By: Ashley Bravo

First and foremost, what is Orlando iX?

As described on their website, Orlando iX is five power-packed days of dynamic keynotes, panels, exhibits, and entertainment, that showcases leading advancements in entertainment technology, interactive media, and digital arts. The conference targeted different industries within the Central Florida community including gaming, start-ups and digital.

So let’s get to the point- these are the 5 biggest take-aways from Orlando iX.

1. “We are not another Silicon Valley, we are so much more!” –Mayor Teresa Jacobs

This was clearly seen through out these five days. All who attended were exposed to indie games, tactics on start-up, the future of digital media and so much more. We are more than Disney theme parks, and it was evident that the digital talent and energy present in Orlando is ready to be taken seriously.

2. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid

I learned this tip at the “Two Minute Pitch Deck” speaker session.  I find this to be extremely relevant in all aspects of Marketing, not just when you are a start-up. You need to find a way to create and communicate a solid and direct connection between your brand and your audience, preferably using K.I.S.S. strategies. “We are like the Starbucks of frozen yogurt,” was an example that was given. In this particular example, a recognizable brand was used to explain what a new brand represents- all in one simple sentence. Another example is what AMA-Orlando uses to describe what we stand for, “We are an organization that brings marketing professionals within the Central Florida community together.” Short. Simple. Sweet!

3. Develop brand guidelines

During the “When Creativity Meets the Corporation” panel, the speakers talked about creating brand guidelines. Whether you are a freelancer, work for an agency, small company or a corporation,  developing a brand guideline helps all forms of communication stay consistent. As a freelancer, or agency employee, if you were assigned to create a company’s website or brochures, it makes life so much easier if they have guidelines you can work from. If they don’t, make the next designers job easier by providing a guideline for them, or at least offer that company the service of creating a brand guideline. Small and big companies, if you do not have brand guidelines, the brand can become distorted as too many “cooks” begin to stir the pot. Make sure you are using consistent color palette, fonts, icons, etc. with in all forms of marketing.

4. Mobile is #1

If your website is not compatible with mobile, or if you have not developed an app yet, you are 2 years late! At “The Web is Over as You Know it, and What You Can do it About it” speaker session, Mathew Knell, VP of Social Media and Community Strategy for about.com, explained how mobile has officially passed desktop as a way of looking up information. I mean let’s be honest, even when you are at work in front of your desktop you’re probably still using your phone to Google something. The easiest way to start is to check if your website is mobile friendly, for example if it loads fast, if the contact us information is quickly shown, if the fonts are big enough, etc. If it isn’t mobile friendly, you definitely need to hire someone. In regards to apps, there is a lot of competition within the app industry.  Consider how willingly consumers are to download your app and the implications of losing phone storage space. Don’t just develop an app just to say that you have one.  Develop an app that solves a need within your target market and encourages engagement with your brand.

5. “We are moving into a world where the only way to survive is to be an innovator” –Jim Stikeleather, CIO at Dell.

Jim was the last keynote speaker, and he finished with a bang!  It was really hard to pick one lesson from his 45-minute session on “The Future Economy and The Need For Innovation.” Creating an environment within your home, workplace, city, where innovation is encouraged is probably the most important part of keeping a brand alive. Innovation comes from failing time and time again. You must fail fast and fail furious, do it again-and-again until you succeed.
In a nutshell, this wraps up the key information for this year’s conference. AMA-Orlando is looking forward to coming back to Orlando iX next year and following up with the amazing people we met at booth 603!

AMA- Orlando Booth OrlandoiX