Stories & Slides from the 2014 MarketingProfs B2B Forum

October 13, 2014


Last week I had the pleasure of being a part of the 2014 MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston. This event brings together over 800 B2B marketers from every US state and several distant countries. Keynotes included Scott Stratten, danah boyd, and Austin Kleon (whose visual style has always been an inspiration to me — more on that in a bit). There was even an appearance from Seth Godin who appeared to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award.

I helped kick off the event by providing a pre-conference Content Marketing Boot Camp. I also had the pleasure of joining David Meerman Scott, Gini Dietrich, Steve Garfield, Laura Fitton, Dane Sanders, and Doug Kessler in closing the event on Friday. MarketingProfs asked each of the seven speakers to share a seven-minute inspirational talk as part of their “7 Minutes of Awesome.” Prompted by a recent question from my longtime friend and colleague Rob Rouwenhorst, I spent my time talking about how I find clarity in the chaos of having five kids and several projects going at once.

To add another layer to this story, I chose to draw my slides. This echoes the advice of Austin Kleon — a self-described writer who draws — in his most recent book (and keynote) where he encourages artists to show their work. I’ve drawn since I was a kid but haven’t found many applications for it as an adult. Kleon’s visual style, as well as that of Dan Roam, has been an inspiration to me so I couldn’t think of a better way to visualize these ideas.

Here are the slides from my talk.

While at the B2B Forum, I also had a great conversation with Kelly Kingman, the artist who visualized many of the talks at the event. We both confessed to having trouble drawing for the sake of drawing. She visualizes talks and I’m honestly not sure what I’ll do with my drawings. But I’d like to continue to find ways to use these sketches to reinforce my talks and other forms of content.

All in all, the B2B Forum was an amazing experience with insights and ideas from some of the best and brightest thought leaders in the industry. Get the highlights by checking the hashtag #mpb2b on Twitter.

Congratulations to Ann Handley and the MarketingProfs team on another great event!

Photo via Dave Cutler

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.