MIMA Summit was only the beginning

This was my first Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) Summit, however, I told numerous people that I had super high expectations going in.

I’ve had the opportunity to go to South by Southwest (SXSW) numerous times, BlogWorld & New Media Expo twice and a handful of other social and interactive conferences.

I was at BlogWorld just last week doing the panel/party/networking thing. It’s one of the favorite parts of my job — meeting new and old friends, learning about new and emerging media and strategies, and evangelizing/proselytizing my take on what’s hot and what’s next.

I’m no stranger to marketing conferences, and for the cost and investment in time, it’s important to get a lot of these events. I’m happy to report the MIMA Summit blew away my expectations, and not just because the speakers were (mostly) high quality, the panels were (mostly) well structured and the chicken wasn’t dry. It was the attendees’ contagious passion for what they do that sealed the deal for me.

MIMA presents an opportunity for the interactive marketing community in the Twin Cities to build and grow our collective intellectual capital.

Because of our midwestern familial culture, our nonchalance about what’s cool and trendy versus strategic and effective, and perhaps more importantly, the diversity of creative opportunities, outlets and clients exhibited by the Minneapolis-Saint Paul social and interactive marketing community, we are on the brink of something big.

MIMA president Matt Wilson feels it, and said so at least twice during the Summit. Former president Kristina Halvorson feels it. In fact, lots of you whom I spoke with at the Summit mentioned it. And I know Lee Odden feels it, because we talked about it in the airport after BlogWorld last week — pre-Summit.

You, my friends and peers, feel it. I know because I’m reading your post-MIMA tweets two days later, and you’re still buzzing off your MIMA high.

After five years in the cities, I’m finally feeling like I understand and am a valuable contributor to the marketing community here. Maybe I’m naive, too fresh or haven’t had enough of my dreams crushed yet, but I’m excited about 2009 and what we can do together.

We — the Minneapolis-Saint Paul marketing community — are on the precipice of a marketing revolution steeped in social media tools, authentic storytelling and a genuine interest in putting the “interactive” in interactive marketing.

The MIMA Summit was simply a milestone in a journey we’ve only just begun, and I’m going to live-tweet the whole trip. See you online.

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