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Imagineering Unchained Orlando: The All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

Everything about taking BloodhoundBlog Unchained to Orlando is in flux until we find out what we can do about meeting rooms. Even so, I’m swimming in ideas for how I want it to work.

As before, as always, I want for there to be a ton of hard-headed content. We set a new high-water mark for real estate conferences in Phoenix, and I want to bump that mark quite a bit higher.

Here’s how my thoughts run right now, all subject to amendment by cruel reality and subsequent brainstorms:

This is a one-day affair, and so it has to be a concentrated dose of that Unchained attitude. We also have to accommodate the comings and goings of the conventioneers, since it seems less than likely that they will all be available for the same one huge block of time.

What I thought we might do is run the circus from 8 am to 8 pm, with Brian and I doing a four-hour show three times or a three-hour show four times — thus to deliver the most that we can to the greatest number of people. An even better idea: Two different three-hour shows, each delivered twice. Unchained in Phoenix was eleven-plus hours of content, but we could condense that down to a very highly-concentrated six hours of material.

Then, in the next room over we could have a trade show floor with vendors we trust having an opportunity to present their value propositions and give away tee shirts and frisbees.

And then in a third room, this one cut into three or four breakout rooms, we could offer hour-long breakout sessions aimed at every level of geek, from infra to ultra. We need beginner sessions. We need expert sessions. This is a way we can meet a multitude of needs. Twelve hours times three rooms could accommodate up to 36 unique class sessions. I would expect many sessions to be repeated through the day, but 36 class slots presents a lot of teaching opportunities.

In the end, we end up with a sort of All-You-Can-Eat Buffet: Show up when you can, stay for as long as you want, learn as much as your brain can contain. That fits Orlando so well that I want to take it to Vegas, too!

If you have ideas that I’m missing, don’t be shy about speaking up. We are what we are here because we engage some of the best minds in real estate. This is our big chance to talk to Realtors who want to do their best but, in many cases, know nothing at all about our world. If there is something more that we can do to make our case to them, we’ll be indebted to hear what it is.

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26 Comments so far

  1. monika June 1st, 2008 5:44 am

    This sounds like a huge undertaking. Almost like too much for the time slot. Are you still thinking the 7th?

  2. Brian Miller June 1st, 2008 5:54 am

    Greg, I had to miss Unchained Phoenix, and from what I’ve read here looks like I missed a lot. My plans are to go to Orlando to take in what was missed in Phoenix. Please don’t cut material in the interest of making it fit the Orlando time table. I, personally, was not planning to go to Orlando until your event came up. (this is obviously from my selfish point of view)
    Buuuut, with that said, what a great opportunity to take your message to the masses. It’s sure to be great…

  3. Cheryl Johnson June 1st, 2008 6:01 am

    Just a thought: My only concern with the separate vendor room, and separate break-out room, would be that people will wander into these rooms, but not the main Bloodhound event; and if they don’t come into the main event, they may never hear the Bloodhound message.

  4. Barry Bevis June 1st, 2008 6:03 am

    The overall format sounds good
    Refinement is fine but please don’t cut content.
    I’m coming to Orlando for Unchained- not NAR…..
    Make it worth the trip.

  5. Greg Swann June 1st, 2008 6:21 am

    > Are you still thinking the 7th?

    It’s the perfect day. I can’t commit absolutely until we have space reserved, but it works perfectly for our needs. We can hammer on the chains all day long, and folks will still have time to go see Lionel Richie. (Who picks these acts, anyway?)

  6. Greg Swann June 1st, 2008 6:30 am

    Brian: > Please don’t cut material in the interest of making it fit the Orlando time table.

    Barry: > Refinement is fine but please don’t cut content.

    To the contrary. The four main programs from Unchained would fit into six hours without alteration, but we’ll be doing a lot differently by then — quite a bit more than we covered in Phoenix. Add two or three of the breakout sessions and we should have a ton of information for every level of interest.

  7. Teri Lussier June 1st, 2008 6:34 am

    I think the format you are suggesting is the best solution to Orlando, which cannot be compared to Phoenix.

