Fifty years ago, producers and marketers got smart. They saw the miracle of mass marketing and they adopted it as their own. They amped up mass production and bet on the masses.
The smart creators today are seeing the shift and doing precisely the opposite:
Produce for a micro market.
Market to a micro market.
—Seth Godin, Mass production and mass media
Despite the status associated with big conferences, most meetings are small meetings. Whether by accident or design, in today’s world this is a good thing. The heyday of the large amorphous conference—where plenaries consist of well-known people trying to entertain or inspire you, meeting important people by chance is unlikely, and you’re uninterested in most of the sessions—is past.
Today, the most successful conferences are micro conferences. No time wasted navigating through sprawling venues passing hundreds of people you’ll never meet. No more inspirational lectures that you don’t remember three weeks later. Minimal obligatory glad-handing. Instead you’re meeting less than a hundred people with a lot in common and a lot to gain by connecting effectively, appropriately, and, ultimately, profitably.
As Seth puts it: “When someone wants to know how big you can make (your audience, your market share, your volume), it might be worth pointing out that it’s better to be important, to be in sync, to be the one that’s hard to be replaced. And the only way to be important is to be relevant, focused and specific.”
Photo attribution: Mini Dreamforce 2010