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Mesh marketing 11: Klout, WestJet and three guys named Mark

Well, mesh marketing 2011 is in the can, and it was a pretty fun-filled show — the highlight for many (according to the Twitter stream) was Marcus Sheridan, also known as @thesaleslion, who joined us all the way from Virginia and preached the gospel of selling via the web in a packed presentation room at the end of the day. Marcus was also on a panel in the morning with another Marcus — Marcus Wilson of IdeaPaint — and our own Mark Evans as moderator, talking about the role of content marketing in online sales.

The day kicked off with a keynote chat between Stuart MacDonald and Greg Hounslow, who handles social media for WestJet and told an astonished crowd that he used to single-handedly run the airline’s Twitter account and its Facebook page, although he has help now. And in addition to the Marcus-Marcus-and-Mark panel, we had a one-on-one with the guy everyone loves to hate (but not really) — Klout CEO Joe Fernandez, who made a lot of users mad when the online-influence ranking service changed its algorithm and everyone’s score dropped.

We also had a conversation with Steve Rubel — vice-president of digital strategy for Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations agency — and Dave Kerpen, who runs a social consulting firm called Likeable based in New York (and was also a one-time contestant on a reality show called Paradise Island). That panel talked about the benefits and disadvantages of Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, and whether there is room for another social network in most people’s lives.

Other panels and presentations included one looking practical tips for social media in the trenches — with Gail Gabrielle Ordogh of Real Sports, Sheldon Levine of Sysomos & Dorothy Steel from Invest Ontario, as well as a panel on the future of search with Kunal Das from Microsoft and Krista LaRiviere from gShift. We also had one that talked about how luxury brands are using the web and digital marketing, with Joanna Track from Dealuxe, Felicia Yukich from Four Seasons and Jason Lonsdale from TAXI.

Our keynote speaker Joe Fernandez from Klout was also kind enough to sit in on a panel about “big data” and the potential it has for marketers, along with Rod Smith(one of the original creators of IBM’s Watson supercomputer). And another of the afternoon’s panels looked at what life might be like in a “post-desktop world,” with Benjie Levy of Score Mobile, Nina Sohi from Blu Trumpet and Andrew Osis of Poynt. We also had a conversation with Scott Lake of Swix and Patrick Gladney of Social Media Group about the benefits of social analytics and how to tell what data is important to you and your business.

Thanks again to everyone who came and meshed with us — on to Vancouver!