BrXnd NYC 2024 // BrXnd Dispatch vol. 34
May 8 in NYC!
You’re getting this email as a subscriber to the BrXnd Dispatch, a (roughly) weekly email at the intersection of brands and AI. 2024 conference planning is now in full swing. I’m looking for sponsors and speakers.
If you were excusably not paying attention to email over the holidays, you might have missed my announcement that I am officially holding another edition of the BrXnd Marketing x AI Conference in NYC this year. Well, since then, I’ve locked down the venue and date: May 8, 2024, at NeueHouse. You'll be familiar with the venue if you attended last year’s event.
I’ll also be doing tickets a bit differently this year. Due to the demand from last year, I’ve decided to allocate a healthy portion of the tickets to be invite-only, prioritizing folks who attended last year. I really loved the feel last year and hope that we can recreate this. I know this means not everyone will be able to join, but I went for intimacy over scale. Once again, the excellent folks at Persistent Productions will be putting all the videos together, and I will post them all on YouTube. Over the next week or so, emails should start to go out with links to purchase two tickets: one for you and one for the most interesting marketer you know. Keep an eye out for the links.
Enough with the logistics. What’s the plan for the event? While I’m still working that out, I have a few things that are driving my desire to put on round two.
First and foremost, this stuff is still amazing. A year-and-a-half on, and I am just as excited as I was when I first got my hands on GPT-3 and CoPilot and Dall-E. It's wild and mind-bending, and I still have no idea what will happen. At the same time, the noise has only gotten louder. There is an endless line of AI experts prepared to predict the future and tell you the prompt you can’t live without and … I just find it all pretty uninspiring. This Tweet from Miles Brundage, who does policy research at OpenAI, is still the thing that comes to mind most often for me:
With all that said, one of the things that fascinated me about the back half of last year was how little real progress seemed to be made in the marketing industry. Despite the excitement and the impressive capabilities of these models, most brands seemed to be stuck in talking mode instead of doing mode. My take is that this posture came down to many questions about legal—many of which are still playing out—as well as a lack of comfort and intuitive feel for what these things are best at. To open last year’s conference, I talked about the need to build “fingerspitzengefühl” (finger feel) for AI, and I still think that’s the biggest opportunity at hand.
The day's goal remains mostly the same: to discuss this intersection of brands and AI without hyperbole or speculation and to demystify the space by focusing on those doing, not those talking. Coming out of last year’s events, I jotted down a set of programming tenets that I did my best to carry through everything I did last year (and will aim towards again for the 2024 version):
Doers > Speculators: We want BrXnd to be about doing and learning, not talking and speculating. We are too early in this journey, and the technology is too different from what we’ve seen before to get stuck speculating about its future impact.
Curiosity > Overconfidence: We embrace the unintuitive nature of AI and its future implications. We're all learners in this new era of technology.
Conversations > Panels: Whenever possible, it’s better to have just two people on stage talking to one another rather than a whole set of speakers competing for time and attention. Go deeper with fewer people so that the audience can learn from their thinking and experience more than just their opinions.
Show > Tell: It’s always better to show people something than to tell them about it. While other conferences try to urge people away from showing specific products, we think it’s most useful for people to see what’s real and possible.
Process > Perfection: Take your audience on a journey, even if it’s something that didn’t work out. This is an audience of doers and experimenters, and understanding the journey is often more important than just seeing the outcome.
Thanks for reading,
Thanks for reading BrXnd Dispatch! Subscribe for free to receive new posts at the intersection of marketing and AI.