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China 2.0 – will the earth move during the conf. or the tea breaks?

November 10, 2008

China 2.0 [http://china20.thechinabusinessnetwork.com/] (disclosure: Edelman Digital is lead sponsor) kicked off today. There’s an amazing list of local and oversees delegates (http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/11/prweb1589194.htm), but most importantly, lots of time for networking which was happening even before today kicked off (e.g. http://twitter.com/kaiserkuo/status/997295991 or http://twitter.com/Scobleizer/status/997277334). All good stuff – the need to just hang-out and share seems greater than ever and why a true unconference works so well.

I’m presenting at a conference tomorrow – I’d love to throw the PowerPoint out the window, but in Singapore that would leave 40 minutes of my 45 minute slot to fill… Speaking of letting a conversation reign – I’m a faith-filled guy, which is why I can’t wait for a large number of brands to turn around and say – “hey, let’s get together with these guys and not bother to set an agenda in advance, let’s see where the wind blows us.” What makes me happy is that I’m already working closely with two brands who are trying this, who are saying – ‘let’s act as a digital curator for information that our customers want’ and let’s see how it goes – I’m sure engaging will lead to something special.”

This is not ‘pissing in the wind’ digital planning, but backed up by extensive desktop, online and community focus group research – the likelihood of success is high. The fact that one of the companies involved is in the finance sector (not banking), during a sucky time for any company in that field speaks volumes for the leadership of that company.

I made this point previously, but if we think navigating through this economic crisis is anything more than leadership and a vision of customer engagement, we’re over-complicating things.

Maybe I should start a sweep about the brands who won’t be around in 10 years? Then we can retrospectively dissect why after-the-fact.

Who do you think will struggle through a crisis of confidence in the next couple of years?


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