5 Observations From Digital Summit

Last week, Matt Johnston and I were in LA attending the Digital Summit conference. As a global partner of the Digital Summit series for 2018, we had a great view of the event from our sponsor table. Below are a few notes and observations from the trip.

 

1. Good hustle!

This encouragement is usually reserved for ball players, but as excited as I am for baseball season to be here, this credit goes to the #DSUM LA attendees. They were totally locked in. It can be exhausting trying to take full advantage of a busy conference agenda like this one had, but I was impressed with the energy and stamina that was on display over the course of two jam-packed days.

The main exhibitor/networking/refreshment room maintained a constant buzz throughout the event, and between sessions, there was some serious power-walking and power-talking going on. These marketing pros were clearly on a mission to bring valuable knowledge back to their companies, and they were learning fast. Thankfully, I only witnessed one head-on collision, and while it may have cost one attendee his laptop (TBD, x-ray results due back soon), neither of the humans were injured.

2. Marketing Automation is on everyone’s wish need list for 2018.

Matt and I met with marketing pros from multiple industries with different backgrounds, roles, levels of responsibility, and priorities.We had fantastic conversations with B2B tech company VPs, B2C retail brand managers, agency leaders, scientists, writers, designers, analysts, and many more. Despite their differences, everyone shared the same goal: finding solutions to make their marketing smarter and more effective.

This shared goal makes sense because all of these people were expressing similar challenges and frustrations: too many individual tools; lack of clarity among internal teams regarding metrics and KPIs; inefficient processes and inconsistent outputs between departments, business units, brands, etc. With this being my first conference as a member of the Mautic team, it was extremely rewarding to see and hear people’s reactions as they learned about all of the powerful advantages marketing automation has to offer.

3. Matt Johnston delivered a killer presentation.

Is this point self-serving? Yes. Is it still true? Yup. Would Matt probably prefer I don’t mention this here? Too late. Everyone at Mautic already knows what a thoughtful and articulate guy “MJ” is. But seeing him in action up on the stage for his session, Blood, Sweat and Tech: What It Takes to Win In the Engagement Economy, was awesome. There were some nice compliments extended our way after his presentation, and none better than this one which I heard from three different people, “He knows his $h!t.” We agree.

4. Red-eyes suck.

We took a 9:20pm flight back to Boston which got us home at 5:30am. Despite the fact that we lucked out with one of the newer American Airlines planes with decently comfortable leather seats and a pretty impressive in-flight entertainment system, there’s just no quality sleep to be had in coach. Also, J. Paul Getty was a real jerk.

5. LA’s got swag!

We were happy to send home a few lucky winners with some great new tech. Over the course of the event, we raffled off an Apple Watch, some AirPods, and an Amazon Echo (2nd Generation, of course). Congrats to the winners – they know who they are. As for LA itself – it is beautiful in April, and pretty much all other times during the year. If spending a couple of days with passionate fellow marketers wasn’t great enough, it was a real treat to escape chilly Boston for a couple of days in sunny California. It was a nice reminder of what summer will feel like here in Boston, whenever that season decides to show up. Thanks for having us, #DSUM LA!

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