I recently took a short break from working as Conference Director and Community Manager for NMX. The reasons for the break aren’t as important as the reasons I returned – because as a content creator I believe in this conference, what it stands for, and the creative people who make up the NMX team and community. I returned for them, I returned for you, and, yes, I returned for me.
During the time I was away, I received a lot of feedback about NMX. Most of the feedback was positive with a “but” thrown in. “But it’s not the same,” as when it began in 2007.
No, NMX isn’t the same, and that is a good thing!?
New Media and online content creation have evolved and we have to evolve with it. We can’t stay the same. “Same” is boring. ‘”Same” is a failure to adapt. Why would anyone want to go to the same conference over and over again, particularly in a new media world that is constantly changing?
NMX is not the same because our attendees aren’t the same, nor is our focus. When BlogWorld & New Media Expo was first announced in July of 2006 no one had ever heard of Twitter because it wasn’t public yet. Myspace was the big social network and of course Instagram, Google + Pinterest, Snapchat and others were years away from coming to life.
In 2007 bloggers dominated NMX and the mainstream news. We were known as “BlogWorld.” Heck, I still call it BlogWorld…but we were always much more than that. From the very beginning we were talking about podcasting, web video and social media. All forms of content creation were represented in the exhibit hall and the conference.
From the very beginning Rick told me and anyone else who would listen that podcasting and video were going to eventually become huge parts of the show and the corporate marketers and PR pros would fade back into the PRSA’s and marketing worlds they came from. Over the years we evolved and our community of attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors evolved with us. The one thing that remains constant is that NMX exists to serve content creators. So, no. We’re not the same.
Many online brands that are popular today launched at BlogWorld, including a couple of now-popular social media events. Many of the successful (and Internet famous) content creators and social media professionals you look up to today made a name for themselves speaking at BlogWorld/NMX.
Nothing makes us happier than to know we had a part of in someone’s success. If everything stayed the same, we couldn’t continue to introduce new people, products, and services so we can help them succeed as well. Of Course NMX is different now. We hope to always be different, because our attendees are too interesting and creative to be interested in the “same.”
We’re a different conference because our focus is different
We hear NMX described as a “blogging conference,” “tech conference,” “podcasting conference,” “social media conference,” or “content marketing conference.” The truth is, we’re none of the above and we never were. Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing weren’t even buzzwords when NMX was born.
- We’re not a blogging conference because we cover all aspects of online content creation. Blogging is very important and will always have a huge spotlight at NMX. Back in 2010 one of our favorite speakers Lee Odden has explained it this way Blogs are the hub of social media and everything else makes up the spokes. If you just change the word blog to content you have an perfect description of how we view the world of new media. NMX is about all content on the web.
- We’re not a podcasting conference, either. Like blogging, podcasting has an important focus at NMX, but our sessions for content creators go far beyond podcasting. We see podcasting as one of the three critical legs of the new media chair; blogging, podcasting and web video. They are inextricably linked – particularly for any independent content creator who is trying to compete and succeed in a world full of content.
- We’re not a tech conference. Our community is tech-savvy for sure. They enjoy gadgets, wearable technology and keep up with all the latest tech news. They are definitely “early adopters”. However, while technology plays an important part in our event, and while our attendees love to see our exhibitors and sponsors who are technology-based, technology is not our primary focus. If you rely on the latest technology to create, distribute, consume and monetize your content you will find it at NMX.
- We are not a social media conference. Social media plays an important part in content creation, but social isn’t who we are or what we are about – Social media makes up the spokes we use to bring our audience to our content.
NMX really isn’t difficult to pinpoint or nail down. We are a conference for new media content creators. If you blog, podcast, create web video, or take beautiful photographs, you belong at NMX.
We understand that many members of our community are independent content creators, which means they are in business for themselves, or that their employers don’t have the budget to send them. That’s why we do everything we can to keep NMX affordable. That means we can’t pay tens of thousands of dollars to bring in A-list celebrities. Every big name speaker you have ever seen at NMX is there because they love new media as much as you do. We don’t focus on shock and awe, we focus on smart people sharing smart ideas.
We hope you agree that meeting people at a table in the new media lounge is far more beneficial than yelling at someone over loud music.
If you look at YouTube, Flickr, SlideShare, Instagram and other platforms you’ll see hundreds of past NMX sessions, and we don’t mind. We like to think of NMX as the Grateful Dead of conferences. We don’t mind when attendees take video or audio at our sessions and keynotes. We encourage it, because that means more exposure for our speakers and our event. That is the new media way. Besides, it’s a great way to share some knowledge with our friends who couldn’t be there. As a conference for content creators it would be pretty lame if we encouraged everyone to create and share their content far and wide except from our event.
