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Author: Sam Burrough

5 Ways Content Marketing Supports Instructional Design

When we talk about marketing, by default we talk about marketing campaigns. That suggests using a variety of media, spread out over a period of time, coordinated in a way that serves a specific goal. Traditionally that would consist of elements like advertising and direct marketing by email, telephone, or post. But now it’s evolved to exploit new media, social media. This is content marketing. Content marketing adds elements like blogs, videos, curation, social networks, webinars, podcasts and e-books. It’s about telling your story using different communication channels, not just to reach different audiences, but to interact with them...

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Ultimate Conference-zilla part 2: Better content by design

This is part 2 in our series rounding up the “research” we carried out into Redesigning the Conference Experience. Part one focused on ways to make networking more effective and inclusive. Next we’re going to look at ways to improve the typical conference session. The content in these sessions is the main focus of the marketing efforts at big conferences. Whether it’s the superstar gurus of the learning or technology scenes, or a great case study, content still matters and content is what sells tickets and exhibit space. Is content really king or are we just victims of celebrity culture? Why are we so focused on speaker content? It’s a little odd. Most people who go to conferences agree that networking adds more value than speaker content, yet most of the hype around a conference centres on who is speaking. Booking the biggest names in the business is still the best way to raise the profile of your event and sells tickets, even though most of what the speakers will say is already available online. Does this fascination stem from the wider culture of celebrity, or is it another indicator that audiences still don’t realise how much you can discover online for free? Or perhaps as Phil Green suggested, the best speakers can create “a true buzz shared in the physical space”. At their best the emotional response these...

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Ultimate Conference-zilla Part 1: Improving the Networking Experience

Last month we asked “How do you design the Ultimate Conference Experience?” We posed the question here on our website, on our Google Plus community, on the DPG community, at the last weeLearning meetup and in various LinkedIn groups (nobody replied on any of the LinkedIn groups – go figure.) We were a little overwhelmed by the quantity and creativity of the responses we received (except on LinkedIn). We feel we have a responsibility to do something with all these great opinions and ideas. We’d love to take them all and go and create Ultimate Conference-zilla, but there is probably more value to the community if we just share them all in a relatively digestible format here. Of course if they get ignored then we might just change our minds and do something after all… Analysis of the comments we received last month produced three problems to solve: How might we improve the networking experience at conferences? How can we make content sessions more engaging? What alternative session formats could be incorporated into the standard conference? This is the first of three posts looking at each theme. Why do people go to Conferences? Basically two things draw people to conferences: Content Networking Networking beats content in terms of personal value, but content, or rather the speakers that deliver it, sell tickets. This rings true even at small events like...

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Thesign Drinking (design thinking in the pub)

What do you get if you take 9 people, a box of lego, 6 pots of play dough, some pipe cleaners, a load of post its and then add beer? Er – this… As I said in the video we basically remixed the Stanford d school gift giving experience. This was a dual purpose event. We wanted to actually try running a session where people got to try out the design thinking process and we were really interested in finding better ways to run conferences. Not necessarily because we want to run one, but because of the reaction we...

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