ICON has come and gone again, and once again it didn’t disappoint. I’m crafting a post about my experience at #ICON17 a few weeks ago, but first I thought it’d be valuable to share a variety of perspectives from other ICON attendees. Thanks to all the folks who shared their sentiments below:

“This was my first ICON and I have signed up for next year already.  The thing that is sticking with me right now is to dream big.  To write down goals for the short term (still dreaming big) and then the long term (dreaming even bigger still).  I want to envision myself in that place 1 year or 5 years or even 10 years from now.  So leaving ICON I realized I need to build the foundation for my first dream big first goal of doubling my business income by the end of the year!  First step is to take a course on branding and really hone in on what I want to convey to my ideal client!  I think the dreaming big was an underlying theme of the conference itself but was really reinforced by Keynote speaker Lisa Nichols.”
– Chris Wojcik, Soar Above Solutions, 1st ICON

“Being a sponsor of ICON gives you an interesting perspective on the event. Part of you, wishes you could be in the panels and breakouts with all the other attendees learning along with them. But the other part knows it’s important to be available to attendees that have needs you can help them with. As a sponsor, you’re privileged to have a unique understanding of the Infusionsoft space; the experts, tools and services that are available to Infusionsoft customers.

So as I manned our kiosk throughout the event, I learned a lot about Infusionsoft users. And one of the biggest takeaways from the event I realized was how great it was for people to network…even if you’re not typically the networking type. Often, someone would come up to our kiosk looking for one thing, and by the time they left, they had a list of two or three other people they should connect with to help their business succeed. It’s by far the best opportunity an Infusionsoft user has to connect with the right people to grow their business.”
– Bryce Christiansen, PlusThis, 7th ICON
“It’s the third time that I’ve ventured over from Australia to attend ICON17 and it’s up there as one of my favorites! Love the opportunity to meet and connect with so many like-minded people and learn from some of the best. Loads of take aways, including the importance of doing the basics well and not over complicating things. This point was stressed by Clate Mask as well as many speakers and the ICON finalists. You can really succeed with plain and boring follow-up that works! (yes there is hope for all of us, there truly is!) Marcus Lemonis was definitely a highlight. Yes, I’m a huge fan and it probably didn’t matter what he said ???? , but I took away one of my biggest ah ha’s from any conference that I have in years as to what’s stopping me really pushing my business forward. Great to catch up with you Greg and others and looking forward to ICON18!”
– Mandy Brasser, Streamline for Success, 3rd ICON
“This year at ICON we saw a theme to focus on the BASICS. As entrepreneurs, we always look for the next shiny object forgetting about the simple follow-up methods you need to have in place for continuous growth in your business”
– Meny Hoffman, Ptex Group, 9th ICON
“I was I impressed, again, with the networking this year at ICON and how many business owners and entrepreneurs were really out to connect and support each other. There were great connections to be made, and the value I received just from that made the trip to ICON worth it.”
-Rafaella DeSantis, Rafaelladesantis.com, 4th ICON
“Although I’ve heard it many times before, it really hit me this time for some reason – It’s good to have a Good, Better, Best product offering, and to price them based on who you want to attract.  If the prices are too low, you’ll attract a different set of people than if your prices are higher.
The best part of ICON for me however, is the networking, finding stuff out like how Kelsey Bracher is a Zapier Wizard, how the team over at Capsule 5 is starting to get some serious growth, how there is a company out there that will do Facebook advertising on a commission basis, and how Justin MacDonald is helping world leaders and might need some help in areas that I might be able to contribute.  That’s the stuff I like most about ICON.”
– Kevin Mogavero, KRM Consulting, 6th ICON
“This was my first ICON as an entrepreneur and I was blown away by how great the sessions were and networking was. Although there were many tangible takeaways throughout the conference, inspiration was the greatest thing that I walked away with. The sessions were both engaging an inspiring, and a great reminder that by just being there, we were taking charge of our respective businesses. This was also evident in the connections I made. Definitely going back next year.”
-Ronnie Kassiff, ronniekassiff.com, 1st ICON
“At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked Marcus’s talk. It made me feel uneasy learning about others’ deep secrets, but as I reflected on ICON, it’s certainly the one that stood out the most because it was so unique for a business conference. What I got out of it was that it’s critical to be real with others that I work with. I’m naturally a more reserved and ‘closed’ person, but I realized I shouldn’t be afraid to be more open, even a little vulnerable, with partners, vendors, employees, etc.
In the end, it was really just a powerful reminder that business is about people above all else.
To drive home what Marcus said, I love how Verne Harnish finished off the conference by saying something like: It’s always a question of who, not what”
– Brett Farr, Blick Digital, 7th ICON
“The most beneficial take away I get from every ICON is new connections I’m able to make with like-minded people that are doing amazing things in their own realm, and reconnecting with old colleagues and customers.
The speaker that I got the most from this year was Lisa Nichols. Her “Yes, YES!” message really inspired me. Essentially she shared that when you commit to something you say yes, and then you say it a little stronger, but a little louder and with more conviction because it needs to cost you a little bit. The first yes is from yourself, and the second yes symbolically represents reaching beyond yourself and stretching yourself to grow and do something bigger. This was particularly relevant because this ICON I also presented from stage for the first time. It was exciting to be able to share some of the knowledge I’ve built up over the years with those who attended my session, and it definitely required me to stretch beyond my comfort zone and grow.”
– Justin Roberts, Bandera Marketing, 6th ICON

