Content Marketing World (CMWorld) officially kicked off today in style, with no shortage of orange apparel, cutting-edge keynote addresses, standing room only breakout sessions, and orange-themed finger food.
As a second-year participant, there were iconic moments that kept me on my feet all day. Specifically, I couldn’t wait to see Joe Pulizzi’s latest orange suit (it did not disappoint); I eagerly—err maybe aggressively—pushed my way through the throngs of people to get first row seats at the coveted breakout sessions; and I relished each and every networking event. Who knew you could so easily talk content strategy while grabbing grub at food trucks?
My head is swimming with information after the eight-hour day, but here are a few things I noticed about this year’s show:
- Attendance is Sky High: Content Marketing Institute, the wonderful sponsors of the event, shared that this year’s event has attracted over 2,500 attendees from over 50 countries around the world. And it shows. While it was easier to secure good seating at last year’s breakouts, this year you better grab your spot early before the sessions become closed!
- It’s Less About How–to, More About Strategy: The market has matured… a bit. In other words, this year’s conference is focusing less on 101, how-to breakouts and more on developing robust, fully baked strategies. “Content strategy guides planning for the creation, delivery, rand governance of usable content,” argued Kristina Halvorson, CEO and founder of Brain Traffic, during one of today’s many sessions about content strategy.
- Marketing/Sales Alignment Has to Happen: That’s because content marketing has become the new sales force so sales and marketing better start getting one another. But all too often the divide persists. As Peter O’Neill, VP and research director at Forrester, contended, “Marketers forget to let sales know that they are creating all this new collateral. We in marketing are just as responsible for providing content to and through our sales force as we are for providing it to our potential buyers.”
- Women Are Making a Splash in Marketing: There is no shortage of strong, female marketers at CMWorld. In fact, women may be outnumbering men at this tradeshow (refreshing for a woman who believes in breaking the glass ceiling). From taking to the keynote stage (Julie Fleischer at Kraft kicked off the morning talking about Kraft’s marketing strategy) to asking critical questions during breakouts, the women in marketing are making their voices heard.
- SEO is Still Important: The attendance was jam-packed at the “How Google Views Your Content: The 10 Most Common SEO Mistakes Content Marketers Make.” And the buzz continued at the networking event at night as attendees traded the best SEO tips. Getting on the first page of Google is clearly still a prime focus of marketers.
What was your favorite part of today? Looking forward to seeing all of you at the convention center bright and early tomorrow for another action-filled day!