Friday, October 10, 2008

How was the Focalyst conference for you?

The Focalyst conference in New York coincided with a similar event in Tokyo.

As a speaker at the latter (much more of that in future blog postings) I had no choice but to head east, even though the line-up of speakers in New York looked fantastic.

Having just read Matt Thornhill’s comments it might have been a lucky escape. Matt is a guy who has attended and spoken at more Boomer conferences than most other people so I value his views – here is a selection.
Our overall assessment was that the event did not meet expectations. And our expectations came from the outstanding content at the first Focalyst Forum back in 2006.

Many of the presenters simply provided Boomer 101 type content -- J. Walker Smith of Yankelovich gave an overly enthusiastic presentation where he kept telling us (or to be more accurate, yelling at us) that Boomers are important because of "the NUMBERS." Thanks for that tidbit.

Few (speakers), if any, offered practical insights, and more importantly, implications for marketers. In our not-so-humble view the most productive and useful conferences are ones that show the attendees what works and what doesn't, and what they ought to be doing next.

Even the futurist who presented didn't deliver a plan of action for marketers to take advantage of the future he portrayed.
I do recommend you have a read of Matt’s blog.

A good friend, Janet Kiddle, who runs the consultancy Steel Magnolia, also attended the conference and has very kindly let me publish her summary of the event. Reading between the lines I think she agrees with most of Matt’s criticism.

So how was it for you – any other attendees at the event? What where the high and low points of the two days? Dick Stroud

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