Ambassador Reflection: W2O PreCommerce Summit 2015

Posted by Center for Social Commerce • March 16, 2015

It is one thing to learn about the great technologies, innovators and digital trends in the classroom. It is another thing entirely to witness them in person. At W2O Group’s 2015 PreCommerce Summit on Thursday, we got to listen and engage with powerful 21st century marketers, engineers, communicators and most importantly, thinkers. Sitting in a room with hundreds of fellow attendees (and snagging one too many free breakfast tacos), it was easy to see that this event was a true culmination of the individuals redefining our industries.

We heard from global communications leads at companies like Bloomberg and IBM. We learned about uncovering our biases from a manager at Google. We listened in on the evolving digital strategies at Verizon and how the U.S. Department of Health is using data to improve the country’s health services. Al Roker taught us how truly important it is to always be oneself in this evolving 21st environment.

“If you are true to yourself, everything else will fall into place,” he told us in a booming voice from on stage at the Austin Music Hall.

Perhaps my greatest take away came from David Kirkpatrick, CEO and founder of Techonomy. Kirkpatrick discussed security, the paranoia surrounding the Internet and the moments he has rubbed shoulders with tech leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

It was this line that truly stood out to me, though: “The way to win is to be connected.”

As a journalism major, the first thing we learn is the power in connecting with your audience through the story you tell. In the digital age though, we are no longer just captivating audiences through long form narratives, but through 140-character tweets, multimedia displays, GIFs, Snapchat stories, data, analytics and insights.

While the value in connection remains the same, the manner in which we gain connection is gaining a digital advantage.

This post was authored by Anna Hodge.

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