Editor’s Note: CMO Coffee Talk is an open space for more than 1,300 CMOs to come together weekly with their peers and discuss timely, crowd-sourced topics. Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing co-hosts these dynamic, illuminating conversations with 6sense CMO Latané Conant.
The first CMO Coffee Talk session of 2022 was dominated by talk of yet more pivots to in-person events. CMOs are at the forefront of these discussions as they relate to corporate culture, brand management, risk mitigation, and more.
An important point that was raised: Over the past two years, it’s quite possible that we’ve become too accustomed to seeing each other in small video boxes. So what are we missing?
Are You Ready to Work in a Clubhouse?
A recent Wall Street Journal essay declared that successful post-pandemic workplaces would resemble clubhouses. Gone are the days when most white-collar workers needed the office (or literally, an office) to get work done.
Most knowledge workers can do their deep work both anywhere and alone.
So what is the office for, anymore?
The rules and expectations of office work have changed forever (especially among younger employees), and we need to shift physical environment opportunities and expectations to maximize impact, productivity and retention.
And second, in a world of video meetings and incredible virtual work tools, what’s truly missing that a physical office space makes easier? I’d argue it’s three things:
- Community and belonging
- Learning and mentorship
So Why Do we Need In-Person Events?
Which brings us to sales kick-offs (or as some companies now call them, field kick-off, revenue kick-off, etc.). What has historically been a largely sales team event is more often become a cross-departmental effort to align revenue-producing teams around objectives, messages and more.
The most successful of these kick-off events stack-rank their importance in a way counter to how they’ve actually been run for years. Salesloft CMO Sydney Sloan recently called it out.
“Kick-offs aren’t about training and product briefings. We can now in fact do these more efficiently in a remote setting,” she said. “What we really need at kick-off is to build a sense of community, to build relationships amongst our teammates, to foster and reinforce that we are all in this together.”
This rationale works for audiences outside of and beyond your employees as well.
Think about the very best conferences you’ve been to. Are they memorable because of the great speakers, or because of the hallway conversations you had? The networking, the meeting of people with your same role, the shared experiences before, in between and after the formal content?
That great keynote speaker you saw from 40 rows back? You’d have a better view on YouTube. I guarantee they have talks up there for free.
The magic happens afterward, when you talk with your colleagues and peers about what it all means. How you’ll take those ideas and translate them into action back at home and at the office.
Coming Up on CMO Coffee Talk…
In our next CMO Coffee Talk meet-up (which is just around the corner!), we’ll deep-dive into the CMO interview. What are CEOs, investors and board members looking for in marketing leaders today? How do you show up and stand out? Find out soon!
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