Connections make the event

October 8, 2009

What pulls people into conferences? Big name speakers, a nice location, and all of the trinkets that you can fit while not going over your luggage weight limit (or in yet another conference bag)?  Of course not, it is the information that is important.  At the World Business Forum this week, it was the connections to ideas and people that made the event worth attending.

While I have never presented at such a prestigious venue as Radio City Music Hall or in front of thousands of executives, the basic requirement of a speaker is to understand his/her audience and craft the message accordingly.  Many of the speakers did a great job at connecting with the audience and hitting the critical issues in the world today.  I plan on writing a number of posts on the speakers that connected strongly with me.  I have added to my reading list – Bill George‘s book was given to all participants, I plan on picking up Pat Lencioni‘s soon and I’ve subscribed to Gary Hamel’s blog. The reading will help to reinforce the ideas that I connected with so that they don’t fade away 72 hours after the conference.

As for the people that I connected with, I don’t expect to be hanging out with George Lucas in the future, but I do expect that I will keep in contact with many of the bloggers that I met.  In addition to the bloggers that I knew from the World Innovation Forum, I communicated with some of the bloggers prior to the conference on LinkedIn as we prepared for the event.  Two days of blogging, Tweeting and a couple of meals together starts a nice connection.  Through social media, those of us that share common interests can stay connected easily.  Below is the group photo of the bloggers on stage – if you click on the photo, it will take you to Flickr where I have tagged people.  I have also created a Blogger’s Photo Wall (see the “page” or “tab” at the top of this page).

World Business Forum Bloggers

Here’s the backstage video of us on stage (I apologize for some of the fast moves):

To continue the discussion and follow my posts, please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman

World Business Forum Blogger Dinner

October 7, 2009

The first day of the World Business Forum was great.  I am going to take a little time to process my thoughts and notes (see my Twitter feed for some of my initial thoughts).  The barrage of speakers was a fire hose of information.  I am very impressed at how many blog posts have already been written by some of the bloggers that are in attendance.  Here is a shot of the Blogger’s Hub – we were in the 3rd mezzanine which is a great view.

World Business Forum Bloggers Hub

30 of us went out for dinner at the Beacon Restaurant.  As I hoped, we had a fantastic meal and wonderful conversations.  Despite having a very full day, every time I looked around the room, people were deep in conversations on everything from analyzing the day to discussing the latest FTC rules on disclosure.  [My full disclosure: HSM gave show passes to all of the bloggers, but we are free to write about everything; the Beacon Restaurant provided great service – we all paid for our own dinners; I MET GEORGE LUCAS]

Since I coordinated the dinner, I did ask that everyone say hi on video.  The light in the restaurant was dim, so the footage is a little dark.

For more of my coverage of the World Business Forum, see

For an aggregation of most of the blogs and Twitter activity from the conference, see the FriendFeed room which I set up:

Comments are questions are always welcome and please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman

World Business Forum preparation

September 23, 2009

Between end of quarter activities and gearing up for both the World Business Forum and EMC Innovation Conference next month, my time for blogging has been a little tight.  The World Business Forum website has a nice bio on each of the speakers, below are some additional resources to help you become familiar with the speakers and their subjects before the conference.  Most of the speakers have books which I wish I had time to read, but blogs and videos will have to do.

Bill George: Bill has lots of good information on his website – including information on his best-selling book and a blog. He also has a Twitter account. His 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis:

  • Face Reality, Starting with Yourself
  • Get the World off Your Shoulders
  • Dig Deep for the Root Cause
  • Get Ready for the Long Haul
  • Never Waste a Good Crisis
  • You’re in the Spotlight: Follow True North
  • Go on Offense, Focus on Winning Now

Bill Conaty: Some background on him from a 2004 HR Executive of the Year post: Video on the HSM Americas site:

Patrick Lencioni: Articles and “point of view” posts are on his company’s website:

Jeffrey Sachs: A collection of articles are available on his university website: The website for his book Common Wealth is

