This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO sMoRTy71.com -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
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Friday, October 22, 2010
BlogWorld Expo 2010 recap
My wife Amy thinks that all of the conferences I attend are just excuses for a bunch of middle-aged nerds to get together and party (wow, that stings a little). I assure her that, while there are always opportunities to socialize with a cocktail in hand, conferences like BlogWorld Expo and SXSWi are much more than a party.

This was actually my first BlogWorld. Chuck Hemann, who was responsible for helping with the social media track, invited me to be part of a panel on enterprise social media. Being a shameless self promoter, I couldn't say, "No."

Thursday

I arrived in Vegas at 2pm and, because of a minor travel mix-up, was due to be on stage for my panel at 4pm. Ended up making it with plenty of time to spare, but very little voice left due to a cold I was getting over.

Enterprise Social Media panel at BlogWorld Expo 2010
From left: Michael Brito, Shawn Morton (damn, he's handsome!), Becky Young, Pam Clark and Len Devanna

I joined Becky Young from RIM, Pam Clark from Adobe's Photoshop team, Len Devanna from EMC and moderator Michael Brito from Edelman for a lively and (surprisingly) well-attended panel discussion on integrating social media into the enterprise.

After the panel, I was completely spent (I left it all up there on the stage), so I grabbed dinner at Burger Bar with my old pals David Alston from Radian6, Chuck Hemann, Greg Mathews and one of my new favorite people Ken Burbary from Ernst & Young.

I drink your milkshake!

There, I was mocked for drinking a milkshake while everyone else had an adult beverage (it was totally worth it, though). Of course, after Chuck had a $60 hamburger, we were able to mock the tiny dessert burger (made from a donut, a brownie and fresh fruit) that he got as a consolation prize.

BlogWorld Expo '10: Chuck's dessert burger

After a quit pitstop at the Bristol, we headed out in search of Jason Falls' annual BlogWorld slushie bar meetup. While too long of a story to recount here, the reason for meeting in the middle of a Las Vegas mall to drink Fat Tuesday slushies is a good one. And, it's Falls. How are you going to pass that up? Plus we ran into Bryan Person, Dave Peck and Justin Levy while we were there.

After polishing off my complimentary Pimp Juice, we went to the TechSet event at Liquid inside the Aria hotel. Like the TechSet event at SXSWi, it was packed with a who's who of digital and social media nerd-- um, practitioners.

Spent some time hanging out with Liz Philips from HP, Cheryl Harrison, Jaime Punishill from Thomson Reuters, Mark Krynsky from XPRIZE, Zena Weist from H&R Block (another one of my new favorite people), Thesis creator (and fellow former Louisvillian) Chris Pearson and Scott Monty from Ford.

For fear of retribution from Ken Burbary, I will NOT mention that he spilled an entire glass of Macallan single malt Scotch on Scott Monty's blazer while giving him a bro' hug... uh oh!

While some of the more adventurous in the group headed to the Social Media Club Clubhouse, Chuck and I decided to call it a night. Pacific Time wasn't our friend.

Friday

Got up waaay too early on Friday only to discover that none of the BlogWorld sessions started until 11am.

BlogWorld Expo '10: Social media crisis management panel
Digital crisis management with Valeria Maltoni, Scotty Monty, Dallas Lawrence and Shel Holtz

Ended up eventually connecting with Zena Weist and Ken Burbary again. We spent most of the day in panels including Social Media & SEO with Lee Odden, Digital Crisis Management with Valeria Maltoni, Scott Monty, Dallas Lawrence and Shel Holtz, Social Media ROI with Ken as moderator, David Alston, Don Bartholmew and Connie Bensen.

BlogWorld Expo '10: Ken & David's panel
Social media & ROI: Ken Burbary, Don Bartholmew, Connie Bensen and David Alston

In between, we grabbed lunch at the House of Blues and were joined by Chuck Hemann and D.J. Waldow from Blue Sky Factory (despite the fact he has a Michigan tattoo on his arm).

Dinner was at Aureole in Mandalay Bay with Zena Weist, Ken Burbary and Dave Fleet from Edelman. Dave actually remembered me from correspondence we had back in my Profilactic and CNET days. While the food was delicious, the highlight of the meal was the Mission:Impossible wine rack that climbed 3 stories into the air. Employees would strap into a harness and ascend up the rack to retrieve the proper bottle.

After dinner, we headed to the Mashable event at Haze. Definitely wasn't my kind of place. Too many strobe lights and too much dance music. The highlight was finally getting Zena and Ken to try a French martini. I think they may be hooked.

We bailed from Haze at 9:30p. While we fully intended to take in the Steel Panther show at House of Blues at 11:30p, we were all too tired to wait around for it to start. So, I was in my room for the night by 10:30p... in Vegas.

Steel Panther
My only regret was not getting to see Steel Panther. Next time, gents. Next time...

Saturday

Started my final day at BlogWorld by grabbing an obscenely gluttonous breakfast at Red, White & Blue in Mandalay Bay.

BlogWorld Expo '10: Breakfast... and lunch?

After breakfast, I ran into Dave Fleet and headed to the morning keynote featuring Brian Clark, Sonia Simone and Darren Rowse. There, we were joined by Chuck Hemann who was moving a bit slower than the rest of us at that point.

At 11am, I hit the Hiring a Social Media Agency panel (AKA All Male Revue) with Jason Keath, C.C. Chapman, David Armano and Jim Tobin.

BlogWorld Expo '10: All Male Revue

At 12:15p, I attended the ridiculously under-attended Social Media in Corporate America panel with Jeff Hayzlett formerly CMO of Kodak, Frank Eliason of Citi, Bonin Bough of Pepsico and Scott Monty from Ford. The panel was moderated by Kay Madati from CNN. It was one of my favorites of the weekend.

BlogWorld Expo '10: Social media in corporate America

I finished out BlogWorld by checking out some of the vendor booths in the Expo hall. Really liked getting to see the new MyTouch Sync stuff from Ford. Also paid a visit to the Seagate booth since I am a hard drive nerd and Seagate is my brand (wow, did I just say that?).

Overall, I had a great time at BlogWorld Expo. Had a very similar atmosphere to SXSWi, but I found the content at BWE to be much stronger overall. Will definitely be back.

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.