Over the years, I’ve greatly and intentionally reduce the number of conferences I attend.
There are many good events out there for social media professionals. But I found that I was personally seeing less and less benefit and saw the conferences as a nice day out of the office.
But xPotomac is one event that I circle on my calendar for many reasons, including tremendous speakers, intimate setting, and extemporaneous (no slides) presentations. It’s real and awesome.
The 2014 edition brought it strong, with an array of presenters, that all told one major story:
Success in communications and technology will be predominantly based on strategically taking advantage of opportunities in front of you.
Jim Long, the dean of digital media integration, spoke about how he launched the online portion of his career: by experimenting and developing a platform when nobody else has figured out how news outlets could utilize video.
Peter Corbett, the man behind iStrategyLabs, outlined how many of his team’s innovations came from banter around the office. “Wouldn’t it be neat if…?” turned into globally-visibile campaigns and products.
Lauren Vargas, the head of Aetna’s social media, discussed how looking at social media communications like a city engineer forever changed how a highly-regulated company utilized the digital realm for customer service and lead generation.
Those are just three examples — every speaker touched on the theme, and it’s one that is critically important in the industry.
We thrive on seeing the potential and harnessing it.
What’s the next big thing? How can we set ourselves up to take advantage of it when it hits? How can we position ourselves for the future?
It’s easy to get caught up in the fear of the unknown. It’s so damn easy to be content with where you are and what you are doing.
But if you aren’t preparing for the future, you won’t be able to spot your on-ramp:
— Rob Pegoraro (@robpegoraro) February 28, 2014