I had the opportunity to attend the World Business Forum in New York City this week.
It was my second time in the "Blogger Hub" skybox looking down at the 4,000 business executives who gathered at Radio City Music Hall for the two-day business conference.
I see attending conferences like these as a bit of a luxury, and a chance to re-energize my love of business and marketing from some of the great business speakers of our time.
Some of the notable speakers included: Al Gore, film director Jim Cameron, author Jim Collins (Good to Great), former P&G chairman A.G. Lafley , former GE CEO Jack Welch, advisor to four U.S. Presidents David Gergen, and tech analyst and Altimeter Group founder Charlene Li. Not to mention AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito, and Brand Futurist Martin Lindstrom.
It is one of the few conferences I attend where my attention is rapt for each and every speaker.
Collins' speech weaved together lessons from "Good to Great" to "How the Mighty Fall" and made it all relevant for today's business environment.
Martin Lindstrom was part Zigfried and Roy, part Tim Robbins as he discussed how we should all "smash our brand" and described the neuromarketing philosophies we all should be paying attention to.
Then, Charlene Li taught the crowd that social media strategies are the business of the entire organization--not just corporate marketing.
Carlos Brito walked the crowd through the three core elements of the AB InBev organization: Dream, People and Culture.
The former Vice President -- or as he said, "he used to be the next President of the United States" spoke of the climate crisis, sustainable capitalism and opportunity for global environmental and economic improvement.
And, then there was Jack Welch--being, Jack Welch, who discussed the "somewhat dysfunctional" HP Board of Directors, and railed on President Obama for being anti-business and improperly handling the auto bailout by "cutting the throats of investors."
Every minute a priceless opportunity to do what good conferences are intended to do--inspire, inform and motivate.
I'm already looking forward to next year when the event moves to Javits Center North, in New York City. Where the organization says there will be more content than ever before.