With this post I am bringing back an occasional feature, "Way Cool Resources," where I highlight a really cool (WAY COOL, ACTUALLY) social marketing-related resource. This time--how could I resist?--it is the University of South Florida's Social Marketing in Public Health Conference! And how appropriate as this is the 20th Anniversary of the conference (June 11-12, 2010).
I love this conference! I have attended it for 12 years. It has never grown stale. There is always something new and different to learn each year. For me, it is like "God's navel," professionally; or the center of my professional universe! I begin thinking about it in February or March, each year.
There is alway so very much to learn--through the plenaries, the featured speakers, and the workshops. You can get the big picture of social marketing, down to very specific applications. This year, there are additional workshop offerings.
And each year, there is a Training Academy (June 13-14, 2010) that will give you an in-depth introduction to social marketing. I remember the first year I attended the Training Academy. As I sat there listening to Carol Bryant (whom I call the Godmother of Social Marketing), I felt like the heavens opened and this big silver platter was presented to me with all these wonderful goodies on it! I had heard at least two social marketing presentations before, and kind gone, "that's nice...so?" This time, the key went in, the lock turned, and the rest is history!
The conference is designed to provide a very comfortable atmosphere (note the flowered shirt above!) in which to network. The conference is internationally attended, usually 300 - 400 people. They range from novices to the people who wrote the books--LITERALLY! Attendees come from public, private, academic and non-profit sectors. And while public health may predominate, you can find about any human service, safety or environmental issue you can imagine represented. Folks are very friendly and willing to share.
Speaking of the people who wrote the books! This year being the 20th anniversary of the conference, Phil Kotler (the father of social marketing, with Gerald Zaltman), Alan Andreasen and Bill Novelli will keynote the speakers. Hey, bring your autograph book!
So...beg, borrow or sale those Girl Scout cookies in the freezer, and direct you bad self to this conference! You--and the clients you serve--will be glad you did! (And if you can't make it, I will be Tweeting from the conference each evening: http://twitter.com/sm1guru.)