MIT AI Looks to the Future of Industries

All Eyes on the Future: Three Days of Supreme Content at MIT AI 2018

This past weekend, MIT Club of Northern California (MITCNC) hosted its second annual MIT AI Conference in San Francisco. For two days, MIT Alumni and leading AI experts from various industries gathered at the InterContinental Hotel for a series of fireside chats moderated by VCs and journalists. Attendees were also given the chance to bring their families and experience Kids Day on the third day of the event.

cred worked with MITCNC for months to coordinate the speakers and content for this one-of-a-kind forum on “The Future of Industries.”

 Shuja Keen, President-Elect of the MITCNC giving welcome remarks. Photo by Maqsood Hakim

Shuja Keen, President-Elect of the MITCNC giving welcome remarks.
Photo by Maqsood Hakim

One of the most well-attended sessions of Day 1 of the event was  the “Applying AI Research to Production” session featuring Jeff Welser from IBM Research, Richard Socher from Salesforce, and Anima Anandkumar from Amazon AI. The 80-minute chat discussed where their work and research in data science has been taking these leading companies.

Another crowd favorite was the session “Spanning the AI Spectrum”, where our client, Joanne Chen of Foundation Capital, moderated thoughtful questions to Richard Rabbat of Gfycat, Jaime Teevan of Microsoft, Guy Satat of MIT, and Bruce Welty of Locus Robotics with Rory O’Driscoll of Scale VP.

 Joanne Chen with Richard Rabbat, Photo Courtesy of Maqsood Hakim

Joanne Chen with Richard Rabbat, Photo Courtesy of Maqsood Hakim

The event wrapped its final day on Sunday with the true future of AI: Children, joining to show off their creativity and technical skills—using briefcases, laptops, python software and immeasurable excitement.

Here is a snapshot of activities:

  • How to Build a Drone- Sponsored by Flybrix
  • How to Build a Self-driving car- Hosted by Curiosity Machine
  • AR & VR Immersion Class Hosted by Upload
  • The Competition Robot of Cupertino Robotics Club on Exhibit
  • The Competition Robot of Missfits All Girls Robotics Team on Exhibit

Check out these photos from Kids Day:

 
 

MIT AI was a thrilling conference that left attendees, young and old, excited for the Future of AI. We can’t wait for next year!

If you want help coordinating events like this, contact: hello@credpr.com

Embracing Your Creativity: A Guide to Becoming a Better Writer

 
Channeling Your Inner Creative (2).png
 

 

Ernest Hemingway called a blank sheet of paper the scariest thing he’d ever encountered in his life. Anyone can face writer’s block, and it’s especially difficult to get your creative, imaginative thoughts on paper. Whether you’re looking to write a speech, a novel, or anything in between, these five tips will help you get started on expressing your ideas in a unique way.

1. Collect stories from your surroundings

One of the simplest ways to improve your creative writing skills is to draw from your surroundings. By taking note of ideas from people you meet, conversations you overhear, places you visit, conferences you attend, speeches you watch, and beyond, the potential for creative thought expands. Become a sponge, and be incurably curious. Writer R. V. Cassill called notebooks “incubators” - carry a notebook and write down what you observe.

2. Read, read, and read more

Reading is scientifically proven to expand your vocabulary and increase intelligence - two traits that can both improve and differentiate your writing. Reading a variety of content also exposes you to new styles, genres, and cadences of writing.

3. Write, write, and write more

The more you write, the better a writer you’ll become. As with anything, writing more often can improve your practice. The hardest part is starting! Set aside 10 minutes every night to document your day, or do a writing exercise to challenge yourself, like the Pennebaker Writing Exercise. To begin, think of something - an upcoming event, a stress, etc. - that has been on your mind. For four days straight, write about it for 10 to 20 minutes nightly. Don’t think about style, spelling, grammar, or anything that may distract from your content. Simply write. Which leads to the next tip...

4. Break the rules

To unlock your creative juices, try stepping outside of the traditional approaches you currently know about writing. While understanding the fundamentals of writing and sentence structure can serve as an excellent base when getting started, breaking those rules will allow you to write more freely and uniquely. The outcome won't necessarily be stellar on first attempt, but keep trying to find your voice and utilize writing as an outlet.

5. Find your time of day

Pay attention to the time of day that free-thinking comes easiest to you. You may feel your most creative first thing in the morning, before your mind is pulled away by the hustle of the day. If you're a night owl, 11 pm may be the ideal time to get your creative juices flowing on paper. Take note of when you feel sharpest and play around with a time that works for you.

Want to learn more? Check out these resources for strengthening your creative writing skills.

Bowery’s Marketing Summit Hits the Mark!

