Yesterday I got to go to Googlefest 2014 in Charleston SC with my dad and my brother. It was a lot of fun. We took some photos with a six foot Android mascot. I also got to try out Google Glass. It was neat, but definitely not worth the current $1500 price tag.
It was a short event but I learned some useful things.
One of the speakers talked about Gen C (pretty much matched the info on this page). This group of individuals is defined by their mindset rather than their age. Marketing to Gen C is much different than marketing to other generation groups. They care more about the opinions of their peers, are more mobile, and love video. The presentation gave some good pointers on getting started with marketing to this group.
Another speaker went over Google Analytics. In addition to some tips and tricks I wasn’t aware of, she pointed us to the Google Analytics Academy. This site provides free analytics training provided by Google. I’ve gone through most of the first course and have learned a ton. I’ve always had Google Analytics on my sites, but turns out it is so much more powerful than I thought.
We also grabbed a pile of goodies: Moleskine-style notebooks, pens, mechanical pencils, tote bags, magnet words, and some sort of weird elastic thing with Google printed on it. Not sure what the elastic thing is supposed to be. My mom thinks it is a hair tie but that seems like a weird giveaway.
The most interesting, albeit least useful to me, portion of the conference focused on emergency management. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division spoke on how they use Google’s tools and products to help them do their jobs. For example, they have Google Earth configured to show storm surge, hurricane evacuation routes, earthquake fault lines, and epicenters of previous earthquakes. They also use social media to get live feedback from average people during emergencies. This allows them to find problems before they are officially reported, or to determine if an emergency is actually happening (e.g., was that tremor felt all over or just in this building?).
I love short conferences like this. They are fun to attend and provide condensed doses of useful information. Thanks Google!