5 Tips for #ACCELERATE Exceptionalism
Next month’s ACCELERATE conference in Atlanta on September 18th will be the fifth — FIFTH!!! — one. I wish I could say I’d attended every one, but, sadly, I missed Boston due to a recent job change at the time. I was there in San Francisco in 2010, I made a day trip to Chicago in 2011, and I personally scheduled fantastic weather for Columbus in 2013.
This will be my second ACCELERATE as a partner at Analytics Demystified, and I’m really looking forward to it, so I thought I’d take a run at 5 tips for making the conference as fruitful and memorable as possible — the most non-subtle of homages to the “10 Tips in 20 Minutes” format of the event.
Tip 1: Register!
Obviously, you can’t really help make the event fantastic if you’re not there. It’s $99, for Pete’s sake! Did you know that the first ACCELERATE was actually free? What Eric, John, and Adam learned with that was that “free” meant people would register without even checking their calendars for availability. So, they went the “nominal fee” route to ensure registrants had the teensiest bit of skin in the game. You can actually read more about the philosophy behind the event pricing here — it goes to what makes the conference different from other analytics conferences! For fun, I’ve actually finagled a nominal discount on that nominal fee. Use the promo code “gilligan” when you register and you’ll get a little discount. It was going to be an amount that matches the last two digits of the year I graduated from high school…but then we got crazy and decided to make it match the year I finished second grade.
Tip 2: Set a Conversion Rate Target
We’ve got 10 speakers each providing 10 tips. You can check out the speakers and topics here (scroll down after clicking through the link). That’s 100 tips! We’re not brazen enough to claim that every one of those tips is going to knock your socks off. The fact that you’re getting out there and reading blog posts and attending industry events means you’re already in the mode of learning from your peers. That’s great! Take a look at the topics that we’ll be covering. How many tips are you aiming to pick up that you can take back and apply immediately when you get back to the office? Set a target. Leave a comment here with what it is. Tweet it with the #ACCELERATE hashtag. Then, let me know how you did!
Tip 3: Identify Your Biggest Analytics Challenge
Between the speakers, the Demystified team, and the several hundred of your peers who will be attending, you have a great resource to tap into during the breaks at the conference. Whether you seek out a specific person who you know will be there, or whether you will just be mingling with a random mix of people, tee up in your head the thing you’re struggling with the most. Toss it out for discussion and see if you can track down a bonus tip or two that is specific to your circumstance. You’re allowed to count any tips you pick up that way as conversions, too!
Tip 4: Be Social
Dust off your Twitter account and get ready to help us capture the essence of the event and the most popular takeaways. We’ll be tracking the tweets that use the #ACCELERATE, and so will many of the attendees. Tweet the tips that you find the most useful (this is also an easy way for you to tally up your conversion rate after the event — just review your own feed). Tweet your additions/enhancements to the tips. Tweet when you disagree with a tip or a tweet, or when you have an amusing, related anecdote. It’s not about volume, and it’s not a competition. Well…maybe it is a little about competition. There is definitely a bit of cachet that goes with being the author of one of the most retweeted tweets of the event. Either Michele Kiss or I will certainly tweet out the most RT’d tweets of the day at the end of the event.
Tip 5: Be Sociable
This is the countervailing tip to Tip 4. This is a one-day conference. Set your out-of-office message that you are out for the day. One. DAY! Email can wait for the flight back. Set a goal to know not only the names of everyone at your table, but where they work, what they do, and what their biggest challenges are (see Tip 3). Introduce yourself to the person in front of or behind you in line at lunch. Sidle up to a small group and join the conversation.
I’m looking forward to what I know is going to be another great event. I hope to see you there!