The Bowery Capital CXO Quarterly series made its way to San Francisco yesterday for its first Summit of the year with a focus on Marketing. cred worked with The Bowery Capital Team to coordinate a series of tactical chats and panels discussing Marketing for early stage SaaS Marketers. Eight speakers brought insight from their experiences in marketing roles at  Salesforce, Slack, Rubrik, SurveyMonkey, Oracle Data Cloud, and more.

The morning started with a captivating presentation by Bill Macaitis, former CMO of Slack, Zendesk, and Salesforce on “How to Grow Your Unicorn.” His talk was followed by Kara Wilson of Rubrik’s lively sermon about “How to Not F#@k it Up.” The audience was incredibly engaged as discussions around “What is Brand?” and “Scaling from 0 to 100M” brought panelists and the crowd into some spicy debating.  

Maria Pergolino, CMO of Anaplan ended the day with this message that was a crowd favorite:

Marketing:
Everyone sees it.
Everyone knows how to do it.
It costs a lot.

Click through the photos below to get a glimpse of the event! Keep your eye out for the next Bowery Capital Summit in June!

 
 

Branding with Brandi: 8 Steps to Building your Personal Brand

Branding.png

Branding with Brandi: 8 Steps to Building your Personal Brand

When we think of brands, we commonly think of recognizable names like Tiffany & Co., McDonalds, Nike, and Amazon, but have you ever thought of yourself as a brand? Start by asking yourself why is everyone drawn to those popular products or services over their competitors, and what qualities and characteristics set them apart. Using that same thought process, think about yourself and what qualities and characteristics distinguish you from everyone else.

Recognizable brands reveal the power of perception and the strategy of self definition. People are drawn to their perception of you and the reputation you leave behind— a unique combination of personal characteristics, values, strengths, and passions create value and separation from your peers. You’re just as much a brand as Nike, why not market yourself as one? If you’re looking to effectively market yourself, generate more leads, or establish yourself as a thought leader, developing a personal branding strategy is critical to your success.

The first and most important step in developing your personal brand strategy is defining your Personal Brand. Follow these 8 steps to begin defining your personal brand:

  1. Define your target audience.
    Who do you want to receive your message?

  2. Contemplate your vision and purpose.
    Think bigger picture here—in what areas of life would you like to see improvement, and what role will you play in making that happen?

  3. Discover your values and passions.
    Values are your guiding principles (ex. collaboration, transparency, impact, integrity), and passions are the things that motivate you. By determining your values and passions you’ll naturally gravitate towards people and activities that best align with yours. Notice how these correlate with how you operate at your job, around others, etc.

  4. Identify 3 - 4 of your best attributes.
    Some questions to ask yourself: What adjectives would others use to describe you? What words would you use to define your personality? What personality traits best showcase how you work towards your goals?

  5. Identify 3 - 4 of your greatest strengths.
    What is your unique “super power” that has benefited others or your company? Your strengths are the skills that position your value above others.

  6. Ask for feedback from those that know you best - family, friends, colleagues, managers, anyone.
    A true measure of your brand is others’ perception of you, which is a reflection of the reputation you curate. Ask what they think are your top qualities and strengths, and compare their response with what you’ve identified in numbers 4 and 5.

  7. Know who your competitors are, and what differentiates you from them.
    Why should anyone choose you over your competitor? Remember your personal brand is the unique value you offer, so consider what qualities you contribute that no one else does.

  8. Finally, select 3 words that best describe you.
    If you’ve completed the steps above, you’ve already highlighted your top attributes and have an idea of what qualifications distinguish you from others. Now zero-in further and describe yourself using only 3 words. These three words will reflect your personal brand!

Want to learn more about personal branding and building your personal brand? Check out this guide.

 Brandi's Three Words to create her brand are: Tenacious, Diligent, and Charismatic

Brandi's Three Words to create her brand are: Tenacious, Diligent, and Charismatic

Driving the Data @ RampUp 2018

March 5th and 6th were filled with excitement as RampUp 2018 took over the Fairmont Hotel and the Masonic in San Francisco. We’ve been working with LiveRamp for months to secure close to 170 speakers for this rapidly growing convention of the brightest minds in Digital Marketing and data. We curated 48 sessions of panels, chats, and presentations all focused on the “future of marketing” for TV, brands, agencies, data owners, and publishers.

The first day kicked off with a great conversation between Wells Fargo CMO Jamie Moldafsky and LiveRamp’s Allison Metcalfe. One underlying theme of their conversation was how customers are at the center of everything.

Tuesday brought almost 2,500 attendees and a powerhouse panel of CMOs to kick things off, including former CMO of Airbnb - Jonathan Mildenhall, Cisco CMO - Karen Walker, TripAdvisor CMO - Barbara Messing, and Adobe CMO - Ann Lewnes. The five had an amazing chemistry onstage as they discussed the digital marketing ecosystem. 

