Last week I went to the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. It was my first one in at least a year and I’m glad I went. They’ve turned it up a notch and it was nice to see.
The Sales 2.0 Conference has had the reputation of being an old school, vendor centric conference, filled with more people selling than people buying. It’s been known for keynotes and speaking sessions being more glorified “pitches” than actual learning sessions, but this time was different.
There were a couple of noticeable changes to this event, that played well. The most notable, the sessions were far more informational and less product/company/service pitches by the sponsors. The content was strong, delivered well, with excellent learning points. I particularly liked Sandy Hogan’s presentation on leadership and how to transition from sales leader to a “horizon business leader.”
For the fist time since I’ve attended, the event had an emcee that wasn’t Sales 2.0’s lead man Gherhard Gschwandtner. Alice Heiman ran the show. It was a refreshing change. She was energetic and worked hard at engaging the audience in between speakers. She was a little awkward in her approach a times, but the effort was there and she did keep the audience engaged. It was nice to see a woman running emcee as well. Sales 2.o has been charged by some of the industry’s leading women as not having enough women representation. It appears they’re getting the message as women were well represented at this event on stage and in the crowd.
Another obvious addition was the introduction of younger, more millennial type speakers. John Hall of Influence & Co was a great example. An energetic, lively, funny, engaging, hip speaker, John was breaking old school, stodgy Sales 2.0 speaker mold. It was awesome to see.
And, if all that wasn’t enough, they added lunch entertainment. An acoustic guitarist was on stage taking requests and strumming away at old school 60’s, 70’s and 80’s tunes. It made for a fun lunch.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed. The word on the street from others was similar. Sales 2.0 in San Francisco was fresh, informative, energetic and fun. They’ve turned it up.
Boom! Ya gotta love when that happens.