It's hard to believe that RETSO was last week... that recent and that long ago... all at once.
But, the time has allowed some of the info to be absorbed. And RETSO didn't disappoint me with the type of info and the volume. What WAS different, and disappointed some was the type of info at this years event. Instead of shiny new tech toys and tools, RETSO this year was focused on the business of Business. Specifically, Business Models. There was a nifty tool, though, the Business Model Canvas.
For this report, I'm going to focus on the changes AT RETSO, next time I'll go into more about the content.
I almost didn't make it to RETSO this year. A few weeks ago I had started really working over my business. Instead of thought about tech tools, I was more concerned with HOW I needed to do business. And while things like websites and FaceBook tactics were (and are) very much a part of the new strategy, they were not the direction, just a tool in the box.
But, knowing that RETSO was changing THEIR focus this year... just in time for me to change MY focus made it a much higher priority event. It also made it one that I am VERY glad I didn't miss.
However, I do know of a few people that were disappointed with the "refocus" of RETSO. I spoke with a few attendees and a few usuals that weren't thrilled with the format or the expected content. They were looking forward to finding out about some more tools to put in their arsenal.
There is NOTHING wrong with that.
And THAT is the heart of the risk that Brad, Mike and crew took this year. They went from a VERY popular, almost universally acclaimed event with attendence that was reliably in the 700-800 range, and TRIED to tear it down to something almost unknown with a hoped for attendance closer to 300. They still ended up with a bit over 400 registered attendees.
It was a HUGE risk for RETSO. Whether it was a good or bad outcome depends on each individual's view.
For me, it was a perfectly timed change.