This year, the BCAMA’s Breakfast Speakers Series (BSS) is unveiling a new direction in its branding and content. Josh Budd, Creative Director of Station X Communications, and Regina Leung, Director of the Breakfast Speakers Series, tell the Marketline Blog about what changes we can expect to see in the upcoming events.
by Bruce Nickson & Layla Romero
First, tell us about your involvement with BCAMA’s Breakfast Speaker Series (BSS).
Josh: My involvement is twofold – I’m the Director of Creative for both the BCAMA and Station X. In that capacity, I make sure that we maintain a certain standard of creativity for any event that’s organized by the BCAMA. Station X is the Agency of Record, and we’re fulfilling a creative sponsorship that’s tasked with establishing consistency in the BSS brand, as well as bringing more attention to the knowledge shared at the events.
Regina: I had been Sponsorship Director for 2 years, and I felt that it was time for another director to work in that role. This also gives me a chance to expand my professional opportunities, and gives new energy to the Breakfast Speaker Series.
What sparked the creative revamp of the Breakfast Speaker Series?
Regina: The Breakfast Speaker Series hasn’t had a creative revamp for 2 or 3 years, so since we now have Station X as our creative partner, this was the perfect opportunity to redo our messaging.
Josh: We felt that prior attendees hadn’t always gotten a sense of the quality of the information being shared at these events, or of the value they can take away from these resources. We wanted to show that these events are a great opportunity to seek out knowledge from reputable sources in the industry, and that they allow attendees to meet others who are similarly involved in this industry. This is what we wanted to highlight, in order to elevate the profile of the series and also of the group that gathers to interact and hear these speakers.
What effects do you foresee with rebranding?
Josh: I definitely think all effects will be seen over time. Again, we’re trying to raise the profile and value of the events, as well as that of the speakers. The new tagline, or promise, of this series is “Come Hungry, Leave Full”. It illustrates the mindset of the attendee, who comes seeking out this information and feverously fills up a whole notebook with the insights being shared. The speakers are chosen for their experience with and insights into the industry, and they come specifically to speak in this small, selective setting. The events accommodate on average 150 people, so it’s an intimate group that is prequalified due to their interest and involvement in a related line of work. This model is valuable for both BCAMA members and prospective members, because the information being communicated is a great asset.
Regina: The “Come Hungry, Leave Full” concept is to help build brand awareness and also to help people develop B2B networks.
For the upcoming BSS event on Thursday, November 15th, the speaker is Ken Wong, Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Queen’s School of Business and a Partner at the Level 5 Strategy Group. Ken will be talking about marketing in uncertain times and measuring performance in a down economy. Those who attend the event will also get their first look at the new “Come Hungry, Leave Full” branding.
And what about the event to follow?
Regina: The topic for the following BSS event will be advertising agency trends. This is a well-known and popular topic that we have been presenting for the last 3 years. I can’t yet say who the agencies will be this year, but past agencies have been DDB, Wasserman, Rethink and TAXI.
And the third BSS event in the series will be a case study or presentation of a complete campaign and its strategy, from traditional to social.
What about the fourth in the series?
Regina: (Laughs). I’m afraid we’re still working on that. But that’s in June, so we have time. That one’s TBA for now.
OK, imagine that your boss is sceptical about the event, its expense and the time it takes away from the office – how do you persuade him or her that the event has real value?
Regina: OK. Everyone asks me this. Taking the upcoming event as an example, you’d have to say that this a rare opportunity to get information that others do not have. That it’s available first at the event, not on the net or elsewhere.
The topic is targeted to particular people. And the key element is that others will not have this information. So, if you apply the lessons, it will be fairly easy to measure the results. It’s a kind of business development based on the most recent information.
Also, we’re the BCAMA and we’ve been around for 50 years or so. We have a record for putting on great events with quality speakers and performances. So if you choose the right event for your organization, then you’ll get relevant information and you’ll be able to network with people regarding an area that you are interested in developing.
Most of the attendees are at the senior to middle marketing professional level (CEO, CMO, VP and Manager). In fact, these positions make up about 70% to 80% of the attendees. Attendees are getting information from key experienced people and they can take information back to the office – or to the client, possibly resulting in additional applications.
Josh: You’d have a sound case, because there’s a ton of information available at these events. The speakers are selected for their firm base of knowledge, and it’s delivered in a way that allows you to interact with other attendees and gain further insight from them. It’s a model that works way better than just going online and looking for this information independently.
Bruce Nickson and Layla Romero are members of the BCAMA Marketline Committee.
Member postings to the BCAMA Marketline Blog are welcome! To arrange a posting, please contact Sharon McInnis, Marketline/Blog Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.