Set in the gorgeous Carlu downtown Toronto, the MIXX Canada Conference had a great blend of inspiring and informative presentations, delectable food and fantastic company packed into a one-day session on March 27. I was greeted by friendly people and a well-organized registration area and coat check. Right when I walked into the breakfast area, there were acrobats playing twister to the right and a beautiful array of food in front of me. The breakfast menu was on the lighter side with a mix of croissants, danishes, muffins, bagels, preserves, cheese and frittatas as a protein option.
marketing now has to be more about attraction than distraction- if your product is authentic and good, customers will tweet, Facebook, etc about you and become your “fan” base.
I made some great new friends as the first lady watched my bag at the cocktail tables as I brought my food back. I connected with energetic and friendly people from Yahoo, Marketing Magazine, Top Drawer Creative, Tribal and more. There were displays and great giveaways set up by multiple sponsors like Kijiji, Acuity, etc. Eventually it was time to filter into the main presentation room and I ended up sitting at the Yahoo table with my new-found friends.
The day started off a little late and was MC’ed by Paula Gignac, the president of IAB Canada, who informed us this was a carbon-neutral event- all waste collected from the event was calculated and the equivalent number of trees would be planted by IAB. The day was set up to have about 2-3 sessions with breaks in between running from 7:30am to 4pm. Most sessions were followed by a Q&A session mediated by Gignac .
Filmmaker Jeff Rosenblum, the keynote speaker, was dynamic and magnetic as he caught our attention by introducing us to the evil men (Fred Flintstone) and evil corporation (Crayola) of marketing. The main message he was conveying is that marketing can no longer lie or fudge the truth about their products due to the power the consumer now have through social networking sites, providing good and bad reviews. It is finally time now to actually ensure you have good products and services by investing in R&D and professional development. He was followed by another very interesting presentation by Geoffrey Ramsey who complemented his topic about the top 6 Hot Digital trends. One of his insightful points is that marketing now has to be more about attraction than distraction- if your product is authentic and good, customers will tweet, Facebook, etc about you and become your “fan” base.
The main message he was conveying is that marketing can no longer lie or fudge the truth about their products due to the power the consumer now have through social networking sites, providing good and bad reviews.
Next Steve from TAXI showed us the interesting case study of Canadian Tire “House of Innovation” and how this truly has resulted in results for the brand and generated incredible publicity. His presentation seemed more spacey and not very connected at all times.
The remaining presentations after the breaks and lunch were not as interesting more because of the way it was presented. The actual content however was useful and became more focused on data by the end. It ranged from an RTB Panel which was also a plug for an upcoming conference, how to make an online campaign go live, unified social ROI tracking and finally CMO dashboards. This is where the conference felt like it dragged out a bit especially after a fantastic lunch which included spinach/ arugula salad, chicken with roasted tomato, mashed potatoes, mushroom rolls in cream sauce, salmon and incredible array of desserts.
Overall the event was well planned with a well-timed breaks, great company and interesting booths. The downsides were the presenters during the 2nd half and the extended Q&A sessions that could have been easily cut short. I would definitely attend this conference in the future and thank FreshGigs.ca for the opportunity!