AIM 2011 Conference takeaways

AIM 2011 Bill Szczytko presentingI am suffering from the post-Apartment Internet Marketing conference butt drag. Sure it’s the long flight and the time change but also the experience itself. This year’s conference was another fantastic one with tons of great networking with friends I’ve met and hadn’t before. I’m always amazed at the sharing of ideas and thoughts you find in multifamily. It’s really inspiring stuff.

Everyone always wants to know; “What are your takeaways?” “What did you learn?” It’s hard to put my finger on what the experience of talking to my peers is like. It’s some powerful stuff. Here’s a brief summary of some other takeaways this year:

First and foremost Lisa Trosien is a well respected and highly influential member of the multifamily industry. There’s a reason for that. Her intelligence and knowledge base about this industry are second to none. I could’ve talked to her during the entire conference. There are two reasons why I didn’t. A) She was too busy B) It would’ve been really creepy. Thank you for being an awesome moderator.

Social media took more of a back seat and I was okay with it. Let’s face it, it’s talked about way too much. Sure it was brought up in sessions but there was no great focus on it. This tells me that people are getting it. That’s good.

The theme of the conference was Reveal. I think they shortened the true one. The real theme was “Reveal the basics”. I believe that with all of the new things out there, especially from a technology standpoint, we can forget the basics or stuff you see everyday. Seth Godin sums this concept up brilliantly in his purple cow presentation. So many sessions tried to get you to think about the most important things. From the basics of really great photography, to simple marketing ideas you can focus on, to answering the phone, there was a ton of information put out there that said…cut out the clutter and don’t forget the really important stuff. Loved that.

I thought Amy Earp absolutely crushed her presentation about answering the phone. I found myself wanting to jump out of my seat and scream “Hazza!” Why don’t we answer the phone in this industry? It’s something that I’ve never understood. I really loved her passion and humor. Awesome.

This was the second year in a row I got to see Greg Sterling and he didn’t disappoint again. He always provides awesome analytical information and interesting mobile data. Best line was this little gem “and now for the nudity and violence.” To see Greg try to take his suit jacket off while saying that line was priceless. I love reading his blog for tons of great information and you should too.

I didn’t leave out the other sessions because I didn’t like them. This isn’t an AIM review..it’s just what really stuck out at me in less than 500 words. I spoke with a bunch of vendors and saw some products I like. Here are some other more personal takeaways:

I am just barely an average Foursquare player. Several times I was able to slide a curve ball into my opponents square and others came just shy of breaking a window. Playing was a blast and I thank Mark Juleen and Mike Whaling for setting it up… and for wearing headbands.

I was honored this year with the chance to present in one of the sessions. Things went well…it’s amazing how difficult it really is. I planned out what I was going to say but it’s astounding how much I seemed to forget. I came up with new stuff on the fly though and persevered. It was an incredible experience. Geeks are hot.

The Red Chair Lounge is a dangerous place. Don’t go there after dark.

What were your take aways? Care to share?

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