It was a combination of the social, the serious, and the silly, at this week’s Blog World and New Media Expo in New York.
June 5 to 7 at the Javits Center in Manhattan, geeks and non-geeks alike attended speaker sessions and keynotes, checked out exhibitor booths on the show floor, and networked at various receptions and parties at Blog World Expo NY (aka #BWENY).
It was an eclectic crowd, with attendees’ social savvy ranging from novice to expert. Sessions and panels reflected this, and were divided into categories such as “Content Creation”, “Business of Blogging”, “Monetization”, “Podcasting”, “WebTV”, and others. There were also keynotes at 5pm each of the three conference days.
It was a combination of the social, the serious, and the silly,
-Serious networking: Whether walking the exhibition floor, hanging around in between sessions, or attending the official or non-official night events, many of the social media Who’s Who came out for this conference. Most made themselves accessible to meet and greet, to the delight of many attendees.
-Serious actionable advice. A quick click on the #BWENY hashtag shows you that some quality business advice on blogging and new media was shared during the conference. There were several standout sessions very enthusiastically received with a lot of session buzz and retweeting of session information, such as Tamsen McMahon’s “Selling Social to Skeptics” and Jay Baer’s “'12 Imperative Must-Dos for the Serious Blogger”, and of course Chris Brogan’s Wednesday keynote.
-Serious Innovation: Many exhibitors offered new innovations and services. In particular a show exhibitor/sponsor from France called OverBlog http://en.over-blog.com/ drew a lot of attention during #BWENY, not only for featuring internet celebs Jason Falls and Keenan Cahill, but also because of their U.S. launch of a new blogging platform service that automatically brings your social network activity back to your blog in realtime. According to Fred Montagnon, COO and co-founder of Overblog, their blogging platform has “solved the problem of using multiple social networks….with Overblog people are able to connect all their social network activity back to their blog”.
The serious had a few dashes of silly mixed in over Blog World Expo’s 3 day run as well.
-Nudity: The June 5 keynote was interrupted by a “unscheduled speaker”/exhbitionist who went topless, prompting a tweet from the @BlogWorldExpo Twitter handle that stated: “The topless lady was not part of the keynote. We didn't invite her. She disrupted on her own accord. #BWENY”. I will not link to the photos here but they are easily findable online if you want to play voyeur.
The organizers indirectly alluded to this again in a tweet the next day, when the @BlogWorldExpo tweeted on June 6: “@chrisbrogan is our keynote tonight. We can't guarantee there will be any flashing of body parts, but it's sure be awesome. #BWENY”. I attended most of the Chris Brogan keynote and can confirm that he did not disrobe at all while onstage, at least while I was there.
-NY weather: I put this in the “silly” category because Mother Nature was not at all a cordial hostess during the conference with unseasonable temperatures and rain during much of the three days. It seemed a lot more like November than June this week.
-WiFi issues: Many remarked how silly it was that a conference called “BlogWorld and New Media Expo” had so many WiFi issues. By issues, I mean to say that during most of the conference the WiFi did not function. Many attendees were irritated and disappointed about the WiFi problems. Kudos though to Deb Ng, Director of Community for Blogworld, at least for her honesty when she tweeted from her @debng Twitter handle: “We apologize for the Wi-fi failures the last 2 days. Truth is Javits provider has completely failed & its not gonna get better #BWENY”.
Despite these WiFi issues, most agreed BlogWorldExpo was time well-spent. In addition to the attendees I spoke with onsite at the Javits center, many of whom were tweeting and posting about the conference, it also received a lot of attention online.
After the conference wrapped, there was a tweet from the @blogworld account stating: “nearly 100 million impressions on the #BWENY hashtag over 3 days even with the bad wi-fi according to our friends @hashtracking”. The direct link to these statistics from Hashtracking is viewable here: http://beta.hashtracking.com/ht-pro-rpt/cjeffers-bweny-2012-06-03/
More information about BlogWorld 2012 is available at http://www.blogworld.com/ The next event is scheduled for January 6-8, 2013 at the Rio Las Vegas Conference Center. As per the announcement during the show by BlogWorld founders Rick Calvert and Dave Cynkin, going forward the event will no longer be called BlogWorld & New Media Expo and instead go by the name “New Media Expo”.
-Stephanie Grayson for Digital Journal.