A cow with a space helmet is posted all over the sheds at Eastern Market… what does it all mean? Last week, ’Foilers had the opportunity to participate in FutureMidwest, the region's largest digital business conference. With attendees ranging from media and PR professionals to developers, everyone was there for one purpose – to learn about the technologies that will help the Midwest compete and succeed.

Throughout the conference, attendees heard about how professionals and influencers in the Midwest are redefining business in the digital age focusing on the impact of technology in five key areas:

  • Integrated marketing with digital platforms
  • Creating an engaging user experience across a variety of digital media
  • Utilizing mobile for information exchange and user access
  • Defining metrics with business intelligence
  • Participating in the information age for regional growth in the Midwest

Below we’ve included some quick best practices and lessons we learned:

  • Creativity is 85 percent learned, not inherent – it’s a skill that needs to be honed and practiced. Expounding and developing our creativity will be a key factor for Detroit’s success.

-          Josh Linkner, Detroit Venture Partners/ePrize

  • Edgy and defiant cities such as Detroit that have a supportive environment for music will always be relevant. Detroit has created and fostered a niche music genre, which has in turned has primed it to be a key hub of technology development.

-          Jason Schmitt, Huffington Post

  • Your mobile phone will one day save your life.

-          Bobby Ghoshal, FLUD  

  • We lead “untethered lives” – we can do anything, anytime, anywhere. Every person has a personal “cloud” which is comprised of traditional, digital and on-the-go media.

-          David Leider, GSTV

  • Curation of online content is the next phase of the Web (Web 3.0) and the next big thing coming out of Silicon Valley. Essentially, this means that content and information most important to you can be compiled, organized and presented in a way that is meaningful to you.

-          Oliver Starr, Pearltrees

  • Internet and online privacy continues to be a major concern among consumers. Information about us is gathered, bought and sold without our knowledge. Soon, consumers will choose if they want to opt out of online tracking and targeted ads, or opt in for potential monetary incentives. Businesses will have to educate consumers on the implications of doing both.  

-          David Norris, Bluecava

  • When it comes to measuring success and business intelligence, insights are only valuable when you see things BEFORE others do and have the courage to ACT.

-          Joey Fitts

  • Traditional media isn’t dying – it just needs to learn to dance with online and digital; and to effectively reach your audience, identify and hone in on the technologies with which they are spending the most time and go there.

-          John and Scott Meyer, 9 Clouds

  • Define the direction of your audience and determine how you can apply your values and strategies in the new digital space.

-          Emin Kadi, Clear Magazine

These are only a few of the best practices shared during the two-day conference and to find more about the happenings that occurred, check out the hashtag FMW11 for a playback.

Katie Trautmann is an account executive and Christine Kunde is an account coordinator at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.