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Marketers – We’re not just about our next meal

October 21, 2008

I recently attended the New Marketing Summit in Foxboro Massachusetts.  I have a more detailed post brewing about what I loved, liked and didn’t like about the conference (hint, it is almost all positive), but I had to talk immediately about one thing.  The food.

I always joke about marketers and food.  It’s our currency.  It’s how we think, communicate and stay focused.  I’ve never met a marketer who wasn’t always hungry. 

Yet, the New Marketing Summit seemed to lose sight of this.  When it came to the conference provided lunch, we kinda went hungry.  Seriously, hungry.  On the first day, there were two carving stations, and one stir fry station.  They had small plates, so you were stuck with small portions.  And still, all of them ran out of food fairly quickly.  Plus, no one thought to order any beverages, other than water.  No coffee, soda or iced tea.  Nothing.  I give my colleague Matt Holt props – he immediately said we should head out for lunch.  I said, no, we should really network, but he was right on target.  I had a small plate of roast beef and that was about it.  I started joking about how the NMS had a lot of great info and ideas, but not much food or caffeine. 

So what does the savvy marketer do?  They improvise.  I decided to run out to Dunkin Donuts at the Patriot Place mall and grab a coffee.  I grabbed 2 sodas and a box of munchkins.  I then sent out a tweet that I was in the front row of the summit with a box of munchins to share.  Come stop by and say hello.  I think that tweet led to more networking than lunch did.  I offered to Chris Brogan, but he had already eaten.  David Meerman Scott, on the other hand, had not, and proceeded to eat all the chocolate ones, like any good marketer would.  Others followed suit with donut and coffee trips.  An exhibitor called D’Angelos and got food brought in, and got the credit for it in Chris’s speech the next day.  Another exhibitor brought in sodas the next day – a “you want one, come see my product” kinda thing. 

That’s what I love about marketers.  Not just our quest for our next meal, but our ingenuity in situations like that.  It was fun to see how people improvised and made the best of the situation.  You always have to be thinking about how to get noticed.  And fed. 

So next time you’re in a situation like this, put on your thinking cap and act.  Care to share any stories about how you made something like this happen?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2008 8:50 am

    Mmm… Chocolate.

    As I recall I had 2 chocolates and 2 glazed. They were yummy. Thanks. But I think I left at least one of the marketers’ dreams, I mean chocolate ones for someone else.

  2. October 22, 2008 3:13 pm

    I have a history of missing the free food, in green rooms at conventions and radio/TV stations, hospitality suites, whatever. People with huge appeties always get to the site first. You walk in four minutes after the room opens–and it’s GONE! They must put it into their pockets, like Chevy Chase in the Santa Claus suit in “Trading Places.”

    I remember one COMDEX when a hotel ballroom with five or six chef stations was sucked bare in 12 minutes, by thousands of moochers. You couldn’t get into the room, and the halls were packed. Geez–all they were offering was roast beef! I rolled by because I was interested in the sponsorship (I was writing for a ZD mag at the time, and I seem to recall that Zed-dee sponsored the feed).

  3. October 24, 2008 9:22 am

    I’ve given you an award on my blog today. Thanks for all the great info.


  1. New Marketing Summit trip report «

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