I had a great time during my limited participation at the annual OPA Summit for 2008.
This year was it was in Naples, Fl which is nice enough in itself, but the conference was held at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, which was really nice and because of a booking screw-up, I got an executive suite, which was really, really nice.
WARNING - Shameless name dropping to commence in 3... 2... 1...
On the first morning I had breakfast with:
Matthew de Gannon ( SVP of The Weather Channel Interactive )
Len Gilbert ( VP McGraw Hill )
Darline Jean ( CFO About.com )
Deslie Quinby* ( VP of Products for The Weather Channel Interactive )
My conversations with Deslie were particularly valuable to me since she is connecting me with Weather's technical architect.
The second day I had lunch and a small project with :
Tom Berreca* ( SVP Digital & Emerging Media for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia )
Sam Parker ( CNET )
My interaction with Tom involved insights into the differences between Scripps' and Martha's innovation programs. Good stuff!
These folk are all high level and it took me a couple tries to re-calibrate to their manner. I exist largely where the rubber meets the road and they generally operate where the glove meets the steering wheel.
Of course Eleanor Cippel ( Scripps director for the Entrepreneur Fund ) and Beth Higbee ( Scripps Networks Interactive ) were there since they were presenting on the structure and progress our innovation programs. These things really get me fired up, which is good, but reality always sets in the next morning. I definitely hope to attend this again next year. I'm not much of a networker, but the insight into the strategy of these other players is really valuable and something the NAA can't even begin to touch.
Anyway, I left with a bunch of ideas which I'm going to work on with Eleanor. Hopefully we can get past all of the distractions 2008 is already throwing our way.