Innovation Missions not only provide attendees with some pretty amazing insights into how disruptors are approaching products, revenue and technology, but they also create strong networking circles.
After Innovation Missions are over, many of the attendees stay in touch and tap into this exclusive networking group for ideas, council and inspiration.
We talked with three people who have attended Innovation Missions in recent years and asked them about their networking experience.
Stephanie Slagle, Director of Digital, WBNS
“As a smaller company, we don’t have the direct access to digital partners like Facebook and Google. However, through my connection with Catherine Badalamente at Graham Media, I was able to get an answer regarding Facebook billing from her contact.
I also reached out to Lisa Bishop at Heartland Media and Catherine when our company was reviewing AE compensation. My relationship with them from the Innovation Mission allowed me to have a “real” conversation about what compensation trends they were seeing in their markets. We shared some great ideas. I’ve also reached out to them on vendors that we’re considering. Most of the time, they have experience with the vendors I’m reviewing. This experience saves me time and money.
We’ve compared market rates on our unsold inventory, which lead me to revise our programmatic stack to achieve higher CPM’s.
Most of us in this job don’t have peers at our companies… so I had to find my own!”
Liz White, EVP & Assistant Publisher Record-Journal
“Attending Innovation Missions has provided amazing unique networking opportunities I wouldn’t have had anywhere else in my career. On two different Innovation Missions I was able to make lifelong professional and personal connections with a network of influential people that I have contacted over the years for:
– digital agency strategy
– company culture and transformation advice
– advice on print & digital product design
– job descriptions for a variety of positions
– references for R & D partners
– video strategy
– native advertising strategy
– database strategy
– and many more extremely relevant topics in our industry.
I have also made important connections to R & D partners to support our strategic plans, expense savings initiatives and revenue growth opportunities.”
Samantha Johnston, Publisher, The Aspen Times, The Aspen Times Weekly and The Snowmass Sun
“There’s no substitute for hours spent face-to-face with the best and the brightest in our industry. Often times, we get the chance to read interesting articles or attend a webinar or even a two-day conference, but we rarely are afforded the opportunity to download, debrief, discuss and debate among our peers following learning and networking opportunities.
Innovation Missions are an immersion experience – there is no way to get out of one without learning from and sharing with your peers. From cab rides to late-night dinners and all kinds of opportunities in between and long after, networking is at the core of what makes these missions so valuable. Over the years, I have not only made good friends, but I’ve found new mentors. As a result of networking, I’ve solved problems from digital package pricing best practices and troubleshooting programmatic issues to digital sales hiring best practices and talking pros and cons of various vendors. No matter what, when you leave a mission, everyone you met is a willing and ready resource to help in any way possible”