On Sunday morning I woke up excited. I usually despise Sunday mornings and like to sleep until noon but when my alarm went off at 7am I was ready. Part of my energy was likely due to the fact that I did not drink the night before, thanks dry January, but mainly I was delighted that I was going to be speaking at a huge conference about my thoughts on influencer marketing as a blogger.
Over the past three and a half years I have worked with dozens of amazing advertisers on Sparkles and Shoes and many of these opportunities came about through Clever Girls, a company that connects brands with influencers, including Olympus, Izze, Zappos, and M&M’S. I have always had a great time working with the “Clever” ladies and I was especially flattered when the founder of the company asked me to be on a panel at the National Retail Federation Big Show on how to ‘Amplify Your Brand With Influencer Marketing’. So on Sunday morning I jumped in a cab on the Upper East Side and headed to down the Javits Center.
After checking in I walked what felt like a mile to Hall E where I met the other panelists in the speaker ready room, adjacent to the large conference rooms where the sessions were held. We had planned to meet more than an hour before our talk to get to know each other and go over last minute prep.
With this extra time we were able to get a coffee refill, take a brief tour of the room before our session, and also had plenty of time to get hooked up with the microphones. For a bit more background you can head to the NRF website to see all of the details of our panel as well as my very own bio which I was (and still am) very excited about.
Before I knew it, it was show time! Kristy introduced Jackyln, Kris, and I and over the course of our panel and I was asked to answer three questions (1) please tell us about a great case study (2) what is one pitfall everyone here should avoid and (3) what is one thing everyone could go home and do tomorrow to kick off a successful influencer marketing program.
I was a bit nervous speaking in front of that many people but walking off stage I was really happy with the responses I put together and was impressed with the great answers Jackyln and Kris has as well, all three of us having a different perspective on the topic. I might share my answers at another time but now, a few shots from our panel and a big thank you to one of the Clever Girl team members for taking pictures while I was on stage!
And then, just because, a view from the stage as we were speaking. The lights were so bright I could not make out anyone’s face so I scanned the large room as a whole while talking to the hundreds and hundreds of people who gathered to hear what we had to say about how to amplify your brand with influencer marketing!
After my panel I got the chance to explore the main Expo Hall and truly gained a sense of how massive the conference was, over 33,000 attendees I heard one person say. After walking through the dozens of booths and passing hundreds of men in suits I was surprised for it being a retail conference how tech heavy it was – all of the big booth and sponsors were buy computer or tech companies offering their best solutions for retail.
The panel was incredible, the conference was eye opening, and I had a terrific time speaking about influencer marketing. I have to say thank you to Kristy again for inviting me to be on the panel and to the 600 people I spoke to, I hope you learned something!