Throughout the day, we loved seeing some of our clients show their expertise: Dan Greenberg of Sharethrough, Joanne Chen of Foundation Capital, Matt Keiser of LiveIntent, Thomas Walle of Unacast, Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan of Drawbridge, Omar Tawakol of Voicera and finally Eva of Voicera (a bot who took notes during Omar’s session).

Nate Silver, American statistician and Author of The Signal and the Noise, closed off the event with an engaging talk about Data and Predictions. 

We’ve loved being involved the past three years as RampUp becomes one of the go-to events in the data-driven ecosystem. We're looking forward to great things for RampUp 2019!

For more Insight on the event, check out the RampUp Blog:

RampUp Day 1
RampUp Day 2

 cred team @ RampUp 2018!

cred team @ RampUp 2018!

credTen: Top Ten Conferences in Marketing

credTen_ MarTech.jpg

Wondering where to go this year to increase your marketing know-how, discover where the industry is heading, and expand your thought leadership? Look no further than our roundup of 10 marketing conferences worth attending in 2018.

#1. B2B Marketing Exchange

February 19-21, Scottsdale

A must-attend for performance marketers managing the complex sales cycles and group buying realities common in B2B industries, B2B Marketing Exchange addresses account strategies, messaging frameworks, demand acceleration, and sales enablement during 85+ sessions in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

TIckets: $995 for single-day pass, $1,595 for standard, $1,995 for all-access

#2. Social Media Marketing World

February 28-March 2, San Diego

Social Media Examiner’s 3-day gathering of thought leaders is designed for social media marketers, influencers, and content creators including bloggers, video creators, and podcasters. This year’s speakers include former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki, Facebook expert Mari Smith, social futurist Brian Solis, Snapchat influencer Shaun McBride, and Instagram expert Sue B. Zimmerman.

Tickets: Range from $697 for virtual access to $1,597 for all-access

#3. RampUp

March 5-6, San Francisco

LiveRamp’s annual martech conference gathers nearly 1,000 executive-level attendees in one place to discuss the challenges and solutions facing the industry today. Speakers include TripAdvisor CMO Barbara Messing, SafeGraph CEO Auren Hoffman, AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley, AdRoll founder Aaron Bell, and Target VP of Digital Media Brent Rosso.  

Tickets: Preconference tickets start at $499 and conference tickets start at $799

IMG_0608 (1).jpg

#4. Adobe Summit

March 25-29, Las Vegas

With 95% of attendees saying they received practical information and 93% saying the event met or exceeded their expectations, Adobe Summit is a good bet for advertisers, campaign managers, content managers, digital marketers, and publishers who want to learn how to use the latest tools and technologies to build campaigns, manage their advertising, and gain deep data insights.

Tickets: Single registration starts at $1,695; multiple registration, preconference courses and guest social passes are also available

#5. Digiday AI Marketing Summit

April 11-13, Santa Barbara

There’s no shortage of conversations around how AI is set to transform the marketing industry. Digiday’s AI Marketing Summit will dive deep into how marketers can understand and use AI and machine learning. Expect sessions on topics like predictive merchandising, voice assistants, and chatbots, plus a number of afternoon activities and evening networking receptions.

Tickets: Entry-level passes are $2,895 and premium passes are $4,795

#6. Content Marketing World

September 4-7, Cleveland

For all things content marketing and storytelling, head to Cleveland for Content Marketing World, which features more than 120 sessions and workshops presented by leading brand marketers. 2017 featured speakers included GE CMO Linda Boff, and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Tickets: Main conference starts at $999.

#7. INBOUND

September 4-7, Boston

HubSpot’s INBOUND grew to 21,000+ attendees and 250+ educational sessions last year, and is expected to be even bigger in 2018. INBOUND’s purpose is to provide the inspiration, education, and connections marketers need to grow and transform their business. Past keynote speakers include Michelle Obama, Brené Brown, John Cena, and Arianna Huffington.

Tickets: All-access passes begin at $1,899 and main conference passes begin at $999; other options are available

 Photo courtesy of attendify.com

Photo courtesy of attendify.com

#8. MarTech East

October 1-3, Boston

MarTech’s USP is that it’s a tech conference for marketers and a marketing conference for technologists. With tracks for marketing, technology, management, and solutions, the conference aims to help the leaders who recognize the synergies between these disciplines drive change and accelerate convergence within their organizations.  

