Tuesday September 24, 2013 | 08:00 AM
Posted by Rob Gould

Bob O'Brien, James Wedmore (AOC speaker), and Michele Mullen

Question: "What did you love about AOC13?"

"Rich Brooks always does a great job of organizing and it was very well put-together. It was just a great well-organized conference. Today, I didn't really come expecting to focus on email marketing but Corissa St. Laurent (AOC13 speaker) kind of got my attention. What interested me was the application for my business. Circling around back to email. It seems like we've gone in so many different directions and email is kind of circling back around, in my mind anyway. So I really enjoyed Corissa's presentation." Bob O'Brien

"What I loved about the conference is that it was short and sweet. A lot of the conferences I attend and/or speak at are three or four days, so there can be a lot of overwhelming content. I love to be able to come in, grab just a few key takeaways, and jump right back into business." James Wedmore (AOC13 Speaker)

"I love the fact that everybody gets to network and talk. There were a lot of new speakers this year. I really liked that. There were a couple of really fun aspects, one being the 'selfies.' We did a photo gallery of selfies. People in the audience actually took photos of themselves and sent them to us. This is my third year at the conference and the networking is really my favorite part." Michele Mullen

Agents of Change 2013

Last Friday I was fortunate enough to be able to check out the tail-end of Agents of Change 2013 (AOC). The conference was a huge success with 375 in attendance, including speakers and attendees from around the country. For those of you who weren't able to make it to the conference, you can still grab a digital pass and watch all the sessions–including the breakouts–for a full year. You can find more information at www.agentsofchange.com

I had a chance to talk with several of the attendees and speakers about their impressions of the conference during the social hour (lots of pizza and beer) afterwards and at the after-party following that at Boone's Fish House & Oyster Room.

For more background on the conference and this year's speakers/agenda, check out my interview with AOC founder Rich Brooks here.

Hope to see you all there next year!

Emmie Michaud, Shawna Cohen, Mary Soule, Ryan Smith, and Nathan O'Leary

"I especially liked all of the focus on content marketing. I think every person who spoke today touched on content marketing. That's really the biggest thing I took away from today. It's such an integral part of what we do every day as marketers. That was definitely the most important thing I took away from today." Emmie Michaud

"I recently took a social media course at school. I learned more by lunchtime at this conference than I had that whole semester. I love that." Shawna Cohen

"What I loved most about AOC13 was the breadth of expertise on display. It's also amazing to see how many of these experts are local. It's actually stunning as a native Mainer to see how much global world-class expertise is available right here in Maine." Ryan Smith

"I love networking with all of the business owners and getting a lot of great new ideas. When you leave the conference your head is about to explode because it's full of so much great information." Nathan O'Leary

Nicole Garland, John Lee Dumas (AOC13 speaker), Megan Lyon, and Abby Quintal

"Well, I'm new to the business world, so the thing that I loved most about this conference was the networking and meeting new people. Being around so many intelligent people who are very successful in the marketing world was pretty amazing." Nicole Garland

"There were so many things I loved about this conference, specifically I loved that there was something for every level of entrepreneur, whether you're a beginner, intermediate or expert, there was action-packed content for everybody." John Lee Dumas (AOC13 speaker)

"I think the sword swallowing by Roderick Russell really kicked of the conference well this year. This is my third year attending the conference. The sword swallowing really said to me that you have to take risks to be successful. You're going to fail a few times but you still really need to take risks." Megan Lyon

"The thing I loved most about the conference was Chris Brogan's presentation. I heard him last year and I subscribe to his newsletter. I read it weekly. His perspective on business really resonates with me. The way you treat people and respect yourself is so important. I always really enjoy hearing Chris speak." Abby Quintal

Rich Brooks (AOC13 founder and speaker) and Michael Stelzner (AOC13 speaker)

"What I loved about AOC13 is the networking. There were a lot of really brilliant presenters, but the opportunity to rub shoulders with them and to connect with local entrepreneurs and marketers who are struggling with some of these online marketing challenges has been really awesome. I think Rich Brooks has done a wonderful job bringing all of these people together." Michael Stelzner (AOC13 speaker)

Joan Woodbrey Crocker (AOC13 panelist and organizer), Roderick Russell (AOC13 speaker), Lindsay Babayan (AOC13 organizer), and Chris Felax

"What I loved about this year's conference was that it felt like it had a very positive vibe. Even though everybody was talking about social media and search and all of that, really at the end of the day it felt like as long as you're being yourself, not beating yourself up, taking care of yourself, putting positive energy out there, and being fearless about your endeavors, then you'll be successful at what you do." Joan Woodbrey Crocker (AOC13 panelist and organizer)

"What I loved about participating in AOC13 was that although this is a 'social' conference, it wasn't just about digital social. The one-on-one connections that you make with people here are extraordinary. I love the personal, human element and the direct interactions with people—developing relationships." Roderick Russell (AOC13 speaker—"the sword swallower")


Rich (AOC founder and speaker) and Cybele Brooks (AOC organizer)

"I spoke with a lot of people who were at the conference for the first time and they were all really impressed with the quality of the speakers. Rich is a curator. He travels the country and he goes to these conferences and that's where he finds these great speakers. He brings them back to Portland, Maine to speak at this conference. I think that's really cool. Most important, it's social proof for me. I complain when he travels all the time, but now I really get to see the pay off. It's obviously worth it." Cybele Brooks

"My favorite thing about the conference is all of the people who came together for it. Both the speakers and the people who worked to put the conference on. Every member of my team, the Flyte New Media crew, contributed to this. Cybele puts up with me and all of my stuff, and I'm really appreciative of that. Lindsay Babayan and Joan Crocker have also done a great job of working incredibly hard to take this conference to the next level. They really worked very hard to make this all come together. And, then there are all of these great people from Portland and beyond. I just talked with some guy who came from out of the country, by way of New Jersey, and this was his first time in Maine. I heard from a bunch of people that this was their first time in Maine. That's definitely part of the purpose of the conference—to put it on in Maine and to bring great people here just once. We know that when someone has been here once, they'll be back." Rich Brooks (AOC founder and speaker) 


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About the Author

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).

Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg

His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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