Return to Sin City: Marketing Nation

Honestly, before this year I had spent all of a few hours in Las Vegas – and in the airport at that. Now I could safely traverse at least two resorts with relative ease. Who knew?

hotelroomwindow

Pretty sweet view

This was the first time Marketo held their Marketing Nation Summit in Vegas. Having never attended a previous Summit, I can’t say if this is an improvement or not. I can say that it’s a great place to throw a party, and as I sit here in the airport, I can affirm that this was a BA party.

I present my session in 13 hours. Hope I’m ready. I presented my session this morning, and I think it went well. One regret: I didn’t take a selfie from the stage. Next time.

But before I go stand out like a sore thumb at Hakkasan (serious, marketers dress really sharp, and I’m just hanging out in a black skirt, an old black button up, and converse. Like a boss), I wanted to put some thoughts down on the screen. For the record: I did stick out like a sore thumb, and then I made friends!

hakkasan

This polymath’s first and last time in a legit Vegas nightclub

My situation is unique, since I’m transitioning to a role that won’t utilize Marketo. But I still wanted to attend sessions and bring back some next steps for my team.

The first day was a challenge. Everyone attending knows it; Marketo knows it. Lines were everywhere. Sessions were packed full, and people were being turned away from them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good problem to have. But it is a problem. I gave up on attending any of them and came back to my room to get some work done. For me, that still counts as a win.

The Everstring party was hoppin’, though.

Wednesday saw a vast improvement on the session situation, although there were still lines. You had to arrive about 30 minutes early to get in. It reminded me a little bit of Dreamforce. During Wednesday’s keynote, those of us attending learned the lines and waiting happened because of the massive numbers of on-site registrations that happened. This thing got bigger than they expected.

Again – a good problem to have.

For those on the fence about next year, here’s what I’ll tell you:

  1. There is a lot of focus on marketing. Of course there is a MOPS component, but there’s a lot of theory and strategy.
  2. You’re going to party a lot. Maybe bring some ear protection.
  3. Plan ahead. Map out your sessions.
  4. It’s worth it – it really is. Even if you only attend two or three sessions on your top ten, you’ll be able to go back with immediate actions that can help your team.

Now, for Marketo. Here’s what I’d suggest:

  1. Let us register for sessions ahead of a time. FCFS doesn’t work after a certain number, and I think that number was breached.
  2. Consider having labs, where customers (and, bonus, potential customers) can try out some new features. Considering RTP? Come here and learn it!
  3. I know that you wanted us all to use the app, and it was…alright. I would have loved to have a physical map for finding sessions.
  4. Make it easy to access WiFi. I heard people chatting during sessions, asking how to get on a network. Most everyone used MGM with no issues, but it could have been made easier. (Remove obstacles to buy!)

So overall, I’m going to say that the Summit was a success. There were some great sessions; there were some super fun parties (WHAT?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!); the keynotes were inspiring. Tomorrow’s Marketer is well prepared, I think.

willsmithkeynote

Will Smith spoke about tomorrow’s marketers desiring to help people, not sell a product. VIP seating, btw, is the best.