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Or maybe there is already a local community that is working on behalf of the people you are trying to reach.

To go back to TED, their evolution went hand in hand with BMW's involvement. they started something, which attracted some community. BMW helped fund a site. The event got bigger as the momentum picked up from the community and the company participated in creating the experience.

We have been used to talking about "the message" and how it should reach our target for so long, that it is really difficult to switch to thinking in terms of the conversation that is already taking place and how we can participate.

Can you ellaborate more on the subject of not being only for "deep pockets", that is, on a small business scale, we should apply it to local events, grassroots, barcamps ?

I see it a bit like a chicken and egg problem: do companies look for events to sponsor with like-minded values? Or events set their core values and hope that sponsors come along?

The insight is nonetheless there: Brands should engage in a conversation and provide the tools to nurture that engagement.

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