Devlin had the privilege of attending the very first Untether Talks conference that was held in Toronto this past week at the intimate Glen Gould Studio. The Talks, which were an expanded and interactive version of Untether.tv, proved to be insightful and inspiring. The response from attendees was quite positive and another conference is in the works for October, so no worries if you missed out on this past week’s activity.
Highlights from the two days included the following:
Amber Mac – This charming, digital guru, spoke about the ABC’s of social media, which include being Authentic, Bold and Consistent (brands, pay attention!)
Damien Patton – The CEO of Banjo, discussed the holy grail of relationships. He pointed out how location makes social networking more relevant and prevents fragmentation. Location helps one connect with someone or something on a more emotional level, making that person or event special, like the Olympics.
Asif Khan – The founder of the Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA) spoke to the concept of hyper local relevance. We are not far off from a time when every person, place or thing will be geo targeted which poses unprecedented challenges and opportunities to marketers.
When a person checks in and says “Hi, I’m here” a brand or product needs to respond by saying “Welcome! Let me offer you relevant content or an incentive to make your experience more enjoyable.”
Doug Stephens – Founder of Retail Prophet, took this one step further by prophesizing that instead of people checking into places, those places (or brands/products) will check into us. They will know what we’re looking for because all of our apps on our phone will be integrated and in communication with each other, making for a seamless experience.
He expanded on this concept with his analogy of a third shelf, a space that is not a channel, but is a moment in time, when the consumer wants to be targeted. I love this idea because it places the consumer at the forefront and makes his or her life easier and more convenient.
Yasser Ansari – Creator of Project Noah and Jason Segel look-alike, gave a passionate presentation about an app that he created with National Geographic which helps make science accessible and exciting for everyone. Even if you’re not very interested in science or nature, you’ll be blown away by the app’s simple and aesthetically pleasing design.
Sydneye Eve Matrix – This professor at Queens gave a stellar presentation on successful ways of combining social media and mobile devices in the classroom. Man, I wish I had a professor like her when I was in University; she seemed so resourceful and eager to help her students excel by reaching them on channels that they’re already on and are comfortable using.
Whurley – This Dude is one of a kind, which I guess is why he can get away with only having one name (think Madonna, Oprah, Bono, I could go on and on…) His presentation was definitely a crowd favourite, as he made sure that the audience was engaged the whole time by involving them in creating his slide deck, then cleverly answering everyone’s questions without any preparation. Pure genius. Not “Evil Genius” which comes up when you google his name. He seems like too much of a nice guy to be deemed evil and also sounds like one very cool Dad.
As someone who appreciates learning new things and contemplating what the future brings, I was excited when Whurley spoke about the auto industry and how it’s in flux.
How can we change transportation as a whole so that it’s more like one’s house and less like one’s car? How can we make it easier to do everything in a car, perhaps by having someone else (or an app) drive it? Will there even be cars in the Future? Maybe just brain powered skateboards… I loved this rant and read a fascinating article today about the same thing in Fast Company:
Whurley concluded by declaring that there is no such thing as mobile computing; computing has just gone mobile. When computing becomes more pervasive there will be a lot more opportunity for everyone because technology will be cheaper, faster and better.
What a great way to end off a presentation at a conference about being “untethered”. Of course my favourite part of the conference was meeting loads of new people and sharing opinions with them on new ideas that we garnered from the Talks.