New Media Expo

Conferences

A Light in Sin City: A New Media Expo (NMX) Recap

Do you ever have one of those experiences that, even a few days after, still has you thinking?  Maybe it’s a meeting with a friend, and they said just what needed to be said to get you motivated.  Or maybe it’s knowing that there’s a group of people that are going through the same things you are.  It could just be some time to think, where you come to terms with what’s going on, and make the resolve to change or fix it.  Last weekend, I was in Vegas for what is (by far) my favorite conference to attend: New Media Expo (NMX).  And, as far as I’m concerned, NMX was all of those things to me, and so much more.

What is NMX?

NMX is a conference for content creators, marketers, website owners, podcasters, bloggers, and (honestly) anyone who writes, records, or sells things online.  While the roots of the show are steeped in podcasting (and it shows, given the sheer podcasting talent in attendance), there are people from all dynamics there.  You’ll sit at a table with people who are just starting their online presence to juggernauts like Chris Brogan or Pat Flynn, who make their living teaching others to be successful online.  And that’s one of the beauties of it: everyone’s there to teach, learn, and network; there’s no pressure because you’re meeting a “superstar”, because they are there to meet people too! (side note: both of those guys are extremely approachable, and great to just have a conversation with.  Also, Chris gave me a birthday hug.  He’s just that kind of guy.)

My Takeaways from NMX

This year, my time there was incredible for different reasons.  Truth be told, NMX is a great place for me to pick up clients who may need a new website.  This was my 8th(!) BlogWorld owned conference (6 NMX’s in 3 Cities, 2 Travel Blogger Expos), and I had thought that there wasn’t anything I could possibly pick up from the sessions this weekend.

Boy was I wrong.

NMX Takeaway 1: Google+ is Cool, I’ve Just Been Using it Wrong

Amanda Blain is kind of a big deal on Google+. When you sign up, she’s one of the people Google+ recommends to follow.  And she knows how to rock some Google+ posts.  Thanks to her I cleared out all the junk, joined a few good communities, and I’m looking forward to putting the knowledge she dropped into good use.

NMX Takeaway 2: Just Because You Can… Doesn’t Mean You Should.

Scott Stratten gave (not only in my own opinion, but in most of the attendee’s) one of the best keynotes in NMX history.  His talk, “QR Codes Kill Kittens”, basically says that we as marketers do things because they are ‘new’ and ‘shiny’, but ignore fundamental problems with our service or products.  We put QR codes on things because they’re new, but put them on things they have no reason to be on (billboards, buses, etc).  We misuse the technology, instead of making what we have better.

NMX Takeaway 3: ‘A Tale of Two Keynotes’

NMX was the best of keynotes… and it was the worst of keynotes…  That same day, I watched another keynote that infuriated me, enraged me, and broke the cardinal rule of NMX: No Selling from the stage.  Marshall Sylver, while a fantastic hypnotist (so I hear), is a downright cheesy salesman when it comes to his keynotes.  From the stock video of clouds in the background to the (almost hypnotic) hand-raising to get you to do what he says, he uses lines like “I’ve got pockets full of cash”.  There were a few nuggets of good information, but only if you could cut through the self-righteous fluff.  I walked out mid-keynote, and I can tell most of the Twitter back-channel felt as I did.  Luckily, one bad keynote does not a bad conference make.  But know that if you’re going to blatantly sell from the stage, you won’t be respected for it.

NMX Takeaway 4: Podcasting is Back in Full Force.

There were so many podcasting and vlogging sections at NMX (and there should have been – this was where NMX started!) I cut my teeth in the audio and video lab at Murray State, back when we were doing actual recordings for the TV shows, so I know the power that a good podcast has.  And, I really wish I could start one (but alas, the cobblers kids always go without shoes).

NMX Takeaway 5: Next Year Will Be Even Better

I mentioned earlier that I’ve been to quite a few BlogWorld shows, and there’s a reason for that.  There are, year-after-year, fantastic sessions to attend.  But, it’s more than that.  NMX is a place where you could meet anyone, and those friendships last for a long time outside of the conference.  Seeing my old friends, most of them I’ve only talked to online since last year’s conference, makes a sweet conference that much sweeter.

If you’ve never been to NMX, make plans to go.  It’s worth every second and dollar spent, because the investment will be returned exponentially.  If you have any doubt as to whether or not I’ll be back next year, let me dispel those now: If there’s a NMX, and I’m able to go… I will be there.