Last week, I attended a roundtable hosted by the Institute for Social, Search & Mobile Marketing (ISSMM). ISSMM is dedicated to the facilitation of ongoing education, best practices, and practical implementation of converging social, search and mobile marketing solutions, and related technologies, to enhance both marketer and buyer experience.

They aim to bring together thought leaders and marketers from all industries and companies of all sizes to facilitate education and information through symposiums, round table discussions, workshops, group forums, summits, webinars and professional social networking.

Since being in business just over a year, our events have attracted some of the leading minds in the digital marketing space including Charlene Li and Brian Solis of Altimeter Group, BlogHer’s CEO – Jory Des Jardins, plus Facebook’s former head of Marketing – Randi Zuckerberg.

The event was held at K1 Speed, which provided a light atmosphere. This was their second K1 Converge Cup, and the seventh overall event they’ve hosted.

Maribel Lopez of Lopez Research moderated and kept the overall vibe causal and fun, while still educational. Maribel wrote a well-received article about their previous event (which she also moderated) on Forbes. What makes the roundtable events unique, besides the opportunity to race Formula1 Go-karts, is that they’re a two-way discussion between the panel of experts and attendees. A lot of the best ideas regarding the future of social media, mobile marketing, and gamification have materialized from the professionals in the room talking through some of their biggest challenges.

The topics covered included mobile marketing, social media and branding and gamificiation.

Some major takeaways included:
Mobile: The ability to do so many things via mobile devises will only continue to expand. Eventually they’ll probably be able to do things like monitor your heart rate , used as a badge to get you into buildings, etc.
Social Media: Be personal and communicate with fans on a real, human level.
Gamification: Don’t jump into a game-like initiative JUST to do it. Make sure it’s appropriate — certain audiences are more about community than competition.

Overall, Converge Cup was very informative and I enjoyed the general format which placed a lot of emphasis on communication rather than straight “teaching.” Check out the ISSMM website for information on upcoming events!