Can You Feel It? There’s A Rumbling From San Diego (And Beyond) Headed To Seattle

By Max Thomas

MozCon 2013 is the second time Thunder has held an internal contest to select who will participate in an important interactive marketing conference.

One of the most wonderful aspects (for which I am so grateful) of working at Thunder is the people. Truly. I’m inspired, stretched and just blown away daily by the folks I work with. While you might be thinking “why is he bringing this up here in a post about their internal contest for MozCon?” That’s because (1) it’s true and (2) people had to submit pitches as part of the process and, revisiting all the pitches, they really are amazing (the finalist pitches are below). I remember the feeling I had when I first saw them all and thought, “Man, these people are awesome – I want everyone to go to MozCon!”. Who knows? That day just may happen ☺

Back At The Ranch

Okay, back on topic. Thunder values participating in conferences very highly, and the subsequent sharing of information among the troops back home. We’ve had representatives at numerous conferences throughout the years including MozCon (since 2009), SMX (Advanced, West, East, Social, etc.), SearchLove, SearchFest, San Diego Interactive Day and more.

Whereas in the past we would “select” which Thunder Cats would represent Thunder, this past winter we initiated a contest wherein Thunder Cats submit anonymous pitches (based on questions about why, what and how – notice not who), we vote internally, and then the pitches with the most votes were the “winners”. This is how we selected the SearchFest 2013 representatives.

New Twist For MozCon 2013

For MozCon 2013, being our second go-around, we decided to mix things up a bit and ask an “outside expert” to evaluate the pitches and select four finalists that were then voted on internally, the two with the most votes being the ones who attend MozCon. Our illustrious expert was none other than the all-around brilliant and enthusiastic John Doherty, who not only was incredibly generous with his time and support, but also gave constructive feedback (thanks again, John!).

Here’s the Run Down

Who can pitch? Since it’s an honor to attend MozCon (and any industry conference), as well as an investment in who goes, his/her knowledge and Thunder’s collective knowledge, we decided anyone can pitch who has (i) pitched to present at an online marketing or industry conference (doesn’t matter if s/he was selected, just that s/he pitched), (ii) attended an interactive marketing conference or (iii) contributed to an industry blog other than Thunder’s blog.

What’s the pitch? Submissions were anonymous and could include hyperlinks, graphics, etc. The pitch should address the following:

      What are the top 3 reasons you’re excited for MozCon 2013?
      Is there one session you’re most interested in and why?
      What is one burning question or expectation you hope to have answered or fulfilled at MozCon?
      How do you plan to apply and share what you learn at MozCon with Thunder?
      How will you contribute to the MozCon conference (as a Thunder rep)?
      Bonus point: If you could be a super hero with super interactive marketing powers, what would be your power, name and anything else that describes you?

Did You See The Part About The “Super Hero With Super Interactive Marketing Powers”?

Just making sure you saw that.

Okay, back on track…

How many submitted? In total there were 6 pitches submitted. John selected four finalists. Following are their presentations:

1) MozCon 2013 – I’m ready!

2) MozCon 2013 or Bust – Let’s Do This!

3) MozCon Pitch

4) the Earth

Who Would You Vote For? Don’t peek (final selections are listed below). Just for funsies, which do you think were the final two?

And Now For The Winners…

After the internal voting, the two finalists were “2) MozCon 2013 or Bust – Let’s Do This!” and “3) MozCon Pitch” which were submitted by none other than Monique Pouget (#2) and Georgia Hitchcock (#3). Yay, Monique and Georgia!

Only Two Folks Benefited From That Entire Process?

Hell no! The runners up were “1) MozCon 2013 – I’m ready!” and “4) the Earth” which were submitted by Tati Torres (#1) and Frank Quattrocchi (#4). Yay, Tati and Frank! They both got to attend Interactive Day San Diego where they soaked up the interactive marketing rays of San Diego. In addition, everyone got constructive feedback from John and, most importantly, it gave everyone a chance to articulate why they’re in this industry AND the opportunity to reach for something (which is what keeps us ticking in my humble opinion).

Again, I’m honored to work with such amazing people and thrilled that Thunder participates with the interactive marketing community at so many venues.

What’s Next?

Stay tuned for Thunder’s next internal contest for one of the exciting fall conferences. If you’re interested in being our third party evaluator, please let me know via comment below or Twitter.

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Max Thomas

By Max Thomas

Max is a nationally recognized digital marketing specialist who is an expert on search engine optimization and data-driven digital marketing who has spoken at SMX and SMX Advanced, LMA Southeast, LMA Tech in San Francisco, WordCamp and other industry recognized conferences. As the founder and CEO of ThunderActive, Max has lead his team (with offices in San Diego and New York City) to success for clients in legal, real estate, life sciences, consumer goods and new tech. A Columbia undergraduate with a Yale MBA, Max is an Impact Circle Member for The Trevor Project and is an advisor to start-up companies and angel investment networks, including Gaingels and Serval Ventures in New York.

Wanna connect? See you on Twitter or Foursquare.

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