Drew Allen

I went to San Diego. It was beautiful.

Drew Allen
I went to San Diego. It was beautiful.

This was my first time in San Diego, and my first time at Social Media Marketing World.

San Diego is freakin’ beautiful.

I love the rolling hills throughout the whole city. And the weather was just perfection.

I arrived a few days early to explore and my cousin was an excellent tour guide of some of San Diego’s picturesque spots.

I took some video as well as some images. Some of the moments were so serene I couldn’t help but imagine them as screensavers, so I wanted to capture them that way.

In addition to the sights and sounds of San Diego, I got to attend a robotics tournament, which my cousins were competing in. It was so incredibly cool and nerdy all at the same time. Go TriSectors!

For the conference itself, the very first workshop I attended was the most valuable I think.

Duncan Wardle from Disney dropped nonstop ideas on how to create better ideas and grow to execute on them, such as,

“Get back in the metaphorical shower!”


“Your river of thinking is your single biggest barrier to innovation.”

He spoke of the importance of recognizing expansive vs reductive thinking and planning your creative sessions accordingly will greatly improve most everyone’s creative output on a company or team level.

Duncan also shared some stupidly simple tactics on getting WAY more actionable ideas out a brainstorm session was probably worth the admission price all on its own.

Two other sessions gave me some great ideas, probably most impactful Ann Handley’s session on writing (werk werk werk werk werk) and Robert Rose’s session on thinking Audience-first.

I only got to attend one keynote in its entirety but I think I lucked out by going to the best one by far, which was Pat Flynn’s. I would never think to listen to a “Passive Income” podcast of any kind, but after his inspiration at the conference, I’m looking forward to enjoying it. Worst case, I make some money, right?

Turning your marketing funnel upside down. Thanks, Pat.

Turning your marketing funnel upside down. Thanks, Pat.

But despite all that goodness, the real value was in connecting with other marketers at the networking roundtables.

It’s not that I lucked into sitting under a random guru that gave me sage advice, it’s that I got to hear and share helpful suggestions for helping ease our various struggles to build reach, and tell great stories.

I also added several books to my Amazon (or Audible) wish list that I’m quite excited to dive into:

  1. Killing Marketing
  2. The Impact Equation
  3. Everybody Writes
  4. Charlotte’s Web (yes, really)
  5. The Mastermind Blueprint

The parties were fun too, I met so many cool people on the USS Midway. I didn’t get all their names, but you can tell they love what they do.



So I’m currently sitting in the Atlanta Braves Bar and Grill in Concourse D, typing my thoughts into my iPad, and I am VERY excited to get back and, after letting my body get used to the East Coast again, dive into making all these great ideas and improvements a reality for our brand and for my work life.

Now I have a couple of questions for you. 

  1. What conference should I go to next? 

  2. What restaurant should I have eaten at in San Diego? 

  3. What did YOU get out of SMMW (if you went as well)? 

Let me know in a comment below!