Hooked on WOMMA

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As you all probably know, I just got back (albeit a day late) from WOMMA's second Word-of-mouth basic training conference (WOMBAT 2) in San Francisco, where I got to be a blogger, an attendee, and a proud nobody (see photo above).

So... the question that begs to be asked is "well, what did you think?"

The answer is simply this: I can't wait for the next one! It was great. I loved it.

I'll be talking in more detail about some of the things I learned this week, as well as some of the ideas that being in a roomful of very bright, creative and forward thinking stirred up... but that won't be today. Today, I only have time to thank WOMMA for inviting me to blog their great little event, and particularly, Andy Sernovitz - whose engaging "call to arms" speech Tuesday morning was inspiring -, Michael Rubin, who was kind enough to invite me in the first place and kept the conference sessions running like clockwork, and the entire WOMMA staff, who made sure that everyone had a great time and got the most out of these two very fast-paced days. They pulled it off wonderfully.

I also want to thank every speaker for taking the time to share their thoughts and experience with the rest of us, especially Jackie Huba and Emanuel Rosen, whose lunchtime presentations were nothing short of stellar. I will write a little something about every speaker I was lucky enough to meet or listen to, so stay tuned. (Just because the conference is over doesn't mean that my coverage of it has ended. On the contrary. It's only just now beginning.)

If what you're looking for is a quick evaluation of WOMBAT 2, here its is:

"Worth the money?" Every penny, yes.

"Worth the time?" Every second.

"Even if we aren't an agency?" Especially if you aren't an agency. Here's the deal: Ad agencies, identity companies, PR and market research firms, consultants, buzz drivers, and anyone providing marketing services, listen-up: Bring your clients to WOMBAT 3. Introduce them to word-of-mouth. Get them involved in the process. They need to be there and learn about this at least as much as you do, if not more so.

And if you haven't had a chance to attend WOMBAT 1 or 2, plan on attending 3. Trust me, you won't regret it.

For you veterans out there who found (at least day 1) a little redundant, contact Andy, Mike, Scott, or just about anyone at WOMMA and talk to them about creating separate WOMBAT 101 and 201 tracks (for beginners and veterans, respectively) for future WOMBAT conferences. Geno Church, of Brains On Fire brought up that idea at the after-dinner party Monday night, and I think it's a great one: Offering something new on Day 1 to those of us already familiar with the basics will give us a greater incentive to keep coming back every time and help this movement grow.

Before I run out of here, I also want so say a special hello to Joy Daniels (Senior Marketing Manager at CNET.com), Willow Baum-Lundgren (cofounder, Small Planet Partners), Jeff Goodman (Account coordinator, Moses Anshell Public Relations), Jonielle Schmidt (Program Specialist, Information Technology Program at USC Viterbi School of Engineering), Amie Ley (Public Relations Account Manager, Ten United), Nicole Sampson (Assistant Account Executive, Deep Group), William Mosher (Director, Echopinion), and my fellow bloggers Jennifer Nastu and Marianne Richmond. I couldn't have asked for a better group of folks to hang out with during this conference.

Thanks again to everyone for a fantastic conference, and stay tuned for more commentary on what I saw and heard at WOMBAT 2, and what seems to be the state of WOMM today. You'll probably find what I have to say... surprising.

Until then, have a great weekend, everyone. ;)

Full disclosure: I am not a member of WOMMA. Though WOMMA covered the cost of my hotel and conference registration, I have received no payment in exchange for my coverage of this event. The opinions expressed in my blog posts on the WOMMA, Brandbuilder and Corante blogs are mine, and not dictated or influenced in any way by anyone associated with WOMMA.

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