I'll just come right out with the first lesson: Don't try to pick up men on the dance floor. By that, I mean physically pick them up and twirl them like they're your new bride. I'll admit it, there was a free bar and the tequila was wielding it's mighty power, and then there was this crazy good 80s cover band. The lead singer of Yellow Brick Road seemed to embody and vocally secrete every major voice of the rock n' roll era. It was amazing, and their version of Journey's Don't Stop Believing moved me from the balcony of the Boston Royale theater to the dance floor. That's where I'd get slapped on the head by another man.
Just so you know, and you probably already know, at tech conferences the womenfolk are few. Not to say anything about womenfolk and their tech skills. The females hold this place together. But looking down on the dance floor provided few opportunities for a partner of the opposite sex. We'd have to be willing to sport the white-man's overbite with other (mostly) white men. At some point I took it to another level and was lifting and spinning them around. I went in low on one guy and he fought me off. It appeared I'd frightened him and his partner, and I saw the two conferring about what had just happened to them. I agree, it must be strange if not horrifying to have a husky bald guy try to caveman you away. So I tried it again, this time getting slapped on the head by the frightened male. Still, however, I was allowed to pick up and dance with Dave McBreen of our dev team, as well as Patrick Donaldson of the ICM Registry (XXX).
I'm not sure the lesson there, but it could be that you should use your legs, not your back, when bride lifting other guys.
Luckily, however, there was much more to HostingCon than just guy-on-guy dancing. (Another lesson could simply be, "just dance with whomever whenever.") We will share information from some of the top social media, traditional media, employee motivation and cloud hosting gurus. Without having to fly to Boston, or buy a ticket to the conference, or be physically assaulted by a bulbous community evangelist, we'll bring to you the best of HostingCon.
To get started, we'll go back to the party. It was before I'd get bald bonked by my unwitting dance partner, and long before the friendly bartender shouted, "You guys sure can handle a lot of booze!" Well, yes, when you from the 5280 feet of Denver to the sea level of Boston, you become somewhat of an alcoholic superhero. Not bragging, just saying.
Our first lesson, however, would give everyone a reason to drink.
It came from Ralphie May, a popular standup comedian. He'd intended to open the festivities with some of his southern-style comedy, but ended up giving a slightly painful seminar featuring two important lessons.
1. When you've got a crowd that likes your product, don't waste energy attacking those who don't.
In marketing they call it segmentation and "finding your audience." There are user personas and demographics of homogenous groups that, you know, share the same qualities, the most important being that they buy your stuff. Ralphie had a group of fans practically eating out of his hand, but he started flaming on those who were, you know, enjoying the wellspring of free alcohol, and probably asking each other where the women were, and he showed signs of cracking. I was impressed by how long he lasted on stage, but to most everyone else, he was a dude who couldn't cut it. That's what your detractors will remember, not that you had some success, but that you lashed out at them.
2. You've got to like your job so that you can be enthusiastic in promoting your brand.
In Ralphie's death spiral, he went for some low-hanging fruit, and spent twenty minutes talking about how women are no longer enthusiastic about...er...certain "jobs." In asking one of my female coworkers about this accusation, it was shared with me that, "I, for one, wouldn't enjoy making physical contact with an inconsiderate hick, so I'm sure he's had some unenthusiastic hook-ups that likely led to that sub-par comedic routine. ZING!" After she extinguished the flames, she shared with me the lesson. Be enthusiastic or your brand will fail. Or worse, end up as part of a comedy act on some very personal failures.
To learn more you won't have to round the bases with a randy redneck. We'll take you on a hygienically sound virtual tour of the experts who lit up the conference. First, bask in the glow of Rebecca Corliss, the inbound marketing queen from the widely popular marketing firm HubSpot. After that, you'll hear from Robby Slaughter, an expert in getting your business and employees in top shape.
We're working on more informational interviews, including:
-How to get attention with a press release
-Getting your employees to be brand evangelists
-The cloud. What is it and why you want it.