CMOs are constantly pulled in so many directions to speak and share their greatness. And as event season kicks off with Brandweek, Advertising Week, ANA and Forbes CMO Summit (to name a few), it makes sense to question whether these events are a good use of your time.
The short answer: it depends.
Ask yourself these questions to find out which events – if any – are right for you.
What is your intention?
- Be very clear about the business outcome you are going for. Press? Recruitment? Fame? Networking?
- This will drive how you spend your time and with whom.
- Be careful of the parties and mass events – while everyone is there, 1:1s will always advance the ball on your intention.
How do I use events to grow my profile as a CMO (so I can get a bigger, more baller CMO job)?
- Be sure you’re speaking. Mainstage please; do not go for the side tracks.
- If you do land a speaking engagement, be sure there is a high-quality recording of your session.
- Connect your speaking opportunities back to your Personal Platform (contact us if you need help on that!).
How can I leverage this content to drive business results?
- Be sure to think about this as a talent brand opportunity.
- Use this as advertising content to tell the more human side of your brand story.
- Pass it on to your CHRO so they can leverage it as a talent recruitment device.
How do I maximize the impact of my team going to a big event?
- Have your team attend a breadth of events – pick different tracks. Don’t swarm the same sessions.
- You (and your team members) should be setting up meetings, press connections and 1:1 sessions that drive your agenda forward.
- Be sure you have a session after the event to harvest learnings from the team. Make the last day an offsite to share actionable learnings.
So, for real - what events should I go to?
- Remember that as a CMO, you are the main attraction at most marketing events.
- If you are not speaking, look outside of the industry to expand your knowledge and network in a more meaningful way.
- Think WEF, Fairway Dinners, Ted Events, VC / PE conferences…these all have an interesting roster of people and panels to keep you one step ahead.