As advertising conferences go, the take-home message at the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association meeting was a little unusual: Don't advertise.

But at the conference, held here last Thursday and Friday, more than 450 advertising and marketing professionals listened to speakers tell them how to reach customers using some alternatives to traditional advertising, like viral and buzz marketing, that are becoming increasingly popular within the industry.

The conference was called "Word-of-Mouth Basic Training," and it was aimed at teaching attendees how to tap into the power of word of mouth, an ancient form of communication that many marketers have updated by using new technology like blogs, podcasting and online message boards.

Get the full story at The New York Times