BIGOmaha was great. Definitely one of the best produced, one-day conferences I’ve been to in a while. Great venue, wonderful people, perfect lineup of speakers, and generous, accommodating hosts. Well done all around.

There were a lot of takeaways from the conference, but here are two that hit me in the gut. Both of these came from Jeffrey Kalmikoff’s presentation.

1. The goal is to apologize sincerely and be taken seriously

This was such a strong point. For all the talk about transparency and authenticity, what it really means is this: Can your company mess up bad, apologize sincerely, and be taken seriously?

Can your customers trust your apology like you’d trust a friend’s apology if they just smashed your car? Your friend would be pissed, but they’d understand and get over it. Can you say the same for your customers if you really messed up bad? Would they understand and have your back through the tough times? Would they empathize?

I thought that was a great analogy. And I think it’s such an interesting way to look at what the fancy terms like transparency and authenticity and all that really mean. Bottom line: Can someone trust your apology?

2. Accessibility means pinging back

When Jeffrey talks about accessibility he’s not talking about Section 508, he’s talking about being available to your customers, co-workers, etc.

It’s not enough to spread your email address, twitter name, IM handle, or phone number far and wide if you’re not going to respond to emails, tweets, IMs, or phone calls. Being accessible doesn’t just mean taking it all in, it means giving it all back.

There’s a lot of social broadcast going on. But it doesn’t mean as much if you’re a black hole. If you give someone a way to contact you, you need to close the loop by contacting them back. You aren’t accessible if you only receive.