Capacity Interactive - Digital Marketing Boot Camp

Manhattan, I’m back!!!

This time I’m in the city for a marketing conference. I’m also staying with my friend Corinne and ready for another weekend in NYC!

During my time with Bravo! Vail, we worked with Capacity Interactive. Capacity Interactive is a Digital Marketing consulting firm for Art Organizations based in Manhattan. The Marketing Manager and VP of Marketing at Bravo! Vail have always talked so highly about Capacity Interactive and the times they’ve attended Capacity’s conference in the fall. This summer I decided to look into the conference a little more. At the time, I wasn’t sure what my plan for fall would be other than taking my one final course at CU. I wanted to apply for both full time jobs and internships but knew this would be a great time to attend a conference like this.

I hopped online and saw that I likely couldn’t afford the cost of attending the conference plus flight and a hotel. I kept reading about the conference and found “Please email Rachel for student admission” and obviously did so immediately. I learned from Rachel that I could attend the conference free of charge in exchange for helping with some of the sessions and some set-up and break down each day. I looked into flights, found some good deals, asked Corinne if I could stay with her for the weekend, and told Rachel I would absolutely be there!

Day one of the conference had arrived. I hopped on the subway from Corinne’s apartment just North of Central Park and made my way down to the SVA Theatre. I introduced myself to the staff and began to help set up the lobby for breakfast. I quickly made friends with two of the other volunteers, coincidentally both named Amanda.  

The conference even had its own app so I quickly downloaded it and connected my LinkedIn account. The app basically provided a social media platform for conference attendees to interact and post on without posting publicly on all their other social media platforms. The app also included detailed biographies of all the speakers and a full schedule of both days sessions and events. Once I downloaded the app, I started really utilizing it and actively posting on it throughout all the sessions. I also live-tweeted a lot of the sessions (@helloalexgarcia). I was balancing this with trying to scribble notes and quotes in my notebook.

Amanda, Amanda, and I had to go run a few errands on the morning of the first day. I felt like Andi (Anne Hathaway) in the Devil Wears Prada, but obviously on much smaller scale and everyone at Capacity was much nicer than Miranda Priesley. Still, I loved running around the city and was happy to run any errands in exchanged for working and attending the conference.

Day one included sessions on user experience, copy writing, turning patrons into "evangelists", developing content strategies, the culture of innovation, creating strong content with limited resources, and creating a content-driven website. Speakers from day one included Sara Villagio -Director of Marketing at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Meghan Keaney Anderson - VP of Marketing at HubSpot, Tom O'Connor from Tessitura Network, Gabriela Jirasek from Goodman Theatre, and Thomas Weitz from San Francisco Ballet

During lunch I met Rachel Wilkinson of Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. We actually got to talking because I was telling Amanda how the coconut water we were drinking tasted like watered down leftover cereal milk. Rachel leaned in and asked if we were talking about cereal milk and struck up a conversation. I learned that Rachel worked for Studio Theatre and had worked on the theater’s website redesign. I told her that I had spent a lot of time lurking the Studio Theatre website this summer as part of my website redesign research and loved it. Already, I was excited to hear Rachel speak as part of a website redesign panel on day two of the conference.

After all the sessions concluded, there was a networking hour with wine. I helped pour wine and got to interact and chat with some other arts marketers from across the country. I loved hearing about all the different organizations in attendance. When the wine stopped flowing and the clean up was done, I headed out for the evening and met my friend Steph for dinner. I stopped by her apartment and we made our way on the subway to a trendy little restaurant in SoHo called By Chloe. We both got salads that were huge and incredible. Seeing as it was a Thursday night, we couldn’t miss one of our favorite shows, Scandal. Thank you Shonda Rimes #TGIT.  We channeled our inner Olivia Pope by picking up a bottle of red wine and watched this week’s episode. After a few hours of catching up and great wine, I went back to Corinne’s and went to bed – ready for day two of the conference!

Day two included sessions on video creation, Google Analytics, mobile sites, Twitter, social media, and building a website. Speakers from day two included many staff members of Capacity Interactive, Kim Rust from Rustcraft Digital, Anna Prushinskaya from University Musical Society, Doug Neil - Executive VP of Digital Marketing from Universal Pictures, and Kaitlyn Jankowski from Charity: Water. I also learned that Thomas Cott of You've Cott Mail was in attendance. 

I want to share this video that Kaitlyn Jankowski shared as the final speaker of the conference. 

Several new friends and acquaintances later, Digital Marketing Boot Camp had concluded. Amanda and I snapped a few photos at the photo booth station, exchanged numbers, and wished each other luck! I thanked the Capacity Interactive staff for letting me attend and told them how much I loved the whole experience.

I had dinner with Steph again and our friend Tricia, also from Colorado, joined us. We went to an Italian restaurant called Zagara that was fabulous.


Day Three

In the morning, I went to Dunkin’ Donuts for a large iced coffee and walked the block from Corinne’s apartment to Central Park with my Amy Poehler book in hand. I stayed in the park until I finished my chapter and coffee then packed up my suitcase to return to Colorado and reality.

Don’t worry, I’ll definitely be back in NYC again soon…