sfBIG Partnerships Committee Chair
As most of you who have known or been a sfBIG member in the past, sfBIG has been around since the dot com days, think 2003/2004, now I’m dating myself. I have always thought of sfBIG as being THE digital ad club to the San Francisco Bay Area. I recall massive get together events and anyone in the digital space probably remembers sfBIG as being the club that brought everyone together.
6 years ago, I joined the sfBIG board, as Partnerships Chair and have always loved being part of and to support sfBIG. A few weeks ago I attended the BAARC’s board meeting and felt the same great comradery that sfBIG brings to the SF community.
It was fantastic to see and speak to friends and colleagues that I have fostered relationships with for many years on engaging marketing events. As part of partnerships, partnering with sfBIG is integral to the SF Bay Area community as there are so many events taking place. If you are a similar ad club and would like to partner, please contact us. sfBIG has a vast membership list and would be happy to co-promote your events respectively, educational and social to our membership.
As covid looms and has become part of our lives, I feel this time is so crucial to many of us to get back together and support one another. We will be adding social, educational and golf events again to 2022, so please check our calendar for upcoming events. Please JOIN us in June for a social get together with wine and snacks – details to follow. I hope to see and meet you all in person. Please invite and ask your colleagues to support a long-lasting ad club and subscribe to our email list to keep up to date. If you would like to partner, sponsor, join the board, suggestions on event topics, speaker engagements or if you have any questions, please email us at [email protected] Have a great week and I hope you like the Durhanism I chose, as it reminds me of his love for great wine, friendship and great storytelling.
David’s Favorite Durhamism
1862 – Wine is a magician, for it loosens the tongue and liberates good stories. There are spunky little angels at the top of a bottle of wine and fearless little devils at the bottom.
Co-Chair sfBIG Content Committee
For the past 6 years, my Co-Chairs and I have been curating thought-provoking events for the sfBIG community. We’ve covered a plethora of ad industry topics over the years, including podcasting, cannabis, the future of ad agencies, retail in the digital age, storytelling vs data…and so many more.. We’ve also had the pleasure of bringing our industry rising stars together for an inspiring discussion. What I love about working on content events is how our industry is always evolving, therefore meaningful topics are never short on supply.
Content events give us a chance to learn from industry leaders, network, and connect. Before March 2020, all of our content events were held in-person, either over breakfast or over drinks at our “Content After Dark” series. When everything shut down, we pivoted to virtual events (like everyone did) and it was heartwarming to see so many members logging on and participating with these virtual events.
We thank you all for sticking with us. What we’ve learned over the past 2 years is that the sfBIG community is not only a place to learn and connect, but also a supportive group of dedicated individuals who make up our tribe. I know we are all looking forward to in-person events where we can hear from experts in our field as well as share our own stories. We are working on it! As we begin to ramp up the 2022 – 2023 content calendar, we’d love to hear from all of you on what’s important to your business…your clients…and you. Feel free to share with us any topics, organizations, or people you’d like to see on the content event calendar in the coming year via our email: [email protected]
Bessie’s Favorite Durhamism
#1766: The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.
May 2, 2022
Communications Chairman @ sfBIG
Your journey is the sum of your career. How it defines you, is up to you. Like many of you, my entire career has taken place in the Bay Area. I have been exposed to many things, but especially innovation and technology. My very first job (ad agency) taught me to always be learning. Being that it was the dawn of digital advertising (1995), the amount of information that I learned in the first year of my career amounted to what most would be lucky to learn in 5 years. The more technology that entered our space, the faster things evolved. I was learning so much that I had nightmares that included Excel spreadsheets with impressions and CTR’s.
The experiences of my early days made me crave knowledge. I wanted to talk to everyone at every company and learn about the latest tech to enter digital advertising. On this journey, I met people like David Yoder, John Durham, Greg Coleman, and Michael Hess. They taught me to be respectful of others and the journey they were on. They taught me that everyone is selling something and to understand their intentions. They taught me that my words matter. They taught me that relationships matter.
These lessons led me to broadcast.com, Yahoo (vintage 1999-04), Criteo, and PebblePost. In between those jobs I took a shot at land development and investing. With each of these opportunities I was learning something new and oftentimes learned something old that was new again. For example, broadcast.com was radio on the Internet. PebblePost is direct mail influenced by digital behavior. The land development adventure was simply because I wanted to learn more about where I was investing.
This led me to start Cogent and the Cogent Collective. Our mission from the beginning was to help buyers and sellers learn from each other in a respectful way that was beneficial to all. Now, I literally learn something new every day. I love hearing the business challenges our members have and then helping them address those challenges with technology they didn’t even know about. It is very rewarding to see people’s faces when they learn about something that can make their lives better.
During the course of each week, I get to speak with 10-15 founders and hear about their creations. It’s fascinating to hear their fresh perspective on a business challenge many people are dealing with. They are so passionate that it becomes infectious and constantly reminds me how much I love learning.
This Tuesday Talk is meant to show you that your career is a journey of learning. The people that you meet will guide your path. You need to always be listening and learning so you can control your destiny, even if you don’t know what that is just yet. So, take the time to get to know people, build relationships, understand intentions, listen to their words and most importantly, don’t stop learning.
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!
President @ sfBIG
Happy Tuesday, Bay Area! Rebuilding sfBIG for our community has definitely been challenging. But I am lucky, I don’t have to do it alone. I have an amazing team of volunteers who make up the sfBIG Board of Directors. I’ve been thinking a lot about working as a team lately and how to be successful with teamwork.
I know there are a lot of sayings about teamwork, like “you are only as strong as your weakest link” (yup, that’s true) or “Many hands make light work” (yup also true). However, as a coach, I tend to think about things on a next level. When I have to make decisions about who to partner with or who will be on a team I am building, one of my favorite sayings is “You are the average of the five people you surround yourself with”. Think about it. Don’t you want to increase your average? Be selfish and pick the people that will challenge you, will bring new ideas to the table, and most importantly will show up. When it comes to sfBIG, I have surrounded myself with more than 5 people and I feel confident that this team has definitely boosted my average and I couldn’t be more grateful. You will be meeting the team that makes up the Board of Directors over the following weeks as they, one by one, author a Tuesday Talk. So, who are your 5 people?