We’re different because it’s not about what you have to sell, but what you have to teach
If you want to speak at NMX you have to have a better reason than “I wrote a book” or “I want people to learn about my product or service.” One thing we take seriously is that there is no selling from the podium. On the extremely rare occasions a sales person gets through, you can bet that person will never be back. In fact, we have an agreement with NMX attendees – if anyone gets up and starts selling during a presentation, you can heckle them all you want. Selling is for the Expo hall, not our sessions.
We’re a different conference because we value knowledge and passion over influence
When we look for people to speak at NMX, we’re looking for teachers and story tellers, not “influencers” or self appointed “experts.” For us, knowledge, passion, and creativity trumps influence every time.
Many of the well known speakers you see on the speaking circuit today got their start at NMX. We’re proud to say we knew they were smart before they became famous for being smart. So we’re happy to introduce some speakers you might not be familiar with, because nothing makes us prouder than to watch them launch amazing careers from the NMX stage.
Now, this isn’t to say we don’t value influence because we do. However, if we do bring in someone with a well known name you can bet your bottom dollar it’s because we felt they had something important to teach – not because we thought they might put butts in the seats.
There Is No Other Event Like NMX.
When Rick first had the idea for NMX it was because he had been searching for an event like it for months and it didn’t exist. He wanted to attend an event full of bloggers, podcasters and web video creators just like him. He wanted to learn from them, meet people who were as passionate about new media who he was and who he didn’t have to explain what a blog was. No one understands that more than me.
When I attended the first BlogWorld 2007, I was very shy and had never traveled by myself anywhere, but I took a brave, big step and flew to Las Vegas because I felt the same passion for blogging that Rick did. When he spoke about his passion and his need for this conference, I got it. Sometimes I feel as if some of the people in my life don’t understand why I am so passionate about NMX, but I can truly say that everyone at NMX from the speakers to the attendees are MY people. I am so happy to be here. I can geek out about blogging to my heart’s content and no one thinks I’m weird.
Over the years the buzz words have changed but no other event has even come close to creating what NMX is. Do you remember when Twitter first came on the scene? Several Twitter conferences popped up overnight. People told us we should change the name to TwitterWorld. We stuck to our vision and our core belief that blogging, podcasting and web video were born to be together and that they all depend on each other. We still believe that today.
Why should you attend NMX if it’s so different?
Let’s break it down:
- Familiar faces, but not the same old, same old: You’ll meet both old and new friends at NMX, but it’s never the same thing each year.
- Affordability: We do everything we can to keep NMX affordable for our attendees.
- Networking: You won’t meet any brighter or more creative people than those who are attending NMX. You will find opportunities all around you.
- Sponsors and exhibitors: Our sales team works hard to hand pick sponsors and exhibitors who best represent our mission and our responsibility to all online content creators. Whether it’s the tools and technology you need to succeed as a content creator, or in life itself, there’s ROI for everyone at NMX.
- Attendees who are invested in the experience: Most attendees at NMX pay for their passes out of their own pockets rather than have costs covered by an employer. This means they’re more invested in the experience, and are 100% focused on learning and networking.
- NAB Show: NMX is co-located with the annual NABShow. All Content Creator or VIP pass holder also gain entry into NABShow’s enormous tradeshow and general (keynote ) sessions. That’s value added to your ticket at no additional charge.
- Red carpet events: All Content Creator and VIP pass holders are invited to attend the 10th Annual Podcast Awards and 4th IAWTV Annual IAWTV Awards and red carpet events.
- Parties, mixers, and other networking events: Rub elbows with well known content creators as well as creative up and comers.
- People who want to work with content creators: Many brands are looking to hire content creators, and they’re coming to NMX.
- Blogging Lifetime Achievement Award: In which we will present an award to someone who has really made a mark in the world of blogging.
- People who are looking to grow their online presence: Are you looking to up your game and grow traffic and boost your online presence? You’ll learn how at NMX!
Surprises in store…
I’m not at liberty to divulge any secrets about our opening keynote. Suffice it to say it will be like nothing you’ve seen before at NMX or any other recent conference. Once photos and videos are shared online, you’ll want to make sure everyone knew you were there.
I’ll tell you this – where we’re going, we won’t need roads.
One million stories at NMX…and none of them are the same
NMX isn’t just a conference. It’s inspiration. Everywhere you look is an idea. Everyone you meet has a tale to tell or something interesting to share. A ticket to NNX is a ticket to the world.
There are one million stories at NMX…which story will you tell?