just kidding (but not really).  I will say that it was all very exciting and relevant to what we do here at Digital Operative.  I think what I enjoyed most about SDID 2012 was the fact that behind all the brilliant ideas and the lofty titles, whether onstage or off, the tone of the event pointed to a thriving San Diego community of talented and dedicated digital marketing professionals loving what they do and appreciating what each other are producing.  It really was a cultural thinktank event more than a professional money-making event.  And when school was let out, and Happy Hour broke open, the connections and camaraderie were glaring.

Coming away from SDID 2012, I am left thinking about the importance of cultural fit in the digital marketing business world.  What values does your company’s culture rest on?   Here at Digital Operative, I would say some of those values are openness, a passion for knowledge, creativity, iterative processes, innovative technology, getting results and Mexican food.

Sound like a fit?  Contact us today, and we can explore relationships with your business.

Also check out this 360 degree tour of the conference online.

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