“I’ve noticed a trend among several marketing conferences this year. This trend is based on the idea of building Human to Human Relationships with subscribers instead of focusing on building a bigger subscriber list to move more units & close more sales. And I was delighted to see that ICON was no exception.

Marcus Lemonis gave an amazing keynote that reiterated this trend, and his quote: “Vulnerability doesn’t have to be a liability – it can be an asset.” really hit home for me. Instead of pushing for more sales & more business growth, small business owners who embrace this idea (and importance!) of building real relationships with subscribers will find that they’re not only cultivating a more memorable brand experience, but they’re also using the power of human connection to create better, more meaningful relationships with their subscribers via marketing automation.

At the end of the day, it’s not about making another sale – it’s about creating a customer, and I’m excited to see this concept become an integral part of email marketing through nurture funnels and post-purchase customer engagement campaigns”

– Jamie DuBose, Zenplicity, 3rd ICON
“This was my 3rd ICON and my nugget this year was simple. Relationships lead to opportunity. The most impactful part of the conference for me was engaging other business owners in the evening over drinks and food. I had some great conversations that opened the doors to partnerships and friendships that could be great for our company.
And then, obviously the sessions by that brilliant dude from Monkeypod Marketing.”
– Josh Hindman, Capsule Five, 3rd ICON
“An important lesson for me was having all your follow-up mechanisms/strategies fully developed and in place BEFORE day 1 of the conference. This ensures you can focus on being with others because you know there is a system to handle that new business card, or email written on a napkin or whatever.”
– Paul Sokol, PLS Consulting, 7th ICON

“Great to see ICON back on track after an off year. This was my 4th ICON and it seems like they are getting their act together. Breakouts were not jammed all together, the sessions themselves were informative and useful (hat-tip to our man Greg), there was enough time to meet new people and vendors, I didn’t feel like I was getting of the one main sponsor rammed down my throat like last year, and the keynote speakers were interesting and engaging. Before ICON we had already discussed that if ICON17 was anything like ICON16 it would probably be our last but we happily bought our tickets of ICON18 already.

One point for improvement would be to bring back recording all the sessions. It kind of sucks to come all that way (almost 9,000 miles and 24hrs of travel time) and have to make a difficult choice between one breakout and another. I sat in on a great session but about 10mins in I realized I was already doing all of it and we missing another session that maybe could have helped me more. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just digital camera in the front of the room and sync the mic. Don’t try to upsell us on the content, give it to us because we paid for it but were unable to use it. That’s going to help small business succeed even if it doesn’t move your bottom line.
It was also great to meet new people, old friends, and also put faces to other Monkeypod Members. Really enjoyed talking ‘metal’ with Shoan at his booth, mostly Mastodon and DiamondHead.”
– Liam Crow, FirstMed, 4th ICON