Last week we held our very first Assembled event–a round-robin help desk designed to give small business owners 1:1 consultations with experts in the areas of digital marketing where they needed the most help.

14 experts from Oregon and Southwest Washington graciously donated their time (a full day, in most cases) to help over 30 local business owners in the Portland metro area tie up loose ends and expand their web presence.

We based the format around a module originally piloted at the Local U conference series, but we still took home a few logistical lessons — namely around scheduling and venue capacity! — upon which we hope to improve next time.

The event was held at Elevator Cafe + Commons, whose baristas and staff graciously dealt with a steady stream of under-fed and over-caffeinated digital marketers (and much more normal business owners 🙂 ). As you can see below, it was fabulous space:

During the registration process, we asked attendees to list their top three areas of need, and then paired them up with experts who could address those needs.  Agencies and consultants may be interested to see the relative demand for help in each area:

PR and Community Outreach may be slightly over-represented based on the expertise of our experts, but overall, our attendees asked for help in the areas that small businesses have rated most effective in surveys from StreetFight and the Local Search Association: SEO, social media, websites, and email marketing.

Where do they need the most help? Tying these tactics together with a cohesive, future-proof strategy, a theme Mike Blumenthal and I have returned to again and again in our bi-weekly StreetFight conversation.

Very few attendees expressed interest in paid media or analytics–two areas into which billions of venture capital dollars have poured in the last few years alone.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive (average attendee rating 4.89 / 5), and I think our experts enjoyed the day even more than attendees–as is frequently the case with these events!  Major thanks to everyone who participated:

Thanks also to Todd Mintz for his assistance in getting the word out and especially to Charlene Ditch of Charlene Kate Events for her help in planning all the things!

Charlene and I are going to debrief in the next couple of weeks and figure out when and how to pull off Assembled 2.0, but we’re already looking forward to the challenge!

The full list of reviews from attendees who gave us permission to include them follow below.

This event was amazing! I got all of the info I needed (and more) to get the next steps done in completing my website and putting together my e mailing lists. I can’t say enough how great this was. Thank you for doing this!

Nelli Pavlenko,
Manolo Walls

The experts were extremely knowledgeable, and very open and sharing of all sorts of wonderful tips and ideas. The workshop exceeded my expectations and goals. Well done and thank you!

Kim Flannagan,
Flannagan’s Golf Tours LLC

My experience with Assembled 2017 was insightful and creative. I learned so much in such a short period of time. The information was extremely relevant to how I wanted to grow my business.

Vanessa White,
Just V Natural LLC

Digital marketing is intimidating and overwhelming to me, but also a very necessary part of my business. Assembled was such a relaxed environment to gain some incredibly insightful information – I can’t wait to see the results from all of my take-aways and return next year for more!

Lacy Keller,
Interior Designer,
Lacy Keller Interiors

I attended an event organized by Tidings called Assembled yesterday that was left me (and my team) abuzz with ideas on improving the digital strategy of our small business. At the event we had 4 one hour-long consultations with experts in a variety of digital marketing areas (email newsletters, paid advertising, e-commerce SEO, and social media). Each expert we spoke with was prepared, thoughtful and offered actionable advice. There was nothing “sales-y” about the event. I hope they offer another Assembled soon! It was an excellent value and use of our time.

Willi Galloway,
Perch Furniture

I didn’t know what to expect and was so impressed with Assembled. I met with experts in branding, social media and strategy and received fantastic insights and practical tools and advice to move the ball forward for my small business. The advisers came prepared and open to answer any pressing question that were on my mind and shared experience and problem solving solutions and bettering an already existing social media structure. Thank you David Mihm with Tidings, for expending resources and energy organizing this valuable event. I have already shared my experience with other small business owners excited to participate in future events.

Vivian Lee,
Founder and Chief Snack Officer,
Lucky Rabbit Snacks / Vivian Lee Kimchi


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.