Tickets: $1,595 for an all-access pass, $59 for Expo+ pass; team rates available

#9. Advertising Week New York

October 1-4, New York

Now in its 15th year, AdWeekNYC brings together leaders from marketing, advertising, technology, and creative spaces for a week of thoughtful conversations around the trends, challenges, and opportunities shaping the industry today. Daytime programming includes seminars, workshops, and leadership breakfasts. Past evening events have included performances by Avicii, Snoop Dogg, and Amy Schumer.

Tickets: 2018 prices not yet available

#10. Internet Summit

November 14-15, Raleigh

Produced by Tech Media Co, which also puts together the Digital Summit Series, Internet Summit features 90+ sessions and workshops to help digital marketers stay ahead of the latest trends and provide practical, game-changing takeaways they can immediately apply to their marketing strategies. 2017 speakers included marketing gurus Seth Godin and Ann Handley, as well as Netflix co-founder Mitch Lowe.

Tickets: Conference passes range from $245 for basic access to $995 for VIP access

 

Want to speak at these events? Get in touch: speak@credpr.com

Event Spotlight: SaaStr Annual 2018

 
 

 

Last week the cred team had the opportunity to attend one of our collective favorite conferences: SaaStr Annual 2018. As one of the top conferences in SaaS globally (we ranked it in our Top 10 of 2017 in case you missed it), we loved being able to see our clients in action. SaaStr Annual is a massive convention, bringing together people across the spectrum in software as a service from start-ups, to investors, to unicorns such as Hubspot, Basecamp, and Medallia.

We were proud to have a solid line-up of cred clients present to share their insights on investing, building companies, and using SaaS. Some of our favorites included our client Joanne Chen of Foundation Capital, who moderated an invigorating talk to an absolutely packed room around “How do SaaS Companies Build Differentiated Assets in this New World of AI.” We also loved learning from our very own Mike McDerment, CEO of Freshbooks, who discussed his team’s “Unusual Approach to Replatforming” in a talk called “Split Testing Companies.”

An attendee favorite of SaaStr was the opportunity to set up “braindates.” Start-ups could meet with VCs or other companies excited about SaaS. It was an exuberant environment for idea-sharing. One of our personal favorite activities was the Yappy Hour on the first two nights. Attendees could unwind and play with puppies courtesy of Family Dog Rescue.

We are looking forward to SaaStr 2019 and continuing to place our innovative clients at this event!

Want to speak at events like SaaStr Annual? Reach out at hello@credpr.com! 

 

 

The Power of a Short Speech

At cred, we love to collaborate and give everyone on the team a chance to be a voice for the industry. Here is what one of our Senior Associates, Anastasia Hardin, would like to share about how to capture attention when speaking.

In today’s connected, app-for-everything world, distractions are plentiful at any time of day. We’ve all felt that “smart phone reach” before: we’re sitting in a presentation, maybe 10 minutes in, and our mind wanders to that email we need to respond to, the crowdfunding campaign we’ve been monitoring, the engagement on our latest social media post, and oh wait - Buzzfeed just pinged us with another Top 10 article that we just have to read…

How do you keep an audience’s attention when they have the world at their fingertips?

While there are many pointers out there (read more here or here) today we want to focus on perhaps the most important factor: TIME.

As attention has become more of a scarce resource, the length of a speech plays a big role in how engaged and enlightened your audience will be. Keep it simple and short. Listening takes energy which can be draining. Too much information can prevent understanding.

So what is the ideal length of a presentation? Some would argue 5 minutes is enough to get a point across, but in most settings, anything under 20 minutes is the real sweet spot.

And if you don’t believe us - go check out the most watched TED Talks. 80% of them are under 20 minutes.

TED Curator, Chris Anderson, on keeping it short and relevant:

"[18 minutes] is long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention. It turns out that this length also works incredibly well online. It’s the length of a coffee break. So, you watch a great talk, and forward the link to two or three people. It can go viral, very easily. The 18-minute length also works much like the way Twitter forces people to be disciplined in what they write. By forcing speakers who are used to going on for 45 minutes to bring it down to 18, you get them to really think about what they want to say. What is the key point they want to communicate? It has a clarifying effect. It brings discipline."

 Photo Of TED Curator Chris Anderson by Jame Duncan Davidson at https://www.flickr.com/photos/tedconference/9029271822/in/photolist

Photo Of TED Curator Chris Anderson by Jame Duncan Davidson at https://www.flickr.com/photos/tedconference/9029271822/in/photolist

If you are thinking, “how can I possibly get everything I need to say in under 20 minutes?” -- stop a moment and remember the most powerful speeches you’ve ever heard in person or from history. Chances are, they were short and simple.

Maybe they included:

If you want to avoid looking out over an audience with their heads buried in their smartphones, then keep your comments short. When you connect your powerful ideas with brevity, you will achieve the greatest impact with your audience.