The Conference That Changed My Career

The Conference That Changed My Career

The Conference That Changed My Career
The Conference That Changed My Career

The last time I intentionally clicked on a banner ad was in 2015.  I don’t remember exactly what the ad itself said, but it included the words “agile” and “content,” which meant I was going to click on it no matter what. I do remember reading it and thinking, “I want to go to there.”
Fortunately for the health and safety of my laptop, that ad was for the Intelligent Content Conference, and it’s no exaggeration to say attending that event changed the course of my career.  ICC was the first conference I ever attended where the vast majority of other attendees were just as nerdy as me, in almost exactly the same ways. Every conversation over cocktails or in between sessions was full of, “ I know, right?!?” and “OMG me too!!”

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t was this camaraderie, this instant sense of shared understanding, that made it possible for me to drag my reluctant introvert brain into multiple conversations with strangers, including some who happened to members of the fantastic staff at the Content Marketing Institute.  The connections I made at my first ICC have led to jobs, collaboration opportunities, and, unbeknownst to 2015 me, put me on the path to becoming a published author (of a real book. I know right?!?) and professional speaker.
That fateful banner click happened three years ago. This year at ICC I’m honored to be presenting a workshop on Agile content strategy (there are still a couple of spaces left if you want to register), and I can’t wait to hear talks from brilliant people like Ardath Albee, Vishal Khanna, Katrina Neal, and Noz Urbina.  The talks at ICC are great, because they’re given by real content nerds who live and love this stuff every day.  But arguably even better than the sessions and workshops is the networking.  I’ve been to many huge events -- I’m still getting over my introvert PTSD from the Adobe Summit and SXSW -- and they have their place in the universe of networking and personal brand building. 

But smaller, more niche gatherings like ICC up the odds of you happening to sit down for lunch with your favorite speaker, or the VP of marketing at a company you’d die to work for, or Joe Pulizzi.  [Sidebar: at my first ICC I sat with Joe at lunch because my then-boss saw empty seats and made a beeline for them, not knowing who Joe was. I had just finished reading Epic Content Marketing and spent most of the lunch hour having tiny strokes and trying not to sound idiotic. This year Joe was kind enough to write a blurb for the back of my first book. See what I’m saying about connections?

To recap, the moral of the story here is two-fold:      
  1. If you work in content marketing or content strategy, ICC offers a smorgasbord* of wonderful learning and opportunities for professional connections. I hope I’ll see you there. (Save $100 with the code SPKR100)     
  2. If you don’t work in content, find an ICC-like event that you can embrace as your own. Dive in. Commit to it yearly. Watch the amazing stuff that happens to your career.
*This is one of those words that never looks like it’s spelled right. And if you look at it too long it stops looking like a real word at all. 
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The Author: Andrea Fryrear
                                            Andrea Fryrear
Years ago I was leading content marketing for a SaaS company, and my team was drowning. We couldn't keep up with the agile software development team, and I was tired of running from fire to fire. I convinced my boss to let me transform our marketing team into a proper agile marketing team, and I've been hooked ever since.   
After I wrote and spoke about that first transformation, I quickly began fielding requests from my fellow marketers to help them do the same. Eventually I left brand-side employment to co-found AgileSherpas and work full-time to transform the way marketers everywhere get work done.   
Since AgileSherpas was founded in 2017 we've helped over 2,500 marketers at dozens of organizations to move from high stress to high performance. We offer certifications in Agile Marketing Fundamentals (ICP-MKG) and Agile Marketing Leadership (ICP-LEA), as well as organizational design consulting for marketing leaders who want to recreate their teams from the ground up. 
Our experienced coaches guide new agile marketing teams through the early days of their journey and train internal agile leaders to help the changes stick. More details on how we work with marketing organizations is available here:  Most recently I've published my second book, Mastering Marketing Agility (, which distills the learnings from 5 years of working with agile marketing teams into an entirely new framework called Rimarketing. The book shows you exactly how we implement this system with the teams we work with at AgileSherpas, offering a detailed roadmap for marketers looking for a better way to get things done.   
At this point I'm pretty much a professional agile marketing nerd, so if you're looking for someone to talk about marketing agility in any capacity, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'm an international keynote speaker and frequent webinar and podcast guest.

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