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9 Valuable Takeaways from Our First-Ever Marketing Conference

9 Valuable Takeaways from Our First-Ever Marketing Conference Blog Feature

June 9th, 2016 min read

Our very own marketing conference just wrapped!

Last week, IMPACT hosted its first-ever one-day marketing conference, Brewing Marketing & Sales Success 2016 at Stony Creek Brewery in Branford, CT. With over 130 in attendance and 10 amazing sessions lined up, it was a day we had been planning for months, and our whole team was overwhelmed by the positive feedback.

Since it was our first event like this, we honestly expected a lot to go wrong. (Who wouldn’t?) Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, and it went off with very few issues, delivering an amazing experience to all of the marketing professionals, IMPACT clients, and speakers from across the country.

Watch Bob, Natalie, and Karisa recap some of the highlights in this Facebook Live video:

Attendees Come First

When planning Brewing Marketing & Sales Success, our goal from the start was to make it an outstanding conference that provided incredible value to everyone involved -- especially the attendees. The day was about them, not us.  

To ensure this, we put a few processes in place that gave attendees permission to focus exclusively on the speakers and their presentations:

  • All attendees received access to IMPACT’s notes, taken by a team member during each speaker’s session. Go ahead, take credit for them!
  • Shared the slides for every presentation a few days after the event
  • Hired a professional photographer, Jerome Braga, to take pictures of speakers, the event, and attendees.

But all work and no play don't a fun marketing conference make.

Not Your Grandfather's Marketing Conference

Known "aggressively laid back" beer, Stony Creek's brewery is a beautiful, playful venue so we wanted to have an event that matched. 

We began the day with an amazing intro video spoofing blockbuster comedy, The Hangover, and yes, it was as glorious as it sounds:

Throughout the day, we also held a cool photo contest on 
Instagram with three categories:

  • Best Selfie
  • Best Action Shot of a Speaker (Video or Pic)
  • Best Pic or Video with Cardboard Marcus

Cardboard Marcus, you're coming with us! #bmss16 #cardboardmarcus @impactbnd

A photo posted by @krissykarlson on

The winning shot of Cardboard Marcus

To all of our speakers, we gifted growlers from Stony Creek Brewery itself. Here’s Pete Caputa of HubSpot thanking our CEO, Bob Ruffolo for his:


Last, but not least, the event wrapped up with a happy hour in Stony Creek’s tap room, along with souvenir photos in front of the branded backdrop. Almost everyone took a few pictures in front of it.

Even Cardboard Marcus couldn’t escape this gem with our team’s Vin, Erica, and Katie:


From the production side of things, we had the help of a lot of great professionals and tools.

VDB Video Productions filmed the entire event (and made us all look good) and provided audio equipment for the speakers and MCs. Keep an eye out for polished videos in the coming weeks! 

We also used a collaborative app called Meeting Pulse to solicit and vote on questions from the audience. Every speaker had a lot of great questions, ranging from tactical issues about content creation or the sales process, to how Tom gets his beard to look so good. Check out the tool here!

Expert Takeaways from Brewing Marketing & Sales Success 2016

While the breakneck pace definitely kept everyone on their toes or in their seats, each of the speakers in their own way was educational, insightful, and honest from start to finish. Here are nine of the biggest takeaways from each of their presentations: 

From Bob Ruffolo: Are You Ready For This Kind of Growth?

 Your team is your most important asset. Build it, nurture it, and your team will grow your organization in ways you never thought possible.  

From Luke Summerfield: Rethinking Web Design: Building a Peak Performing Website with Less Waste and in Half the Time

If you have a website, it’s most likely outdated. Don’t spend months building a new one, spend a week making it a little bit better, then continue that process every week.  

From Michael Hurczyn: Here is What Happened to Me, Today. Creating Remarkable Content Out of Ordinary Conversations

Be human. It’s the reason that bland prospect emails don’t work, and the reason that organic content does work.

From the Business Growth Panel: Scott Drozd, Allison DePaola, & Andrew Dymski

Allison DePaola: Always seek permission for the imagery you use in your content.

Scott Drozd: Don’t try to do everything. Focus on fewer things and do them better than anyone else. 

Andrew Dymski: Start a podcast. A super targeted podcast can generate a few hundred regular listeners that are highly-qualified and dedicated to learning from you.

From Pete Caputa: 8 Steps to Creating a Predictable, Scalable, Lovable Client Acquisition Machine 

The old sales playbook doesn’t work with inbound. Marry inbound marketing and sales for to build a predictable marketing and sales machine.

From Tom DiScipio: How IMPACT Prospects Inbound Leads

Always be helping - at every point of the marketing or sales process. Tom is the most open and honest man you’ve ever met, has the best beard you’ve ever seen, and shared an extremely insightful presentation into IMPACT’s own sales process.

From Tim Lynch: Sales Team Efficiency & The Importance of CRM Adoption

The 80/20 rule is the most important rule in any business. Focus on the 20% of activities that will generate 80% of the results.

From Karl Sakas: Three Magic Words to Grow Your Profits

Relationships retain clients. Even if the relationship is difficult, be as professional and warm as possible at all times. 

From David Meerman Scott: Real-Time Marketing and Newsjacking to Reach your Buyers

Now. You need to do it NOW. Real-time marketing can apply to every single discipline, and it’s worth learning from those who do it very well. 

And here is David taking his signature crowd selfie, perched precariously on a stool:

I couldn’t be happier with well BMSS went! We’ve already got some fantastic ideas in the works for events next year, possibly another BMSS with Marcus Sheridan (the real deal, not cardboard) as our keynote, as well as other awesome speakers, so stay tuned!

See you in 2017.

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