Why I’m Going to the NTEN Conference — And You (And All Nonprofit Marketers) Should Too

Why I'm Going to the NTEN Conference -- And You (And All Nonprofit Marketers) Should TooLast winter, when the folks at NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network) asked me to present at their annual spring conference, I couldn’t do so due to a long-scheduled client meeting. Beyond that, I just didn’t see a strong match between my marketing focus and the tech folks who would be in attendance.

Was I wrong! Mea culpa.

This year I know more, and I’ll be live blogging from the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), March 19-21, in New Orleans. Here’s why I’m going, and why you and your colleagues in nonprofit marketing should too, in the words of Holly Ross, NTEN’s ED:

1) Communications and technology are two parts of a whole.
"A good story lies at the core of every effective communication.  But the ways in which we can share those stories, and empower our stakeholders to tell their stories, have exploded in the last few years — all fueled by technology. At the NTC, we explore the myriad ways the communications are empowered by technology – from email newsletters to social networking strategies, and how communicators and technologists working together (or one person with both skill sets) can generate huge impact."

2) NTC is more than a conference; it’s a gateway to colleagues whom you’ll connect with, learn from and want to keep in touch with. 
"The conference isn’t just a bunch of panels. You’ll meet more people with more ideas, energy and answers than you ever have before. NTC offers an opportunity to build and maintain a real community of peers for long term professional development and support. 

You can volunteer at the Day of Service, attend Affinity Group meetings, discuss important topics at birds of a feather tales at lunch, or join other marketing folks for a small group dinner.  We want our attendees to CONNECT, LEARN and CHANGE the world."

3) You get access to top-notch industry experts who care about, and understand,
the nonprofit dynamic. 

"For example, folks from Google will be talking
about their free tools for nonprofits like Apps, Analytics, and the
Google Grants AdWords program."

Don’t stop there. Here’s another huge benefit of attending NTC pointed out by my friend Michael Hoffman of See 3 Communications:

"Technology used to mean backend. Databases. Tracking donors, tracking clients served, etc. All the stuff you needed but didn’t want to think about. Today, tech means those things plus blogging and social networking, online video and fundraising, and personalized content.

So what was once the domain of geeks and coders is now the domain of us marketers and fundraisers. But we still need those geeks — to make our databases talk to each other, to program our sites and  connect our front end (Web sites) to our backend (donor and member databases.)

The NTC used to be the place where all the techies came together. Today, it’s those folks AND us —  those working on the conversation side of communications and fundraising. The bloggers, social media marketers, online video folks, and anyone interested in using Web technologies to attract, engage and motive nonprofit audiences. Having both groups in one place is a huge benefit — we usually don’t speak to each other, or at least not in the same language."

Register for the NTC today. Special discount available till February  29th.

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Nancy Schwartz on February 14, 2008 in 08NTC, Nonprofit Communications, Nonprofit Marketing News, Professional Development | 1 comment
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