The Art of Marketing Conference

I was given a complimentary pass to attend the Art of Marketing conference on Wednesday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Not because of my blog, it was through my job. But I was excited because it is one of the most renowned marketing conferences and for a one day event it is tres expensive. Communications is more my forte than marketing (I studied journalism, got into communications, and then sort of just branched into marketing since they are sort of intertwined), so I was hoping to hear some new ideas that I could apply professionally (and maybe personally).

They had some pretty amazing speakers lined up: Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter and named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine; Seth Godin, author, blogger, and overall marketing genius; Charles Duhigg, a New York Times reporter and author; Jonah Berger, professor and viral marketing expert; and David Usher, musician, frontman of Moist (terrible word/name for a band, just saying), and he also did his solo thing for a while.

David Usher was up first, and to be honest he was the speaker I was most looking forward to.


Because I used to really like Moist. I saw them in concert a few times. I immediately tweeted about this…

Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 10.34.33 PM

(I got it back, not to worry. This was my first big concert and before I learned that maybe flip flops weren’t appropriate mosh pit attire.)

David Usher actually saw this tweet and read it out loud to the entire. audience. (about 2,000 people) during his presentation. I nearly fell off my chair when I realized it was mine. I was so excited.


Anyway, fangirl comments aside, his presentation was great. He spoke about creativity and how everyone is creative, even if they think they are not. There are many different ways to be creative, as I’m sure we all know. I actually have a lot to say about this so I think I am going to do a separate post about it.

He also performed a bit at the Art of Marketing.


Which was pretty awesome. Probably the most exciting conference speaker I have witnessed.

But they were all good. I took something away from all of them. From David Usher I took away that everyone can be creative, and creativity is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it is.

From Jonah Berger I took away the notion that you can engineer your content to be more viral, you just need to use the right tools. I think the biggest tool he covered that stuck with me was to find the “inner remarkability” of things. If something isn’t remarkable, make it exciting. He used Blendtec (a blender company) as an example of this:

How hilarious is that boring blender now?

I mean, my life isn’t all that exciting, but I blog about it anyway.

He also said, basically, tell stories. People like stories. They will share them.

From Seth Godin I took away that bald is beautiful.


And that you should do something that might not work. Something that matters, something original, but something that might fail. And that if failure is not an option, neither is success.

From Charles Duhigg I learned that there is a science in habits. Cue, routine, reward. He also was talking about how it’s been proven that people who make exercise a habit are better at life in general, and he had a bunch of examples for this. It really inspired me to run regularly again (umm, haven’t ran since…but I will!)

And from the man Biz (who, by the way, is really funny), I took away that you can take away something from everything, coincidentally. Everything is a life lesson. And also that you can rave on about anything if you are important enough. Everyone will hang onto your every word.


He also talked about philanthropy being the future of marketing, because people are attracted to meaning. I really like this idea, and that is the world I want to live in. I can’t get behind just wanting to make money. That is not something that will ever drive me. I like to feel like I am doing something that has a purpose, you know?

So anyway, the conference was great. My only complaint would be that they didn’t have lunch. I might actually fill out the online survey and for the question that says “What would you like to see at the Art of Marketing 2014?” I will probably write “Lunch. Snacks.”

I didn’t starve though, I found a friend!


I randomly bumped into my fave Canadian blog pal Stephanie Fusco and we had a triple lunch date with her friend Shannon (who recognized me from my piggyback fail video, ooooh). We went to Lonestar Texas Grill across the street for fajitas and margaritas.


Texas-sized margaritas. Just living the dream.

Lonestar used to be my favourite chain restaurant. I cannot get enough of their fajitas.



They have gone down in quality a bit I think since I have last been there. But they make their own wraps themselves and those are amazing.

Anyway, it was a fun day, I learned a ton, and I’m so glad I ran into Steph! Good times all around.

Have a great weekend! Back to paint-fest for me!


One response to “The Art of Marketing Conference

  1. I just laughed REALLY loudly in my office at “bald is beautiful” and then that picture. Oh you make my day.

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