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LSA Digital Marketing Bootcamp Going on the Road Later This Year

Before LSA’s recent annual conference we had a novel idea. We collectively talk so much about small businesses, why not create an opportunity to enable direct discussion between them and the various companies that serve them as marketing providers?

The result was the LSA’s first Digital Bootcamp, a one-day event designed to educate and collect feedback from business owners about digital marketing. We weren’t sure how it would go. And while it was a bit rough around the edges, by nearly all accounts it was a success.

Many of our sponsors and exhibitors were surprised by the hunger for information and assistance displayed by the business owners. Here’s the breakdown of the SMBs that attended the LA event:

LA SMB bootcamp

Almost without exception, the attendees and participating speakers and companies responded enthusiastically and asked whether we were going to do future events. Now we are.

LSA has mapped out four more shows in various US cities through early 2016. All of these will similarly be one-day events and will feature many of the same companies and speakers as in our LA show:

  • Charlotte — July
  • Atlanta — August
  • Portland — November
  • Austin — January

Our four principal sponsors for the event are Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and YP. We very much appreciate their enthusiasm and support.

There are a number of vendors and platforms doing these educational events for business owners. Typically however they’re put on by a single company (e.g., Facebook). What we’re trying to do is bring together all the main players in local search and SMB marketing services into one room in one day.

We’re excited to hit the road and hear from more local business owners about their challenges and experiences and help them get their questions answered. Indeed, some of the most valuable interaction came during the breaks and lunch when SMBs could speak directly with exhibitors and get their very specific questions addressed.

While we’re working with a modified version of the agenda from the first event, we’re very interested to hear what issues you think should be addressed. We also have various sponsorship and exhibitor slots still available. If you’re interested in speaking, sponsoring or exhibiting feel free to contact us and let us know.

After all the surveys and abstract discussions of “SMBs” it was great to talk to business owners and hear from them first hand. I also believe that helping them better understand digital marketing is not just an opportunity for all of us — it’s our obligation.

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