In the last month-plus, I’ve been lucky to participate in two conferences that are worth commenting on – and shortlisting for your potential attendance next year.

In early October, I participated in Forrester Research’s 2007 Consumer Forum. The agenda focused heavily on social media and potential applications for marketers and advertisers. I was particularly intrigued and inspired by Josh Bernoff’s call for a strategic approach to social media, Richard Edelman’s perspective on the role of corporate communications in the Web 2.0 world, and Henry Jenkins’s comments on convergence culture.

More recently, I spoke at the 2007 Word of Mouth Research Symposium, which was hosted by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. While there, I presented our report Influencing the Influencers, and I sat in on most of the other sessions over the course of the day.

Of special interest was “Measuring the Ripple: Creating the G2X Relay Rate and an Industry Standard Methodology to Measure the Spread of WOM Coversations and Marketing," which was presented by Matt McGlinn of BzzAgent and Dr. Walter Carl of ChatThreads. They’ve gone far to calculate the iterative effect of word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. I was also impressed by “The Effects of Word of Mouth: An Agent-Based Simulation of Interpersonal Influence in Social Networks,” which was presented by Dejan Duzevik, a complexity scientist at Icosystem. By modeling various marketing activities, you can gauge the potential impact of word of mouth.

While I wasn’t able to stay in Las Vegas for the following WOMMA Summit, I got several ideas while at the research symposium and spent quality time with peers in the industry – some of whom I’ve known for years but never met. If you’re interested in word-of-mouth marketing, the state of the research backing it up improves every year.