I’m in Naples, Fla., attending the Counselors Academy Spring Conference and can report the weather is nice because I watched a bit of the forecast on local TV this morning, looked out the windows of the beautiful Naples Grande Beach Resort yesterday and stepped outside to board a trolley for dinner last night. Yep, the true conference experience. Today I promise I’ll actually venture outside.
Anyway, I’ve met a number of interesting people and attended some great roundtable discussions and breakout sessions, all about communications, PR and agency management. The meeting kicked off with a talk by Peter Blackshaw, co-founder of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and now EVP of Nielsen Online Strategic Solutions. Fellow Counselors Academy member Indra Gardiner, president of Bailey Gardiner Inc. of San Diego, summarizes the presentation on her blog here, while Matt Kucharski of Padilla Speer Beardsley of Minneapolis has a post here.
As for me, I sat in the front row and attempted to live-Twitter the talk for my now-175 followers, an eye-opening experience. Hint: it’s much easier to send fast, live Tweets with a laptop vs. an iPhone. One seat away was Josh Hallett, a.k.a @hyku on Twitter, who Tweeted away with his laptop and even took pix of Blackshaw and uploaded them to Flickr during the talk. If you haven’t done so already, following live Tweets during conferences is a great to to catch the highlights of a speaker’s presentation.
After sessions on agency management and other PR topics, lunch featured a panel discussion with some of the legends in the PR agency scene. Later, I was fortunate enough to be seated at dinner with a few of those legends, including Eric Morgenstern, CEO of Overland Park, Kansas PR firm Morningstar Communications. Astute readers will recall he is author of “Think Excellence, Not Difference: Positioning Strategies for Success,” which we featured in a PR Buzzsaw post earlier this year. Small world, and events such as the Counselors Academy prove it – you just gotta get outside!