    If the goal is to reach people who have not heard the message and also preach to the choir in one day, then you have no choice but break up the material, force people to pick and choose which would be most advantageous for them to hear/see in person, make the rest available in a portable form- dvd or cd, and know that you have done the best you can with what you’ve got.

    The devil, or God, is going to be in the details of how you schedule sessions. Making sure that those folks that are new to this whole Web 2.0 thingy are hearing what they need to hear, and allowing those folks who are further along the curve to really dig in and learn.

    In the end, someone is going to wish they had a cd or dvd of just one breakout session they couldn’t get to, so providing everything in an a la carte way, would be really helpful.

    And to add my personal preference: I rarely sit and watch movies. For me, audio cd’s from breakout sessions would be more effective if the presentation lends itself to that, and I’m guessing less expensive to produce and sell? Anything that saves me money and I can listen while multi-plexing is a preferred option for this particular grunt on the ground. 🙂

  8. Greg Swann June 1st, 2008 6:38 am

    > My only concern with the separate vendor room, and separate break-out room, would be that people will wander into these rooms, but not the main Bloodhound event; and if they don’t come into the main event, they may never hear the Bloodhound message.

    I know what I want, but I won’t know for a while what I can actually have.

    Here’s what I want: One or more big flat-panel monitors promoting the events in all three rooms. The main show I’m not that worried about, it’s the break-out sessions that I think will make the difference for many of these folks. Brian and I are going to be aiming for the 80th percentile, just like Phoenix. The folks coming in below that level are going to want some extra help, and we don’t want to neglect the more-advanced members of the audience. If we direct traffic properly, we can get everyone what they need.

  9. Greg Swann June 1st, 2008 6:49 am

    StarPower does audio of all of its breakout sessions, then sells those as a separate product. I won’t promise you that something like that will happen this time out, but, if it does, I would rather just make those available on-line as MP3s.

  10. Eric Blackwell June 1st, 2008 6:58 am


    I think this ‘buffet’ style format would be great. I think then folks could get what they want and need for their specific business.

    VERY looking forward to it.


  11. Louis Cammarosano June 1st, 2008 7:59 am

    I like the idea of four sessions to accomodate the comings and goings of the realtors.
    I would think, you might have to go lighter on the panels and more on the direct instruction, perhaps even pitch the seminar as Unchained light, Unchained to go, Unchained express or something like that.
    Use that as a call for another three day seminar.
    Perhaps even offer Orlando for FREE as marketing for the vegas show. Collect names, get a mailing list and market to them after the show.
    A separate vendor room might not be appealing as most vendors will have their main booths set up on the conference room floor.

  12. Greg Swann June 1st, 2008 8:05 am

    > A separate vendor room might not be appealing as most vendors will have their main booths set up on the conference room floor.

    Yes, you’re right. Duh. Thanks.

    > Perhaps even offer Orlando for FREE as marketing for the vegas show.

    That I know we can’t do. Orlando promises to be more expensive than Phoenix, even without food. I want to keep it very cheap, because I want to get in front of as many people as we can, but we’re going to have a big nut to cover.

  13. Louis Cammarosano June 1st, 2008 8:06 am

    The more I think about it, the attention span of conventioneers is limited compared to the three day seminar attendee.

    The advantage of the NAR show is obviously you will have everyone there, but you might not have their attention.

    Consider doing perhaps SIX free teaser sessions in anticipation of a three day seminar soon thereafter

  14. Greg Swann June 1st, 2008 8:08 am

    > VERY looking forward to it.

    I think it would be very cool if you and Eric Bramlett were to split the day teaching an SEO for Realtors breakout.

  15. Hunter Jackson June 1st, 2008 8:08 am

    I’ll be there regardless, but wondering if i can write off Disney World as a business expense?

    It sounds good to me, but like they said above, please don’t slash content or dumb it down.

  16. Greg Swann June 1st, 2008 8:14 am

    Hunter, you have my word forever: BloodhoundBlog will never dumb anything down. 😉

  17. Kevin Tomlinson June 1st, 2008 8:09 pm

    I’ll be there. November?

  18. Jay June 2nd, 2008 5:48 pm

    I did Disney World last year for a week at the Contemporary resort. We were just talking about how our 17 month old could get so much more out of it now compared with 7 months ago.