T.Boone Pickens: A very interesting character – his website (you can skip the registration page): Also, here’s an interview on The Daily Show from last November:–boone-pickens

Kevin Roberts: He has a website – – which includes his blog.  Blog post from WBF Blogger Andrea Meyer did a nice summary of his webinar, Creating Loyalty in a Recession:

George Lucas: Beyond making some of my favorite films of all time (Star Wars series and Indiana Jones – did I mention that my dog’s name is Indiana?), Lucas has transformed the film industry with his company LucasFilm.   As noted in Wikipedia: Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic, the sound and visual effects subdivisions of Lucasfilm, respectively, have become among the most respected firms in their fields.

Gary Hamel: Two great blog posts from Hutch Carpenter – Gary Hamel: Hierarchy of Employee Traits for the Creative Economy and Gary Hamel on Management Innovation and Enterprise 2.0

In considering the Creative Economy, Gary put forth his own hierarchy of employee traits that will define the winners in the future. His representation of this hierarchy is below:

Irene Rosenfeld: NY Times article discussing her history of success:

Paul Krugman: His blog on the NYTimes: Interview on The Colbert Report in July:

Bill Clinton: The final speaker needs no introduction, but for an update on his recent activity, check out the Clinton Global Initiatives website:  President Clinton was also on The Daily Show recently – you can watch the interview here:

Two weeks until the conference!  Please share any additional resources that you have.  I am also still looking for your questions for the speakers.

Stuart Miniman

Follow me on Twitter @stu

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World Business Forum Blogger’s Lounge

September 9, 2009

We are less than a month away from the World Business Forum which is being held at Radio City Music Hall on October 6-7. HSM Americas has been announcing via Twitter the members of the Blogger’s Lounge.

As we lead up to the conference, you can get to know the bloggers through their posts which I’ve aggregated on the World Business Forum FriendFeed group.  During the conference, there will be a lot of Twitter activity.  For the best experience, I would recommend that you follow a real-time stream of the hashtag, #WBF09; I will be using Tweet Grid, which you can see from this link.

Twitter ID Name Blog
@smarterplanet Adam Christensen
@AndreaMeyer Andrea Meyer
Barry Ritholtz
@BenParr Ben Parr
@BobPrestonCCO Bob Preston
@innovate Braden Kelley
@conferencehound Bruce Carlisle
@Rascaltweets Chris Brady
@whatworks Dan Kehrer
@angrybearecon Daniel Crawford
@daveibsen David Ibsen
@economistmom Diane Lim Rogers
@donpeppers Don Peppers
@ellenfweber Ellen Weber
@felixsalmon Felix Salmon
@hankwasiak Hank Wasiak
Jeffrey Sherman Thomas
@JenBoynton Jennifer Boynton
@jimestill Jim Estill
@jonathanfields Jonathan Fields
@conferencehound Jordan Enright-Schulz
Joseph McCool
@yourboot Julie Lenzer Kirk
@chiefhotmomma Kathy Korman Frey
@newsweek Katie Paul
@angrybearecon Ken Houghton
@KenMcArthur Ken McArthur
@LaurynFranzoni Lauryn Franzoni
@VaultCareers Linda Petock
@lizstrauss Liz Strauss
@margeryw Margery Weinstein
@matmcdermott Mat McDermott
@MichaelStallard Michael Stallard
@nickaster Nick Aster
@Orrin_Woodward Orrin Woodward
@PaulDunay Paul Dunay
@wsj Paul Glader
@VaultCareers Philip Stott
@RJMAC Reena Jana
@Renee_Innosight Renee Hopkins
@chiefcatalyst Renee Lewis
Robert McNeill
@Robyngreenspan Robyn Greenspan
@RobynMcMaster Robyn McMaster
@Rohitbhargava Rohit Bhargava
@ryanm Ryan Mickle
@SethKahan Seth Kahan
@huffbusiness Shahien Nasiripour
@ssmirnov Stephanie Smirnov
@SteveRoesler Steve Roesler
@stevetodd Steve Todd
@stu Stuart Miniman
@starbucker Terry Starbucker

I will update the list as more information is available. [UPDATE: updated 9/29/09]  I was very excited when I saw the list of speakers at the conference.  Now I wish that there were two more days just to talk to all of the bloggers.  We will all be looking to pull the outside world into this event, I hope you will join us and let us know of questions that you would like discussed.

