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December 13, 2010 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Want marketing department arguments can I make to justify my going to South by Southwest and the Blogworld New Media Expo?

I run digital marketing (social, email, rewards, etc) for a somewhat good sized regional company. My boss, the VP, is open to me going to those conferences but said I need to provide a solid business reason. I have a few thoughts, but would love to see what you guys think. Especially as I have never actually been I feel a little bit of a disadvantage. I cannot say "well last year for example...".
posted by IzzeYum to Work & Money (6 answers total)
How savvy is your boss? Maybe you could you just hit and go from there..
posted by Ahab at 8:23 AM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hahaha

I think he needs something slightly more concrete than that. :)
posted by IzzeYum at 8:29 AM on December 13, 2010

Damn. Knew it wasn't going to be that easy. Maybe focus on Interactive, and pick through their program for the most relevant stuff to your company. From the link, there seems to be a programming announcement today.
posted by Ahab at 8:40 AM on December 13, 2010

I went to SXSW for the first time last year. And I got next nothing out of it that I didn't already know which would benefit my employer.

If I had to pick one I'd go with the Blogworld expo, but YMMV.

If I were making an argument based on the merits of the SXSW show I would point to SXSW's keynote by danah boyd. Where she discussed privacy trust between web companies and their users. And she welcomed folks to approach her and discuss.

While you may not learn anything specifically from the talks... you have the opportunity to actually approach thought leaders and discuss things with them. Where you may never have that chance via email or the web. That is worth the price of admission alone, if you ask me.

Additionally if you are actually paying attention you will notice emerging trends before they break. You'll get a peek at what may be the next big thing and a jump start on how you might be able to leverage that thing/service.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:47 AM on December 13, 2010

Factor out all your costs, including food and expenses - that will make a big difference in whether you're allowed to go. Possibly you'll have to choose one or the other. You can show that you're saving money by only attending the Interactive portion of SxSW.

I don't know anything about Blogworld New Media Expo but I attended SxSW a couple of times and it was always fascinating. What you get out of it is: industry leaders hanging out together, so you can really identify and understand trends (a good bullet point for your argument) and networking. I never gained practical knowledge from any session I attended, but many of them gave me good book recommendations, and it's useful to hear from people who are actually doing things, exactly how they're doing it. Speakers usually give out their personal email addresses so that you can ask questions directly.

For pitching it to your boss, plan out your schedule in advance to demonstrate you'll be learning stuff that will specifically benefit the organization. Just be aware, for your own benefit, that lots of people pitch panels because if you're hosting or sitting on one, you get a free festival pass (possibly to all three portions?). Throw in the word "convergence".
posted by lhall at 12:51 PM on December 13, 2010

The best argument is to bring back not only a presentation to share with others but 2-3 actionable ideas. They could be as little as an analytics tactic or as significant as a new technology to consider. I'm sending four employees this year and that's the bar I expect them to meet.
posted by mozhet at 8:18 PM on December 13, 2010

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