After a conference, especially one where a ton of information is being thrown at your head in the hope that it will stick, it’s always a bit hard to deflate and really think about what has just happened. TECHmunch is no exception – last year the event was a single day and I still wrote three posts about the panels. I’m hoping to be a bit more concise this year. Not because we didn’t learn a lot, but in an effort to cut through a lot of the extraneous stuff and give you key information about what went on.
The venue this year was the flagship Whole Foods in downtown Austin. The corporate offices are upstairs from the grocery store and culinary center, so we camped out in a conference room just off the patio, bought delicious lunches down in the cafe section each day, and generally were treated fantastically by the Whole Foods staff.
Our first panel talked about socializing content, and while these guys are definitely at the top of their game (one of the panelists was Ben Huh from ICanHazCheezburger.com) it seemed like much of what they were saying wasn’t applicable to the small-time bloggers we were. However, a few key points hit home:
The second panel on getting noticed and building your public relations plan was incredibly informative, from my point of view. It was great to hear from PR pros giving relatable advice, not just pushing the importance of the ever-worsening Technorati. Here’s the main points I came away with:
The next panel was on social media optimization and to be honest, was a bit overwhelming in terms of how much information was being thrown at us in a short amount of time. A few of us were also starting to get twitchy from overdoing it on the cold-brew coffee, and it was almost lunch time. Bad combination! Thankfully, presenter Lee Odden has his presentation available to us right over here. Some key things I took away from the presentation:
We had lunch, and then came back to a panel on traditional media, led by Austin’s own Addie Broyles. The panel speakers were Kat Kinsman from CNN’s Eatocracy, the Tampa Tribune’s Jeff Houck, and Rene Lynch of the LA Times.
Our final panel of the day was about creating kickass content, and truly had some kickass people as a panel. Penny De Los Santos, Nadia G, and Jane Goldman (from Chow.com). They’re all doing well in their respective areas, and it was inspiring to hear their advice.
Stay tuned for part two of the recap, to cover Sunday and some closing thoughts!