Stuart Miniman

Follow me on Twitter @stu

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Pull the Outside In for Events

September 2, 2009

In the current economic situation, a marketing idea that has gotten a lot of discussion is how business can use FREE to engage with customers.  Not that everything should be free, but that the idea can be used to give people a good understanding of a product or service before having to commit money. Conferences and events have been under intense pressure with the economic conditions, especially those that require travel which is one of the tightest controlled budget lines.  I have attended a few conferences this year and most of them have been embracing social media to enhance the experience.

In order to reach larger audiences, companies have been providing remote participation options.  Cisco’s Cisco Live and VMware’s VMworld both have very robust remote experiences (I attended Cisco’s in person and VMware’s remotely).  You can watch webcasts of the keynotes for free; Cisco also offers the technical content online for a lower fee than attending.  The one piece of the conference experience that is toughest to replace is the one-on-one interaction.  This is where I see social media playing the biggest part; not that blogs and Twitter replace this experience, but they give a flavor of the energy and engagement of the event.  People can remotely be pulled into the discussions remotely and will be more likely to want to attend in-person the next time.

Social media tools also provide an opportunity to get people engaged ahead of time.   The World Business Forum, at which I will be blogging in October, has been doing a nice job of this.  They have posted videos, webinars and blogs of the speakers available.  Not only does this promote attendance and build buzz, but it should also improves the quality of the attendees and their experience, since they will be more familiar with the topics and will, therefore, have better questions.  As a little help for the upcoming conference, I created a FriendFeed room which aggregates some of the related blogs and any Twitter posts tagged #WBF09.

View my FriendFeed

For recurring events, there is the further opportunity to build a year round community.  I recently got to learn more about the RSA Conference community (RSA is an EMC company).  The event is vendor independent, which allows the community to cover the entire security industry.  While traffic tends to be highest around the conferences, people share information and connect through the site year-round.  The community site has become a valuable resource to the industry, but it has also created connections between people that make the conference a “must attend” event where collaborators can meet face to face.

If you have an exciting and engaging conference, don’t kill it or go all virtual.  Consider how you can engage the community before and during the conference so that the free experience that they get outside will pull them in.

Comments are questions are always welcome and please consider subscribing to this blog.  If you will be at the World Business Forum, I’m always interested in discussing innovation and social media.

Stuart Miniman

One question at the World Business Forum

July 17, 2009

Steve Todd and I have been chosen to be bloggers at the World Business Forum at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on October 6-7.  The World Innovation Forum was a fantastic experience (see my blog posts here:, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the other bloggers that we met as well as the tremendous lineup of speakers.  I will be blogging more leading up to the conference, but I’d like to pose a question:

If you had the opportunity to ask one question to one of the speakers, what would it be?

A former president, a noted columnist, “THE” CEO, the creator of Star Wars (and a major power in modern cinema, with ILM), and many more – see the list below and leave a comment including the speaker’s name and what you would ask.

As a blogger, I’ll be looking to extend the conference beyond the 2 days and beyond the walls of Radio City.  Looking forward to discussing online and in person; early registration runs until 7/31.  The hashtag on Twitter for the World Business Forum is #WBF09.

The 2009 World Business Forum Lineup Features:
(Click on any of the names to learn more about each speaker)
& Embracing our Common Humanity
& The Future of the Global Economy
& Execution
& A Conversation with George Lucas
& Management Innovation
& Leading Transformational Change
& Economics for a Crowded Planet
& A Conversation on Energy Dependence
& Building Winning Teams
& Talent Management
& The Global Crisis
& Health Care: A Glimpse into the Future
& International Insights
& International Insights – Taiwan
& International Insights – Spain
& International Insights – Brazil
& International Insights
& Branding