At the end of Bathroom Blogfest, I like to reflect on the experience and lessons learned. After all, it isn't about pure business lead generation. It's infinitely social and the topic lends itself to giggles.
However, it continues to evolve since the first event in 2006, and it takes place in a digital marketing environment - aka the next marketing frontier.
Possibly the best part of Bathroom Blogfest continues to be the shock value which comes from all things bathroom related [unless you're in the bathroom business].
Then there's how much value I've gotten from featuring the bathrooms and amazing bathroom experiences I've come across and written about since taking part in Bathroom Blogfest. I've accumulated a goldmine of marvelous retail experience success stories and refer to them repeatedly in presentations! Simply check out Tile Outlets Of America's newly redesigned store bathrooms and Customer Experience is Still Climbing Out: Bathroom Blogfest 2012 and you'll understand what I mean!
Apart from that, Bathroom Blogfest winds up being an ongoing digital marketing experiment that I hope continues far off into the future. Here's why.
1. Bathroom Blogfest Fosters Collaboration
Last year, a freak snowstorm took place during Bathroom Blogfest. This time it was Sandy. Stuff happens, especially during Bathroom Blogfest. And, yet, fellow participants pitch in and keep the show going as did Bill Buyok and Nora DePalma even though I had no power and erratic cell service.
What I discovered in the process is that many social networks - e.g, Facebook - perform much better when you involve others in your organization. The more people you draw in, the more fun the interaction and the more engaging the content.
That's why they are social!
Plus, how can you beat the amazing range of perspectives on one topic that comes from different points of view, interests and industry experiences? Check out Bathroom Blogfest 2012: Final Recap.
2. Bathroom Blogfest is Fun
Yes, it is fun! How awesome to connect October as Breast Cancer Awareness month with an observation from another Twitter Chat to make it the central topic explored during Bathroom Blogfest #KBTribeChat [the 2nd annual!]. Talk about adding significance to the Bathroom Blogfest and to the Twitter Chat conversation! Be sure to check out the Transcript for Bathroom Blogfest 2012 #kbtribechat "Still Climbing Out" after cancer and the marvelous summary from Sean Lintow Senior: Bathroom Blogfest: Still Climbing Out with Cancer.
3. Bathroom Blogfest is an Opportunity to Experiment Safely!
What a wonderfully, supportive environment in which to experiment!
What makes social networks interesting is their social nature. However, sometimes it's really difficult to figure out the value without having others to experiment with. That's what made Blogger Social so effective and valuable in 2008.
For Bathroom Blogfest 2012, I experimented with HubSpot to create a dedicated landing page for keeping track of this year's participants and send out email follow up communications with links to files.
I also added Pinterest to the mix! Check out my Bathroom Blogfest Pinterest Board.
4. Experience True 'Campaign' Marketing with Bathroom Blogfest
One of the challenges with Bathroom Blogfest is that it happens once per year, which makes momentum building challenging [note to those of you who still believe that advertising campaigns are effective! You are better off with ongoing relationship building!].
Earlier in the year, I created a Pinterest Board to help me keep track of ideas for Bathroom Blogfest 2012. I also pinned images from this year's contributors' articles and intend to keep up the board and extend the awareness beyond the end of October when Bathroom Blogfest takes place.
5. Legitimacy From an Event Taking Place Since 2006!
There's respectable legitimacy coming from an event that predates many of the current social darlings. Undeniable!
Bathroom Blogfest offers another kind of legitimacy. It comes from being gently forced to look beyond one's own blog or space and practicing interacting sociallly and digitally with others - via blog comments, #KBTribeChat, Twitter and Facebook.
It's the real social deal!
7. Bathroom Blogfest Means Online Visibility
It does! By virtue of participating in an event year after year, with fine caliber digital marketers, Bathroom Blogfesters achieve increased onlive visibility. Combine that with legitimacy and no one can accuse you being a digital marketing fly-by-nighter.
Thank you, Susan Abbott, Lolly, Bill Buyok, Jeanne Byington, Mr. Steam, Nora DePalma, Stacy Garcia, Diane Kazan, Arpi Nalbandian, Victoria Redshaw and Shelley Pond, Sandy Renshaw, Bruce D. Sanders, Paige Smith, Todd Vendituoli, Shannon Vogel, Irene Williams, Linda Wright and newcomer Sean Lintow Senior!
What's your take on Bathroom Blogfest?