Editor’s Note: This week, Joe Waters will be attending the Cause Marketing Forum’s Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois. He will be live blogging conference sessions and you can also follow along on Twitter at #cmf11.
Wow. What a great Cause Marketing Forum Conference this year. Day two featured an excellent lineup with lots of good and interesting speakers.
My favorite speaker of the day was Kami Watson Huyse, President of Zoetica, who presented on best practices in cause-related social media. You can find her slides here. Among other things, if you’re looking for solid information and direction on how to best compete in online contests, Kami is the woman to talk to. Great job, Kami!
Other notable presentations were Nancy Lublin from DoSomething.org who talked about the good, bad and ugly of cause marketing. Nancy had some strong opinions — such as how some agencies are misleading and overcharging their nonprofit clients — that didn’t sit well with some of the people I spoke to during the break. But her cutting criticisms of industry practices confirmed what I’ve always said about public speaking: the world isn’t black and white, but the best speeches are.
Charles Best from DonorsChoose.org, a Cause Marketing Forum Golden Halo Award Winner, also impressed me. I know little about the organization, but Charles’ speech inspired me to learn more. Expect a post on DC’s cause marketing work soon.
I taught two “powerful discussions” on location-based cause marketing that were a lot of fun. A big thanks to Chris Noble and Joey Leslie who attended the first session and added much to the discussion — including interpreting my Boston accent for attendees.
I thought this 9th Annual Cause Marketing Forum Conference was excellent – the best yet for me. Here’s why.
- Arriving at the hotel on the last day of the International Mister Leather Conference was a real feast for the eyes. Leathermen, the scent of leather is with me still, and I will never look the same way at a man wearing black leather short-shorts with matching suspenders and hat ever again.
- The hotel was great. See my post on the pre-conference for more details. It’s the people who make a stay nice and I was impressed with the staff at the Hyatt. There was lots of space in this hotel — the largest Hyatt in the world, I was told. So whether it was listening to presenters in the main ballroom or networking in the lobby, we had some much needed elbow room. Oh, and I thought the food was great!
- I really enjoyed many of the presentations this year. I made an extra effort to stay in the main ballroom and listen instead of drifting out to the lobby area to chat. But I also thought we had plenty of breaks for networking.
- The very best addition this year was a clock to keep speakers on time. The folks at CMF are genius! I never felt stuck in a so-so presentation because I knew it would soon end and not go on forever, a hallmark of bad speeches. Note to speakers: it’s quality, not quantity. Stand up. Speak powerfully. Sit down!
- The addition of “powerful discussions” was excellent and offered something for everyone. Mine had around a dozen people. A great size for talking and Q&A.
I’m sure the CMF team already has lots of ideas on how to improve the event next year, which will be the 10th anniversary of the conference. But they made great strides this year, and not just with the conference. The CMF website has been upgraded, it has an interesting blog and active Twitter handle.
I like that CMF is deeply committed to improving the conference. When they see problems, they fix them. When they see opportunities they pursue them.
My only wish is that more people would attend the Cause Marketing Forum Conference to see what a great event it is and to take advantage of the wonderful resources it offers for cause marketers in both the nonprofit and for-profit world.
I hope to see you there in 2012!
This post originally appeared on SelfishGiving.com and is republished here with permission.
Photo credit: Bernt Rostad via flickr