Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Last Friday, about 80 business leaders assembled at the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica, CA, for CallFire's first ever conference, which we called Biz2Beach. The invitation-only attendees included founders, business development leaders, and marketing directors from companies big and small, including NBCUniversal, Mobclix, DDB Los Angeles, Airpush, adly, Mobile Roadie, Disney Animation Studios, BetterWorks, and more. By design, the conference was kept small in order to facilitate lively, engaging conversations between the attendees and featured speakers. Hailing from LA and San Francisco, the six speakers were Tony Adam, CEO and Founder of Visible Factors and Eventify, Matthew Arevalo, Founder of Master Works, Garth Holsinger, VP Global Sales and Business Development for Klout, Van Jepson, Founder and CEO of GroupPrice, Krishna Subramanian, Co-founder of Mobclix, and Robyn Ward, Director of Sales and Business Development for BetterWorks. At their respective discussion tables, they spoke about online marketing, mobile marketing, company culture, and social media ROI, among other topics. These discussions will soon be archived on TechZulu, who was one of the event sponsors and who live-streamed Biz2Beach to an audience of about 45,000 people. "I go to a lot of conferences," said David Henzel, VP Marketing at NetDNA and longtime CallFire customer. "But I loved the intimate format of Biz2Beach; the 'unconference' is way more interactive because participants can easily steer conversations with the speaker to get the most value out of it and make deep, meaningful connections." CallFire also used Biz2Beach to provide a sneak peek into CallFire Version 3.0, the latest iteration of our voice and SMS messaging platform. Presented by our CTO Vijesh Mehta, CallFire 3.0 includes improvements to reporting and data visualization, an easier, sleeker user interface, and increased back-end efficiency. Existing CallFire clients from companies like 8x8, Amacai Solutions, GeoDecisions, Ipsos Loyalty, and BrightArrow Technologies were among the attendees at Biz2Beach, and they got to see many of their feature requests in action. News of private beta access to CallFire 3.0 is forthcoming, so stay tuned. After a closing discussion of the cumulative takeaways and general good vibes of Biz2Beach, guests moved to the penthouse of the Huntley Hotel, the Skyline restaurant, which overlooks the ocean and the whole of Los Angeles. There, they enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and networking into the late evening. As she left, Jennifer Kelton, Founder and CEO of BadOnlineDates.com, tweeted she felt "Gratitude for an absolutely amazing day. Filled with wonderful people, and many thoughtful conversations." We couldn't have said it better. We've since started a LinkedIn group for past and future Biz2Beachers, as we hope to make Biz2Beach LA's premier networking unconference, "drawing a mix of the brightest minds in technology, advertising and anyone in the B2B space," in the words of our CEO Dinesh Ravishanker. There are also videos and photos which we'll be posting soon. Many people came together to make Biz2Beach happen, including the entire CallFire team (special shout-out to the devs), our event sponsors, the guests and speakers, the staff at the Huntley Hotel, and the LA tech and business community as a whole. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this enormous effort. We hope the conversations facilitated and the connections made prove all that hard work was worthwhile.