What It Was Like To Attend Content Marketing World 2021 (With Takeout)

PHOTO: Content Marketing World

I flew from San Francisco to Cleveland on a Monday night. Upon landing, I opened the Uber app and requested a ride to my hotel. Leaving Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, I knew I was “home” when I saw the sign:

“Welcome to Cleveland. Content Marketing World 2021.”

Content Marketing World 2021 took place from September 28 to October 1. The in-person experience took place at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland. The conference also provided a virtual option.

Together again: how do we engage?

As I walked into the convention center on Tuesday morning, I knew I would bump into friends from the Content Marketing World community. My dilemma was to say hello with a hug, a handshake, a nudge or a wave.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Connections,” and really, after more than a year physically separated, how could we not reconnect?

When I saw a good friend, I decided to raise both arms in a hugging motion, then ask, “Is a hug okay?” I’ll pause for the answer, and if so, I’ll continue with a gentle hug. If a hug wasn’t preferred, I’d stick out my right elbow for a bump.

Related Article: How to Network in the Age of Remote Work?

What attendees thought of the in-person experience at CM World

The Content Marketing World team has applied the necessary security instructions. In-person attendees had to bring a hard copy or photo of their proof of vaccination or show a negative COVID-19 test result.

According to Amy Fair, Senior Manager, Content Marketing at Mavenir, “The Content Marketing World team went out of their way to ensure a safe environment and I congratulate everyone on a successful event. There’s nothing like to connect face-to-face, in real life and the CM World community and experience is second to none.

For others, the experience of going from room to room (instead of Zoom to Zoom) was welcome. “I really enjoyed the simple things, like physically changing rooms between sessions and walking to and from my hotel. I think my brain and body crave that kind of variety,” said Ashley Guttuso, participant for the first time and Director of Marketing at Curated.co and Audience Ops.

Andi Robinson, global digital content leader at Corteva Agriscience, was named the 2021 Global Content Marketing Community Champion at the conference. According to Robinson, “These face-to-face relationships cannot be replicated on a videoconference. It was just fine to be surrounded by my peers who all speak the same language (i.e. content marketing).

The first participant Meisha Bochicchio traveled to Cleveland from Boston. Bochicchio is head of content marketing at Wistia and plans to make Content Marketing World an annual tradition. According to Bochicchio, “Everyone was so friendly and really excited to connect with other marketers. It was unlike any other conference I’ve ever attended.

Related Article: Joe Pulizzi Shares His 7 Laws of Content Marketing at CMWorld 2019

Takeaways from the world of content marketing

Along with meeting and networking with great people, the hallmark of a good conference is the lessons you take back to the office to implement.

According to Shane Shaps, president and founder of social media marketing agency 520 East Brands, “What I take away is that repurposing content continues to be an important method and storytelling is key to that. that we do. Linking a brand to a cause gives a purpose and a story to tell. So keep doing what we’re doing, keep learning, keep connecting, and keep going.

Bochicchio de Wistia also attended sessions focused on storytelling. “I want to start telling more stories in all of our content – whether it’s our brand story, customer stories of how we’ve made an impact, or external voices telling bigger stories about our industry. I want our readers and our community to feel like they’re communicating with a friend, not engaging with a company,” Bochicchio said.

Andi Robinson enjoyed a keynote presentation by Melanie Deziel titled “Prove It: Use Content as Evidence for Your Most Important Claims”. According to Robinson, “Our content should serve as proof of our most important assertions. Our content is the lens through which our audience sees us. Melanie Deziel has done a great job explaining why our audience doesn’t trust us and how we we can fix it.

Related article: The power of storytelling

Meaningful Connections, Meaningful Impact

Amy Fair took the conference theme “Connections” to heart. “I plan to implement better relationships in all avenues of my role: connecting with clients to share their successes, connecting with colleagues to help build brand awareness, and connecting with my marketing community. content to continue learning and developing my skills,” Fair said. .

One of the themes that Ashley Guttuso addressed at the conference was the need to stop creating content for the sake of creating. When you do this, you can step back to create better content that has a bigger impact. According to Guttuso, “We need to create content that connects prospects and customers to the missions of our brands and has a meaningful impact on their lives. I see it as a chance to plan projects that have a positive impact on the world in addition to the company’s return on investment. »

Related Article: 5 Ways to Stand Out in a Sea of ​​Content

See you next year, Content Marketing World!

I would like to thank the Content Marketing World team for this wonderful conference. As I returned home to San Francisco after a busy week, my thoughts turned to 2022 when we return to Cleveland. Put the dates on your calendar: September 13 to September 16, 2022.

Dennis is the founder of B2B marketing agency Attention Retention, where he works with clients on content marketing, product marketing, and social media marketing. Previously, Dennis led the content marketing function at DNN Software.