Well SMB nation is now over for another year and on balance I would say that it was a great success. I would also say that the vast majority of attendees would agree that it was a huge success with only a few minor hiccups.
Here’s my thoughts on what I attended today:
BS401 – Business Speak – Panel (Wayne Turmel moderator)
Even though this session was mainly focused on managed services it was still interesting to hear what other people though and were doing with this business model inside their own company. The session basically took the form of an expert panel with feedback and comments from the audience.
BS203 – Street Smart branding – Jeff Conally
I actually started off in another session that was recommended to me but found it didn’t meet my expectations so I shifted to this one, which was a wise move in the end. We formed into teams and came up with a way to market a generic product, in this case bottled water. The process showed me how you need to focus on the ‘need’ before you focus elsewhere. It was a most enjoyable interactive sessions making it the highlight of the day for me.
Overall impressions of SMB Nation 2009
There is little doubt that I got real value from the conference. The majority of this was through direct interaction with attendees. I met a lot of really great people who have given me plenty of ideas that I can go back and implement inside my business. As for the technical presentations, the few that I did attend where excellent and right on the money. I was disappointed with the social media presentations I went to. They didn’t seem to have many distinct take aways. Perhaps that is just the subject matter but I sort of felt that I would have liked to see how social media could be implemented directly in an IT business rather than just speaking about it generally.
The catering was excellent however probably the following two items were the biggest negatives for me. Firstly, the Internet connectivity was virtually non existent. I was trying to use Twitter (i.e. social media) but just couldn’t get connectivity. This really impacted a lot of people. Secondly, some of the room layout didn’t really do some presenters justice. Now I appreciate that it would be hard to understand the issues ahead of time and determine exactly how many people wanted to see each presentation but some very popular sessions were in small rooms while sparsely populated sessions were in large rooms.
Given this is the first SMB Nation in Las Vegas I think Harry and his team have done an outstanding job and deserve every accolade because pulling something together of this scale is not easy. Any issues were minor and as I said I think everyone who attended got a huge amount of value from attending.
So that’s it, all over for another year. I thank Harry and SMB Nation for the opportunity to present and hope that I was able to live up to the high standards of SMB Nation. If you attended my session, also many thanks and I hope you got value. Feel free to contact via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if there is any further information you need. To everyone else who took the time to speak with me I say thanks. It is people like you that really made this conference a success from my point of view and I look forward to speaking with again soon.