Tuesday Talk – Luke Burke

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VP, Sponsorships @ sfBIG

As a media salesperson, I have covered the West Coast territory going on 15 years now. During that time, I have seen changes to the way business is done that I never could have expected. My old routine looked a little something like this: •

  • Monday – In an actual office, scheduling meetings, collaborating with colleagues, brainstorming ideas, setting an agenda
  • Tuesday – Hopping on a plane to a city in my region (LA, SEA, POR, CO, Vegas, etc). 3-5 in-person meetings. Breakfast meetings, lunch & learns, agency meetings, happy hours, dinners
  • Wednesday – Run it all back. 3-5 more in-person meetings
  • Thursday – Same. Then hop back on a plane and head back to San Francisco
  • Friday – Back in the office, following up on the week’s meetings and scheduling the next batch
  • And then do it all over again.

This might sound daunting or exhausting to some, but to me it was comfortable. I didn’t mind the travel since it was only 2-3 days out of the week, and I usually wasn’t going very far. But what I enjoyed the most about this routine was getting to see colleagues, clients, agency friends… in person.

Human beings are social creatures, particularly salespeople. We like to get to know people, build relationships, network, press the flesh, read the room. Technology has allowed business to go on during a global lockdown in ways that many have found to be more efficient. And while that has certainly been the case for me, I still feel that the value of in-person meetings simply cannot be replaced by Zoom/Webex/Google Meets/MSFT Teams.

So much of our business in media, advertising & marketing is centered around the personal and professional relationships that we have, and that we have built in person. As I reflect on the last two years, it’s that in person connection that I have missed the most. And I imagine many of you feel the same.

I’ve seen photos of friends & colleagues on social media coming back, opening up and getting out with tremendous enthusiasm and huge smiles on their faces.

As the world slowly opens back up, it is my hope that we can get back to seeing our industry friends in person, in real time – not in a zoom or a metaverse.

So that leaves me with something for you to take with you today. If you’re missing the personal connection of engaging with actual humans, I recommend getting involved with your regional marketing associations. SFBIG, LVIMA, ThinkLA, ThinkNW – they are all opening back up with in person events. It is a great way to meet new people, make new friends, grow your network and build relationships that you can take with you throughout your entire career.

Cheers to seeing you all in person soon!