The TwentyTen Group was pleased to attend IEG’s 30th annual sponsorship conference in Chicago from April 14-17, 2013. We asked a few of our team members including Bill Cooper, Chief Operating Partner, Brad Furtney, Senior Partner and Peter Gardner, Associate Partner to provide their insights.
1) What did you enjoy most about IEG?
Networking and casual conversations about like challenges/opportunities shared with others in the industry. It is nice to validate that we are on an exceptional path.
The morning round table discussions. Thirty minutes of everyday sponsorship leaders sharing their experiences in small group settings. Over 50 sessions were offered over the 3 days with a diverse offering for both sponsors and property owners to learn and interact.
This was my first IEG conference and although I knew the conference was well attended, I was surprised to see so many different industries and levels of experience represented in Chicago. It was refreshing to interact with such an eclectic group and to hear so many different takes on sponsorship.
2) What was your favourite session & why?
The ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ keynote that featured Kyle Zimmer from First Book, Adam Garone from Movember and Deborah Dugan from (RED). Kyle Zimmer and Adam Garone in particular were hugely inspiring.
Frank Cooper Chief Marketing Officer, Pepsico Global Beverages Group. Frank spoke candidly about connecting Brand Values with Cultural values. The meaning and role of brands has changed immensely over the last 100 years. Brand value originally was purely function and brand value has made an impressive journey over the years to now being deeply connected to our Cultural values of the target market. A killer question to ask….”why does your brand exist? Who are you and as a consumer why should I trust you?
I really enjoyed Jim Stengel’s keynote. His message was simple and clear. He told the group plainly that ideals-driven organizations are able to grow sustainably because they inspire customers and their employees, and are therefore able to perform above the market. His notion that the objective of a partnership should be to create an “ideals-driven 3rd brand” seemed to really resonate with a lot of the conference attendees. I overheard and participated in a lot of hallway chatter about Jim’s keynote.
3) What was the single most important thing you learned from the conference?
‘Trust your inner consumer.’ There have also been many motivational and inspirational take-aways this week, but this simple little reminder carries so much practical value for us on a daily basis because it reminds us of the true value in taking the time to ideate and innovate. We are all consumers and by extension have access to important market research without even leaving the confines of our own heads!!
- Be Bold – take a stand & ownership of your message
- Be Disruptive – break through the noise
- Be Deep – make a commitment
- Be Good – add value to your target set
I really liked the focus on culture, purpose/intent, and ideals in two keynotes in particular. Jim Stengel described culture as the only competitive advantage in today’s market and said that partnerships are a symbolic statement about culture. Frank Cooper of Pepsi a day later elucidated that purpose/intent should be at the heart of everything an organization does, including partnerships.
4) What topic, or which presenter would you like to see at next year’s conference?
Kyle Zimmer with more on building authentic social responsibility.
Adam Garone – Founder of Movember – watching this journey will be fascinating
I would love to see Simon Sinek be a keynote at next year’s IEG Conference. His notion of ‘starting with why’ ties in with what we heard from Frank and Jim and I think that applying that concept to partnerships would make for a powerful combination.
5) Did you have a deep dish pizza? (If so – did it live up to your expectations?)
No, but we did go to a fantastic jazz bar – Andy’s Jazz Bar – and listened to the Deep Purple Organ Trio. It was a fantastic way to soak up some old world Chicago atmosphere.
No deep dish pizza but we did find an amazing restaurant called The Gage.
Unfortunately no deep dish pizza this time around. We did, however, have a brilliant dinner at a restaurant called, ‘The Gage’. I highly recommend it to anyone heading to windy city.