Parnassus Group: Behind the Scenes @ The Twitter Conference Los Angeles #140tc

October 8, 2009

Tony Robbins (Photo by Jim Alden @techfrog)

I recently got back from The Twitter Conference LA. The organizers of this event, the Parnassus Group (Steve, Jason, Kim, Joseph) are thinkspace members. I’m fortunate to be able to hang out with them on a daily basis and see what goes into creating events of this magnitude. It’s kind of like getting a backstage pass! One of the best things about the event was having dinner with them after the first day and hearing the team recap the day from their perspective.
I thought Steve and his team did a great job handling the unexpected at the Conference. The first big surprise was The Iron Sheik crashing the Comedy Panel. It turned out to be absolutely hilarious and was truly a unique experience that probably could never be duplicated at any other conference. It was moderated by Jason Preston, and featured a panel of Chis Hardwick, Tucker Max, and Loni Love. The second big surprise was Tony Robbins. Tony was the second day keynote. The schedule said one hour for Tony’s keynote, but, Tony got on a roll and I think he finally stopped after 2+ hours. I looked at Steve a few times during that 2+ hour run and thought there was no way Steve was going give Tony the hook and pull him off the stage. I’m sure glad Steve didn’t either because I really enjoyed what Tony had to say.
The other kudos go to Joesph, by himself he configured a massive WIFI network for the conference. While the first few hours were rough, it wasn’t his fault. It was a bad router. He singled out one bad router out of 16 of them. That’s tough to do with all the pressure of a live event. Normally, what he did would have taken a team of people to pull off.
One of the big surprises for me was with the celebrities. They all show very strong commitment and enthusiasm to managing their own Twitter account. Most everyone was very adamant about not using a ghost Twitterer (someone tweeting on their behalf). They want the interaction to be authentic and they genuinely like to connect with their fans. I contrast that to small business owners who seemly want to hand off this duty to the intern or receptionist. I’ve never understood how the most important thing, which is communicating directly with your customers, could be handed off to someone with the least vested interest. I was equally impressed with iJustine, who has 800,000+ followers and answers every single direct message that she gets. Absolutely impressive. I got to meet her and she’s a really sweet gal too.
I thought I would just link to some of the best recaps that I read about the conference. They each bring their own perspective about what happened and if you really want to get the full flavor, you probably should read each of these!
Adam Schoenfeld: 140 Twitter Conference Recap: The #140tc Tweet Data

Dave Peck: The 140 Twitter Conference.. For The Win!
Betsy Aoki: Bing at the 140 Twitter Conference
Erin Coller: The Ultimate Tweet-Up: 140|The Twitter Conference LA
Mari Smith: Tips, Tricks, & Tools from 140 | The Twitter Conference
Scott Beale: The Comedy Panel at 140 | The Twitter Conference
Some of the cool people that I met are the people behind some of the biggest brands out there. Such as Winnie Hsia the person behind the Whole Foods Twitter account. Barbara Dybwad, a journalist with Mashable, Guy Kawaski, managing director with Garage Technology Ventures. Check out the photos below.

Krystyl from SF | Pee Wee Herman & Steve Broback

Winnie Hsia (Whole Foods) | Guy Kawasaki

Kim Larsen (Parnassus Group) | Chamillionaire

Team thinkspace (Photo by Randy Stewart)


Picture of thinkspace