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When we say DSMW is for teams, here is what we mean [Interview]

By John Becker

When we say DSMW is for teams, here is what we mean [Interview]

What once was IMPACT Live has become Digital Sales & Marketing World (DSMW).

Beyond a new name, this event has been redesigned to specifically cater to teams.

All too often, sales professionals go to sales conferences, and marketers go to marketing conferences.

When they return to the office, the takeaways and resolutions rarely get implemented because it’s near-impossible to replicate the depth and power of a conference for your coworkers.

IMPACT envisioned an event that would break this cycle.

An event attended by multiple people from multiple teams.

This way, broad buy-in and adoption of principles is much more likely, but it was about more than that. 

With role-specific and industry-specific break-out tracks, we are able to offer a shared experience for all, and a unique experience for each attendee. 

DSMW keynote speaker Marcus Sheridan explains.

What DSMW has to offer attendees

John: One of the biggest changes for DSMW this year is that we’re specifically building it for teams.

First off, why is that so important?

Marcus: I would make the argument that 90% of the budget that you use to send your employees to conferences is completely wasted. 

Marketers go to marketing conferences and they learn from other marketers.

They learn, they get excited, and they get a bunch of ideas that they're going to apply to the business. 


But then they go back to the office, and because the other teams weren’t there, as soon as they present the ideas, they fail.

They fail because they can't explain what they heard nearly as well, or with the same magic, depth, or energy as the presenter did. 

Second, they usually don't have the full attention of their staff.

If they say, "Hey, guess what I heard?" The response is like, "Oh yeah, that's nice. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea." 

It's not, "Let's have a company meeting debrief where everybody's focused on what Steve heard at the conference this week and what that means for the marketing department as well as the rest of us!" 

The result is that the marketers feel unheard and undervalued.

Instead, if you’re going to spend money on education, on conferences, you should make sure that it’s an impactful experience for everyone on your team; where they can all hear it from the source and therefore talk about it.

When you put a sales leader, a marketing leader, and a business leader together in a room to soak up new learnings, now you've got a chance for a major transformation within the company.

Now, there are some marketing conferences that have a “sales track,” but it’s anemic, and any sales reps that do attend often don’t take seriously. 

John: How is DSMW designed to be different?

Marcus: I’ve attended probably 300 or 400 events. DSMW is a byproduct of seeing what was right and what was wrong about them.

The biggest issue, I’ve found, is the morale-killing lack of buy-in that comes after events so we make an effort to eliminate that. 

Number one, this is not an event where everybody sits and listens to a speaker lecture.

I believe “sit and listen” events will eventually go by the wayside — and DSMW will lead the way.

Instead, we’re focusing on workshops.

Having led hundreds of workshops and given over 300 keynotes, I know the power of both mediums. That’s why my presentation at DSMW will be a hybrid. 


Our event will kick off with a three-hour workshop.

We’ve designed the program and the setting of the room so that 900 people can hear the speaker, work with each other, complete activities, have conversations, and reflect on their own goals and struggles.

What does an "event for teams" look like?

Marcus: This first session I mentioned is designed to prompt individual growth and reflection, but also team unity. 

We want to make sure this opening workshop gives your teams the common mindset, language, and outlook so that the rest of the events are all-the-more powerful.

Then, the real fun begins.

After this first session, attendees move into the track portion of the event.

Here, you’ll begin to see how these shared concepts can be applied in your individual role within your company. 

If you take a philosophy like They Ask, You Answer, that’s going to be implemented differently if you are a content manager, a sales rep, a small business owner, or a marketing strategist. 

In this way, DSMW offers both a generalized and personalized experience.

Creating a personalized experience

John: Can you tell me more about what to expect in a role-specific track?

Marcus: Once we’ve delivered the moving, collective experience, we transition into a smaller group setting.


There are many great conferences out there, but they don’t really offer differentiated instruction in this way.

The fact is, a sales manager needs to hear something different than a content manager, who needs to hear something different than the company’s lead videographer. 

They need the messages to be applied an adapted to their specific needs. 

In the role-specific track, you’ll hear from subject matter experts who are from that audience.

So, for example, in the video track we have some of the best video experts and case studies in digital sales and marketing that are going to be teaching and leading workshops. 

When people go to events, they want to be able to see themselves in somebody they hear from. They don't want to feel like they're on an island. 

At DSMW, they're going to be shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers. 

The videographers are going to be with videographers, learning from videographers and video masters about using video for sales.

The content managers are going to be with other content managers, learning about content from noted experts.

There will be a track for leaders as well, focusing on learning how to ‘guide the ship.’

We believe these tracks will deliver exceptional value to our guests. 

John: What about the industry-specific track? 

Marcus: We decided to double-down on the specificity offered by the track model. After the role-specific track, we’re offering an industry-specific track as well.

Are you in manufacturing? Are you in e-commerce? Are you in financial services? We’ll have a track for you that will offer industry-specific, expert advice, insights, activities, and discussions.

We often hear people saying they want to go to an event that focuses on their industry, but they also want to learn the latest marketing techniques and best practices. We've built an event that does both

You literally cannot find a conference out there that does this.

This is why we are so excited for DSMW 2020

(All images courtesy of Seshu at Connecticut Headshots)

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Careers in Inbound
Published on March 2, 2020

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