Conferences Can Reinforce Cooperative Spirit

I attended Street Fight’s Local Data Summit here in Denver last week and was impressed by the significant amount of idea sharing among competitors for the betterment of the location-based advertising and mobile industry. While there was strong thought leadership from keynoters as well as the usual PPTs outlining products and services, an unspoken benefit of any successfully executed conference is when industry leaders come together to genuinely discuss their thoughts and ideas rather than trying to knock each other off the podium. I witnessed it.

It was refreshing to see this real-time cooperative perspective among industry competitors as sound bytes captured in articles can sometimes skew commentary to come across more biting. Even when moderators tried to shake things up with controversial questions, most of the speakers were of the mindset that they were there to help bring their unique viewpoints to each other in the hopes that those truly invested in their industry will succeed.

One of the reasons this observation hit me is because it is a key component of best in class PR as well. Those who focus their PR and thought leadership efforts around addressing customer pain points and improving their industries as a whole generally rise organically to the top of the competitor list. They don’t take public or private pot shots and instead focus on what they are doing to help customers and partners. The philosophy works because most people would rather see innovation and ideas rather than listen to defensive posturing. I look forward to attending more conferences with this cooperative dynamic that helps move industries forward as a whole much more rapidly.


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