One of the questions I get asked a lot is “What’s the one thing that you want people to get from CMA Live?”. Or in other words, “What’s the one thing that people will learn or take away from CMA Live?”.
I think these are really important questions. You want to know that you’re not wasting your time and money. You want to know that you’re choosing to do something that’s going to be valuable to you. To be totally worth it.
In the main, most people that go to conferences have had some previous experience of attending a conference or an all day workshop. When I was first asked this question, I hadn’t really prepared an answer and I needed to take a bit of time to work through my thoughts on it.
So, what is the one thing that I want people to get from CMA Live?
The main reason people say they attend conferences is to learn something new. I think we can all agree that most people will learn something new if they are open to learning something new. It’s a mindset.
There will always be something new to learn, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be valuable to you and your business. I think it’s only a small part of a much bigger picture.
But before I hear you say “here we go, the whole motivational, inspirational thing. Here’s the speech to make me buy a ticket”, let me dig a little deeper into my thoughts around this.
I’m heavily involved in the CMA membership. I spend a lot of time in there. I see the different conversations that are going on and the different challenges. So when it comes to what to learn, I’m thinking about the biggest gaps in knowledge and expertise from within CMA. What are the challenges and problems people are having at the moment?
I’m then thinking about how can we get speakers involved in what we’re doing. How will the conference and their keynotes/sessions help us all to get to the new part of our journey. Get through that barrier. Address those challenges or problems.
I don’t believe that you come to CMA Live just to learn, I believe that you should come to CMA Live to learn how to grow your business by being able to take away advice and expertise that you can implement in your own business. The stuff you can do right now.
Along with learning, there are other important aspects to attending a marketing conference.
Good old-fashioned fun and networking with people. Meeting people in real life that you’ve only met online. Having a conversation with them. Enjoying a bit of food and drink with them and generally having an excuse to do all of that stuff and not just work.
Yep, it’s fun, but learning underpins all of it. What do I mean?
Well, people having conversations with each other, asking questions about what they’re doing and how they’re doing things will generally result in them challenging how they are doing things themselves. It’s entirely possible that someone might learn more from actually having a conversation with someone than they would from one of the conference speakers.
However, it’s attending the conference itself that creates that opportunity to connect and learn in the first place. It encourages a certain mindset and creates an environment for learning.
I think it’s important for us to see the bigger picture beyond networking and learning.
Getting out of the office and getting to an event is a great experience in itself. And yep, there’s access to the speakers and the other talent that we’ve curated for the event as well. But, how you feel about yourself is more important than any of the other stuff.
You can learn all you want, you could go to all the events that you want to, but if you don’t feel confident that you can actually achieve something – that you could do something, you could make a change, you can move forward, you can get over a challenge or a problem – then you’re not going to get very far.
Yes, knowledge can be power, but it’s only part of the picture. Knowledge is only power if you do something with it, and in order to do the doing part, self-esteem and self-confidence are absolutely critical.
So when someone says to me, “what’s the number one thing you want people to get from CMA Live?” I respond with “it’s self-confidence and self-esteem”.
You may initially think that it sounds like a bit of a woolly reason to attend a conference. You want hard learning, you want to take away a specific bit of learning to implement.
I want you to see the bigger picture.
If you leave CMA Live motivated, confident, feeling good about yourself and inspired, then there’s more chance that you will actually do the stuff that you’re supposed to do.
Being motivated and inspired is far from a stock answer, and I do believe it underpins everything else including learning and development. But for me, the best outcome from someone attending the conference is that they go away and actually do something with it. They implement it, and put it into practice.
So you can say to yourself, “I can do this”.
I strongly believe, there is no point in getting all the information if you don’t feel confident enough to actually go ahead and do it.
So it’s with those outcomes in mind that we make decisions on how we curate our event.
From how many people we have in the room (200 person max conference) and our choices around speakers. It’s why we have 16 speakers including four international keynote speakers. It’s why you will be able to touch them and speak to them.
My vision is for you to connect with each and every one of them. For it to be real and achievable. You will be able to look at them up on the stage speaking and think to yourself, “I can do the stuff that they’re talking about”. You will be able to relate to them.
It’s not like you’re so detached from the speaker that it doesn’t make any sense. It’s not like we’ve booked Gary Vaynerchuk for $150k and just sold all our tickets, which is relatively easy to do if you just want to sell seats.
CMA Live is different.
CMA Live is about helping you to build a business that you feel confident about and you want to be successful with. It’s about getting around the best people on the planet that will elevate and support you. It’s about helping you to feel great about what you are doing.
I think it’s a great question to have been asked, so I put the question back to you.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just drop them into the comments section or tweet me @chrismarr101. You can also email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.