NMX: The Real Thing

Happy 2014!

This is a busy week in Las Vegas. It began over the weekend with NMX—New Media Expo (formerly Blogworld)—and ends with the granddaddy of them all—International CES.

This week I want to talk about the NMX Conference & Expo. Talk about a small, niche show with a heck of a wallop!

One hundred percent of the audience is actively engaged in social media. At times, with so many people contributing, the twitter feed was almost impossible to follow. People were quite busy creating their own tweet-ups (face-to-face meet-ups) to meet for drinks or dinner at the hotel with people they had never met in person who were also attending the event, reaching out to each other with flight delays at airports (for example: “Who’s going to NMX at (name of) Airport and delayed? Let’s go have a drink! Or meet up!”). It was a super-cool use of social media facilitating face-to-face.

There is a sense of community at NMX. The attendees and exhibitors OWN the show. Well, at least they think they do! Helping the cause were speakers providing snippets, blogs and the like, which were sent out via the big social media channels.

People were friendly. Way more open and less cliquey than other smaller-sized events I’ve gone to. It was easy to introduce yourself to people you didn’t know in sessions, at lunch or in the hallways.

The education was laser-focused. By attending a session, you got what you went for. Also, kudos to the registration company (RCS), which e-mailed survey links about 45 minutes after being scanned entering a session.

Attendees were outgoing. OK, bloggers and podcasters are self-confident in our opinions or we wouldn’t be sharing our thoughts and experiences with the world at large. However, the first day of the conference, there were two sessions offered on how to make the most of your time at NMX—including one of the best Networking 101’s I’ve ever attended, led by Dave Delaney. He discussed introducing oneself, beginning conversations and networking properly (i.e., What can I do for YOU?) vs. schmoozing (What can YOU do for ME?).

Hilariously (sorry, app builders), just about everyone grabbed the PAPER conference grids available at registration to figure out what session they were going to next, even though there was an easy-to-use online scheduler and every attendee had at least a smart phone (if not also multiple tablets and computers). Paper is NOT dead, even for the most tech-savvy of conference goers. Just saying.

What show(s)—NOT your own—are you most looking forward to attending this year?

Stephanie S. Selesnick is president of International Trade Information, a longtime global exhibition industry specialist helping U.S show organizers increase international participation in their exhibitions and a well-known speaker and trainer. Follow her on Twitter at @stephselesnick.

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