    Which 7th are we talking about? August?


  19. Greg Swann June 2nd, 2008 7:07 pm

    > Which 7th are we talking about?

    November 7th.

  20. Kevin Warmath - Alpharetta Real Estate June 3rd, 2008 8:39 am

    The best thing about PHX was that no one pitched me anything during the event…it was really an educational event, not a sales event. The notion of a “teaser” for a larger event doesn’t sound interesting, particularly if you went to PHX.

    My selfish vision is for working sessions: laptops, wireless, power strips, hands on keyboards. I like to leave these events with actually having implemented an idea rather than have a to-do item that gets lost when i get back to the hustle and bustle of work. For instance engenu worksession. I wish i were further along implementing it, but i’m getting there.

    I’m also not for repeated content thru the day…make it one continuous stream of content…i can take it all in, i promise! You can’t feed me too much content.

  21. Teri Lussier June 3rd, 2008 8:56 am

    >My selfish vision is for working sessions: laptops, wireless, power strips, hands on keyboards.

    Oh! Yes please!!! With plenty of time for the everyone to share- not just presenters, but the people who are following along on the laptops who will put their own spin on it, their own brain power to it. Time for them to say “Hey! Look at this!” Real collaboration, not just a lecture.

  22. Greg Swann June 3rd, 2008 10:07 am

    Kevin: No teasers, no pasties, no freerolls, no shills, no 99-cent shrimp cocktails. You have my word forever. Teri asked me in email about our business philosophy. Our creed is simple: We don’t do anything we hate when it’s done to us.

    Teri: “Real collaboration, not just a lecture.” That’s a cool idea, like a geek camp for Realtors. It would be fun to do the whole tech package step-by-step, with everyone perfecting their sites as we go along.

    Here’s one: PHP makes it wicked easy to parse any tab- or comma-delimited database. I wrote that list of tune yesterday by feeding the iTunes DB report to a small PHP program. I have a bot that I can use to extract email addresses from an abbreviated MLS DB. That way, we can target spam agents who have listed or sold in a neighborhood where we are promoting a listing.

    Now let’s get Cheryl to take us through image editing and Eric and Eric to show us how to beef up our SEO. Et cetera. That could be a very cool event.

  23. Kevin Warmath - Alpharetta Real Estate June 3rd, 2008 10:21 am

    I’d rather sit thru multiple sessions (even days, although i know that is not possible in orlando) like you describe than go to a silly NAR event. I’d get more PRACTICAL knowledge.

    Add sessions on video editing, google mapping/earthing, workpress tweaking, email marketing with designing the campaigns, what else? I’m dreaming now.

    I could definitely learn something from cheryl re photoshop!

    I do like 99cent shrimp cocktail, though ;->

  24. Teri Lussier June 3rd, 2008 10:44 am

    >a geek camp for Realtors.

    I’ve been taking interactive classes through my brokerage. The corporate instructor is in Orlando and we are hooked up via live video feed all across the country. We can see the instructor, he sees us, but we can’t see the other offices. We have access via microphone so we can interupt and ask questions… BHBU is a perfect candidate for this type of class.

  25. Cheryl Johnson June 4th, 2008 7:07 am

    @Teri: Yes… I would love that. And I’d be happy to pay some fee to participate long distance … the fees paid by long-distance participants would help cover the nut…. and the wow/cool factor would be an additional hook to draw in live bodies at Orlando.

  26. Greg Swann June 4th, 2008 7:43 am

    Just to be clear about this, if we put together a Geek Camp, it won’t be in Orlando. That show is an Evangelical Mission to help Realtors learn about our world, so the curriculum will be the state of the Unchained content at that time plus as many supplementary break-out classes as we can organize. As Louis points out, the nature of a national convention will make retaining minds more difficult, and a Geek Camp is going to have to be an intensive multi-day affair to be productive. For Orlando, we want to deliver the greatest quantity of the the highest quality Social Media Marketing curriculum to the greatest number of people — at all skill levels — we can attract. A Geek Camp might work best in a resort hotel, where we can do everything under one roof, working twelve hours a day and playing the other twelve.