We do something odd with our semi-annual Contently Summit: We don’t advertise it at all.
It’s an intimate affair of 200 of the industry’s top content marketing minds, and that’s how we like it. The panels, audience interaction, and networking are all richer—and more honest—as a result. For me, it’s always one of the most illuminating days of the year. I know that a lot of other people feel the same way.
Still, we want to share the love and knowledge far and wide, and let you experience the entire day.
First, we discussed how brands can build owned an audience, and the trends that will change the way brands attract loyal readers in 2015. Check out the full recap here, and watch the panel below, featuring Audrey Gray of MetLife, Steve Rubel of Edelman, and me in a really tight shirt from Topshop.
Next, Jay Moye, editor-in-chief of Coca-Cola Journey, walked us through a fascinating case study of how the beverage giant built a magazine with millions of engaged monthly readers.
After lunch, Wilson Cleveland of Unboxd, Chad Mumm from Vox Media, and Andrew Greenwood of Genpact gave a crash course in how brands can get in on the multimedia revolution. This panel also doubled as a hilarious stand-up comedy session for Wilson. (Check out the recap here.)
The following panel tackled one of the biggest questions facing content marketers today: How can brands publish at the speed of news? This panel featured a fascinating odd couple duo: Stacie Grissom, editor-in-chief of BarkPost, and Adam “Patches and Pipes” Aston, editorial director of T Brand Studio, The New York Times‘ sponsored content shop. (Check out the recap here.)
To break things up after a couple of heavy discussions and recenter our minds on the art of storytelling, renown storytelling group The Moth took us through a storytelling workshop—with a twist. The Moth requested that everyone tweet out a story idea, and the audience voted for the one they liked best via a cheer-o-meter. Then, that lucky (unlucky?) winner was asked to come up and tell their story out loud on the fly.
That winner ended up being me, and I shuffled onstage to tell one of the most embarrassing stories of my life and have it workshopped. Don’t judge me (and skip to 18:30 to see the carnage unfold).
In arguably the best session of the day, two marketers—Debra Russeth, HSBC’s VP of marketing, and OneSpot CEO Steve Sachs—shed a rare light on how brands can tie their content back to real business results. (Check out the recap here.)
Finally, Contently CEO Joe Coleman and VP of Content Sam Slaughter sat down for a #realtalk fireside chat with moderator Neil Chase about the future of content marketing, and what to expect in 2015. It was a special talk, mostly because it’s the first time Sam’s worn a suit in six years. (Check out the recap here.)
Then, it was time for happy hour. We don’t have video of that, unfortunately, but it pretty much went like this: