More People Playing Farmville

Dylan Jones, Jones Digital Media

That’s the one thing I love about conventions; you always come away with some random nuggets of information somebody stumbled on while researching their presentation.

“More people playing Farmville than there are farmers” was one courtesy of Steve Gurley of Symon who headed up a pretty interesting session on The Holistic Customer Experience. Along with FK Funderburke -awesome name by the way- from SapientNitro, they talked the audience through a vision of the future that was either breathtakingly exciting or utterly terrifying depending on your point of view.

I’m still debating whether the photo they showed of a 24 month-old child skimming casually through an iPhone screen at a restaurant table as her parents did the same was the shape of things to come or a terrible vision of what’s ahead for all of us.

Mobile and proximity marketing seemed to be the tone of the seminars at this year’s #CETW. And, as they say, why not. It’s permeating everything we do in the industry these days and it’s not likely to stop anytime soon. Garry McGuire’s announcements in his keynote address seemed to only support that; RMG’s partnerships with BlueBite, LocaModa and Groupon are pointing the way ahead for our industry.

Thursday morning’s session on Location Based Mobile Marketing hit on the same subject and offered some good, basic advice for any brand or company dipping their toes into mobile marketing. NFC, near field communications, was an oft mentioned buzz word around the show, generating some real excitement and new possibilities for venues looking for the holy grail of convergence.

And of course, ”convergence’ was everywhere-at least on every presentation I attended, although I didn’t see much evidence of it on the show floor. Touch screen vendors and manufacturers seemed to dominate the expo, making it difficult to discern one from the other. And, if you’re in the business of finding a reliable padlock for your server or a sturdy mount for your monitor, CETW is the place for you.

If I had one criticism of the show it was that the floor featured few exhibitors featuring real innovation – the innovation seemed to be coming from behind the podium.

Other than that, I think Lawrence and his team did a standout job in putting the event together, the floor was spacious and looked great. I also liked the tech talk pods – the pre-built screens worked really well in keeping out the sound from the floor. As one who was presenting, this was a welcome addition.

Finally, it was definitely a huge bonus having CETW in my home town. Easy commute, no pat-downs and no hotel rooms; lovely. We hope they’ll come back this way again and maybe persuade a few more of our Silicon Valley innovators to get off their arses and get involved in the show. Maybe a special ”innovators showcase’ on the exhibit floor would entice them or perhaps more free beer.

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