I'm back from the2008 CRM Association National Conference. I have to say this was outright cool - or hot - depending on your inclinations. Over 200 attendees, all fired up, great presentations by luminaries like Martha Rogers of PRG, and Pete Winemiller from the Oklahoma City something-to-be nee Seattle Supersonics of the NBA and a wide array of practical how-tos in breakout sessions. I was a keynote on Wednesday with my first take at a "What The Hell is CRM 2.0" presentation - based on history and the research for the book. Thanks to Tylenol, Mephisto shoes, and endorphons, during the presentation I didn't feel anything but one twinge of pain on my car-accident induced broken foot and moved around like greased lightning - or like a New Yorker dodging traffic on a rainy Thursday. Right after I finished, the throbbing was bad news. But the speech went really well - I am told. I never know how I did. I'm in my own blindspot even when I rock.
A couple of things - gripes really - before I get down to the nitty gritty of this entry. These aren't about the conference but about things that surrounded the conference. I'm not sure why this was but there was no CRM press there. I know they'll go to Gartner and vendor conferences but the ONE friggin' association that exists for the industry - that needs their support too - they don't attend. -I didn't see a single representative from CRM magazine, SearchCRM, InsideCRM, CRM Buyer, CRM Today, TMCNet and I could go on and on. I really like the people at these publications, and each of them have exceptional writers and many have refreshing perspectives. I have irreplaceable relationships with some of the people who run and write for these publications. Hell, I write for many of them and will continue to if they want me to. But the lack of support for something that tries to represent the industry is both perplexing and appalling. Maybe the CRMA was at fault here and didn't invite them. I don't know. Maybe someone was there and I didn't see them. After all InsideCRM sponsored it But the lack of press there was monumentally obvious and needs to be fixed right away. I'm going to take care of this. Man, its one effing conference a YEAR. What does it take to send someone there. The one press representative there, not surprisingly, was Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief of1to1 Media (all of it). It's not surprising because Ginger is more than an editor-in-chief. She is a thought leader in CRM and a driver for the new and cutting edge in the industry.
Additionally, the vendor support was far too lukewarm. I understand the need to have prospects attend - these are, after all, quid pro quos. But there were a pretty good group of prospects this time around. But. frankly there also should be some support for for the one agnostic body in the entire industry. Thank you to Oracle, Pardot, FirstWave, Marketo, SugarCRM, Neighborhood America and many others for their support of the event. That said, its about time we all did something for the industry that we're part of. This one doesn't take that much.
Look, we need to make sure that the CRM Association fluorishes in 2009.
All of us need to. Not just the people who are currently volunteering their time and spending their money to make this an association of substance. CRMA has a long way to go there, but it is the members of this industry that makes it succeed or fail - you know - the ones earning their livings in CRM. I'm not trying to avoid naming names - I just don't have the space to mention all that need to participate.
Okay. Deep breath. Ommmmmmmmm. Ommmmmmmmmm. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
To make up for the rant, I'd like to provide you with the presentation I gave at the event. This is my first take at an overview presentation on what CRM 2.0 is, all its elements, the new models it demands, the ideas that drive it, and what vendors are there, getting there, and not there though still pretty damned good. Hope this works. It needs some serious tweaking but hey, dudes, dudesses, I'm trying. Cut me some slack and let me know if this resonates or not. Or what I have to do.