Sometimes, the most valuable thing you take away from traveling to a business conference isn’t industry related – sometimes it’s the connections you build with your team members, and the shared experience of going into it together. This week our marketing team traveled from Lancaster to Philadelphia for the Digital Summit marketing conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
There’s only three of us in the marketing department, and we spend 40 hours a week at work. So basically, we spend more time together than we do with our families, significant others or friends. Yet, were rarely spend that time getting to know each other or doing what some would call “team building.” This week, we were able to do both – grow professionally while learning more about each other. As a result, we have returned with new knowledge and as a stronger team!
With that said, here are four highlights of our trip to Philly and the top three things we learned at the Digital Summit marketing conference!
Four Highlights of Our Trip to Philly
1. We explored the city
Philadelphia is notorious for its mural art and breathtaking architecture. But it doesn’t have the nickname of Filthadelphia for no reason… there’s lots of trash on the streets, and sadly, many homeless people who are struggling. Luckily, we were able to admire some art and feed a few of the less fortunate while we were in town. It was fun just to stroll through the neighborhoods and check things out together.
2. We got to hang out in a casual setting
There’s something to be said about a casual happy hour with your coworkers. Want to try my beer? Ew, that one is gross. I like mine better. Seated outside on a busy, Center City street, we people watch. A group of drunk college girls stumbles by, one snacking on her leftover pizza right out of the box. This triggers story time… “I remember when I was in college… ” You learn a lot about your coworkers when you break free from the office walls. And it feels good to laugh and relate on a personal level after a long day of work and travel.
3. We ate some delicious food
We may have many differences, but thankfully, we all like Italian food. Not to rub it in or anything, but we ate pretty well on our work trip…
4. We learned a lot at the Digital Summit marketing conference
Just to be clear, we didn’t only eat, drink and gossip on this trip. We also learned a lot and shared an incredible experience networking with thousands of other people in our industry. I’ll admit it. We nerded out a bit and got excited about trending digital marketing topics.
With that said, here are the top three take-a-ways I learned at the Digital Summit marketing conference:
Top Three Take-a-Ways from the Digital Summit Marketing Conference
1. There are always new tools emerging for marketers
The two most helpful tools I learned about at the conference were related to SEO and page design. The first tool I learned about was an additional plug-in for Yoast that tells you what blogs you already have on WordPress that might be related to the one you’re currently writing. The plug-in lists these blogs on the right side as you’re typing, which is great in helping you create internal links. I can see this tool being especially helpful for people who are new to the marketing team. For example, our interns don’t necessarily know everything we’ve written about in the past.
Another tool I learned about, which would be extremely helpful for all of our brands is tinypng.com. It is a website that compresses your images so that the file size isn’t so big. Large images often slow down page load time, but yet you don’t want to alter the size and distort the image. This tool reduces the image file size without compromising its quality.
2. Talk to your consumers the way you wish businesses would talk to you
Sometimes people say the simplest of things, and yet a reminder of something so basic can change everything. For example – talk to your consumers the way you wish businesses would talk to you. One speaker pointed out that there’s probably a pizza shop in every town that is advertising as “the world’s best pizza.” We don’t believe those signs, right? Then why would we market to our audience that way? Think about how to deliver a message to your fans that is authentic, sincere and still incentivizes them to use your brand. This thought process can also be applied when emailing prospects for link building. Don’t shoot them a basic email with a weak sale. Talk to them like you would your friend, and see how far your authenticity will take you.
3. Don’t forget to work on yourself
The third and most memorable take-a-way from this year was something related to soft skills. Across the board, I think this is the most important thing we could all improve upon – time management and productivity. The final keynote speaker, Daniel Pink, is notorious for compiling and explaining various research on timing. A best-selling author of several books on behavioral science, he raised some really good points. For example, he asked, what point in our workday are we most alert? Then, what type of work are we doing during that time? He broke it down for us. Most people have three stages to their day: a peak, a trough and a recovery. What does that mean? Basically, you’re sharpest in the morning and at night, with a lull midday. Sounds familiar, right? According to Pink, you should do your analytical work in the morning (that means stop checking emails right when you get to work!), do your administrative tasks when you’re in your trough stage and do your insightful or creative projects last.
Were you at the digital summit? What did you learn? Share with us in the comments below!