Marketing a symposium

I have been ecstatic since I received the news in April this year of becoming a member of the marketing sub-committee for the upcoming ALIA New Librarians Symposium (no.6) – NLS6. Not only have I become part of a dedicated, fun and passionate group of info professionals but I have just landed a voluntary job in which I get to practice one of my passions – marketing!

So what is marketing? Well to cut a long story short or rather to spare you the theoretical babble of the academics, it’s simply getting your wares (products, services, philosophy) known to a bunch of targeted people in the hope that they buy your products, listen to whatever you have to say and follow you wherever you go. Without marketing, the USA would not be the world power that it is today. Sure it has domestic problems, but notice when its citizens are on the world stage, they dress and present themselves well and speak so articulately that you’d think they’re all diplomatic envoys.

I particularly like Seth Godin. I think he is the best marketing genius ever to have ever walked the face of the earth. He coined the phrase ideavirus, which I believe gave birth to the term ‘viral’. I’m sure you’ve heard of it – it’s when an idea spreads like a virus and everyone rushes out to experience that idea. You might have known it as ‘word of mouth’ once upon a time but due to our wide use of mobile communication technologies and social media it has now morphed to something different and new. In fact, I just saw something on TV the other night about Mummy bloggers doing big business here in Australia. Woogs World is one site that is doing extremely well with 2 million website visitors! Ridiculously fantastic! No wonder marketers and companies are getting inside the mummy bloggers’ websites to sell their products. The Nine Network’s 3.3 billion (that’s 3,300 million!!) dollar debt is a mountain of money in anybody’s language and bears testimony to the growing new world order of online media.

Anyway, central to Godin’s ideavirus is the notion that the marketer is no longer the centre of successful marketing but the customer is. For example, who marketed ’Fifty Shades of Grey’? None other than you, you and you! I don’t know what the hype is all about but I’d certainly like to know so I have now reserved my copy in the library!

Well back to marketing a symposium. With 202 NLS6 Twitter followers (and growing!) all discussing about #NLS6, 49 Facebookers going to the event and about 1,900 unique visitors to the website for October 2012, I think the info professional folks are doing a great job spreading the word and creating the buzz for NLS6. Well done to the rest of the team – Mel Chivers and Megan Ingle for all your hard work, as well as the support from the NLS6 organising committee co-chairs Kate Davis and Vanessa Warren and the camaraderie of the whole NLS6 organising committee. Thank you all and look forward to seeing you in Brisbane in February 2013!

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