Yesterday, I went to Hyatt Hotel next to the Uptime Symposium. I said I wasn't going to the Uptime Sympsium and I didn't. I walked in the hotel bar at 11a and I didn't leave the hotel bar until 11p. I spent 12 hrs in the bar. Well the bar, the patio, the bathroom, and the restaurant.
I think I saw all the people I wanted to see without taking one step into the conference or exhibit area. Now, it was not my plan to be there for 12 hrs. It was just once I stepped in I kept on running into people I know. I am so glad the the 451 Group's media group changed their media pass requirements and I didn't have a badge. If I was sitting in presentations or in the exhibit hall then i would miss the people who I saw in the bar, and i would need to commit more than 12 hrs.
Hanging in the hotel bar is a typical way to network, but yesterday was an extreme and I hope I don't make this a regular habit. Although I must admit it was time efficient and cost effective.
One of the guys I spent the most amount time catching up with is Chris Crosby at Compass Data Centers. I like Chris because he is one of the few who have a computer science degree and we can talk about some really cool ideas.
One of the best ideas I think Chris is doing is one of the greenest environmentally sensitive things a start-up can do. Don't print your marketing material. Create documents and videos to explain your company, solution, and technology.
Here is the brilliant part of what Chris is doing and why I think it is one of the best ideas. The typical old school way is I need to give the potential customer material. i don't know about you, but how many people are walking around with bags of marketing material? Compared to 20 years ago the amount of paper is hopefully less than 10%. I never grab marketing material anymore. How many of you think your printed marketing material gets share?
So besides saving the environment why is this so good? Because, Chris has taken it to the next level. When you have a potential customer you can create a custom folder on a file sharing site and send the customer the link. This link with GBs of information can be shared with cowokers. OK, but why is this so much better.
Because Chris has added Google Analytics so now he can measure effectiveness of his material and information he has given to potential clients. He can see how long people stay on his site. Where they enter from. IP addresses, Company names from domains. Countries, Cities that look at the content. Let's see you do that with your printed material.
This idea would never make it into an Uptime Symposium session, but it did make it into a conversation in the hotel bar.
There are many other things Chris and I talked about and we'll both be blogging about more ideas discussed in the hotel bar.