Friday, March 27, 2009

{Such A} Bold Fusion: My Take

Bold Fusion 2009: Changing the Game

This was the theme for the annual YP summit held yesterday. Hundreds of young professionals, myself included, attended the half-day event. The focus included a closer look at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to examine how social media can be leveraged not only in business, but to create more awareness of Cincinnati.

Held at the Aronoff this year in the Jarson-Kaplan Theatre, Bold Fusion appeared to be off to a great start judging by the crowd at the sign-in table. After registering, we were encouraged to visit one of four video booths set up in the lobby to record messages for and YouTube. While some people may have been hesitant, yours truly suffers no stage fright, and I gladly recorded my message at the booth manned by Game Day Communications' Jackie Reau.

After opening remarks from both Ryan Rybolt (President, Infintech) and Ellen van der Horst (President, Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce) and we got underway with our first speaker, Rich Boehne (CEO, E.W. Scripps). Rich did a great job presenting his take on the diversification of media, and demonstrated how traditional media is learning to embrace social media vehicles as a way to continue to educate and inform the public. My fave quote? "I feel like Glen Campbell opening for Pearl Jam!" Indeed...Rich alluded that at 50+ years old, he is having to adapt and change to the changes in the media landscape rapidly.

Next up, Mike Boehmer (Senior PR Specialist - Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services). I was a little suprised to see him on the speaking agenda...I found myself wondering what he would be able to contribute. Little did I know that HCJFS has done a fantastic job utilizing social media tools, and with a mere $1,500, has been able to run a $2 billion dollar organization's marketing and public relations.

Finally, Kendra Ramirez (President, Sales Konnect) took her turn at the podium, and talked at length about leveraging your business via social media. Whether via Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, she encouraged us to use these tools to "engage your audience, not broadcast information to them."

My favorite part of Bold Fusion came via "two nobodies from nowhere" - brothers Joe and Dave Herbert from Batesville, IN who won the Doritos 2009 Crash the Super Bowl Ad contest. They had great rapport and kept a running banter going as they explained how a loss in the 2007 Doritos contest propelled them to enter again in '09, armed with every single social media vehicle they could use to encourage people to vote for their commercial. Persistance paid off, and not only did they win the Doritos contest, but they took top honors in the 21st Annual USA TODAY Ad Meter contest.

Before coming to a close, the Herbert brothers screened the winners from the HYPE UP Cincinnati video contest. Of all the winners shown, I liked Tag! and the OTR movie short by Andrew Money best.

Overall, my take on Bold Fusion was that while the info was good, the format was lacking. I went in expecting to have a lively interactive session filled with great insights, and instead, I sat and listened to people speak. I would've loved to have more direct engagement with the speakers, or at very least, with the other attendees. The other thing that struck me was that as a social media connisseur, I expected to see some familar faces (Kevin Dugan, Michelle Lentz, Daniel Johnson Jr.) and I couldn't believe that nary a one of them were participating. Maybe next year?

Much to be said for HYPE (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Bold Fusion (CIN Weekly)

Social Media Playbook (HYPE)


Daniel said...

Thanks for the insights, Monika. I wasn't sure what to expect from the event, not having heard about it much before yesterday.

I did enjoy participating in the conversations on Twitter, via the #boldfusion hashtag, while sitting at my current day job in Dayton.

Maybe next year I'll be there in-person. How does someone get invited to speak at these events, I wonder?

RadioCarla said...


It's funny that you mention the difference between a truly interactive event and a gathering where people talk at you. We're in the process of changing our Faculty Forums to a more interactive format and the first time out was already so much better. If you're just going to talk at me, stream it and send me a link. If you want to talk with me and hear what knowledge I can bring to the conversation/topic, I am much more likely to get my butt there.


Unknown said...

Monika, I have never been to Bold Fusion, but my impression from previous years is that it used to be more interactive. They had real-time online polling during presentations, and small group discussions with a moderator at every table. So offhand, I could make the claim that interactivity at Bold Fusion is decreasing, but since I've never been, I won't. :)

Anonymous said...

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Monika R. "RedKat" said...

Thank you everyone for your feedback on Bold Fusion. Here's hoping that next year's event is even more of a dialogue so that we can continue to talk about what's great about Cincinnati.

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