For many, “Pressing the Flesh” (talking with potential clients/competitors/vendors/media/etc) is the most valuable part of any conference, and for better or worse, the most valuable part of my day yesterday was spent connecting up with others.
I can’t say that any of the presentations I attended yesterday were particularly interesting (i.e. worth blogging about) including the one that I participated on as a panelist. Then again, I was really the wrong person to be speaking on a lead conversion panel as my contribution to the 2-hour discussion was about 5 minutes where I stated my experience was that blogging provides leads that are easier to convert than typical internet leads because you’ve already built up a relationship with the person when the contact you. Beyond that, I couldn’t offer much to the discussion, so the two hours were dominated by the panel’s sponsor discussing their (very cool) product. All things considered, I’ve met tons of people from Top Producer who would have done a much better job than me speaking about the ways that agents are using internet tools to convert leads. It’s too bad none of them were asked to be on the panel (especially since their top marketer product was nominated for an Innovation Award).
I’m always interested in controversy and being relatively new to the industry, I’ve found it interesting the extent to which major industry players boycott these conferences because of the way that Brad Inman has been known to push his own agenda. While pressing the flesh at the conference has been very interesting (and almost definitely a valuable long-term experience), I’m left with the strange feeling that I’m taking part in a massive dance orchestrated by Brad.