Today is a Special Day: CDM Media’s 10th Anniversary

Wow. It’s been an incredible ride. From early on I set the goal of being the number one company in the C-Suite marketing and demand generation space. It was a bold idea for what was a very new and somewhat unknown market. Through the ups and downs (and there have been plenty of both) there haven’t been many constants in my life—my family, location (Chicago/Hawaii/NYC), and strangely enough—you, the CDM Media community; EMPLOYEES, CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERS alike. From my first founding days at the company (when I was deeply in need of sleep, more bootstrap money and some outside reassurance that I was doing the right thing), to the incredible rush of sealing our first deal with a Fortune 500 client within 90 days of ‘opening the doors’, to becoming one of America’s fastest growing private companies’ just six short years later. It felt like the sky was the limit and the great thing from my perspective is, it still is! Even in the darkest hours of the past decade, when I’ve felt the most alone, dispondent and over-extended, you’ve been there too.

I get to see a lot of you in person at our office locations, summits and events around the world. But I also get to see you right here online—on LinkedIn, Twitter or through email. Your support, loyalty, empathy, and unwavering belief that CDM Media could and would do great things has been astonishing and a challenge that I constantly strive to meet.

People say that time flies, and I’ve learned that it certainly does when you don’t need look at the clock each day. I suppose in any way you look at it (3,652 days, 87,648 hours or 5,258,880 minutes) 10 years is a long time and I’ve just been lucky enough to be afforded that opportunity to be at CDM Media. Very few things in our lives or in the world last that long—the average tech startup struggles to make it to the two year marker! For that, I’m honored and humbled that you’ve stuck with us all that time, and I promise that in the decade ahead, CDM Media will deliver in the areas you need most by supporting team members, partnering with all of our customers and executing upon our plan. We will strive to be the best company you would wish to be associated with.

Whilst I reminisce about the past ten years today, I am thinking much more about CDM Media’s future. I believe whole-heartedly in our plan and in the market we serve. We believe in assisting with human connections that others find arduous and sometimes impossible. We aim to support our clients sales and marketing goals through the power of ‘face-to-face’ C-Suite marketing. To secure large enterprise clients, the good old handshake and two humans finding a common ground is here to stay AND so are we. We will strive to bring invaluable business connections together along with supreme content curation supported by the best thought-leaders in our industry, whilst delivering remarkable events and services that everyone can gain benefit from.

Thank you for the ten remarkable years of partnership, warmth, friendship and support. We have accomplished a lot together and I absolutely couldn’t have done it without you. But what matters most now is what we do next. As we move along that path, I hope you’ll keep holding us to high standards, and telling us when we’ve met your expectations and when we’ve let you down.

Thank you for helping make CDM Media a fantastic company now and for decades to come.

Here’s to the next 10 years: https://youtu.be/CAIaop-VSGM

With deep appreciation,

Glenn Willis

Trendy Tech Prizes

Not only did attendees come away from our 3-day national summit (CIO, CISO, Big Data and Cloud) with key takeaways, but also some amazing, trendy tech gadgets thanks to their feedback!

We love feedback. We want to know it all! Our team encourages event goers to bring on the comments about sessions, the app and the event flow in general. We soak it up since it helps drive our content in invaluable ways and keeps us on the pulse of what our attendees want. And what better way to snag this feedback than pepper them with prizes!

At the trifecta of events we hosted in Chicago this week (the CIO Summit US, CISO Summit US and Big Data Summit at the JW Marriott), sponsors wowed attendees with some savvy tech items and gift cards for those who gave the most feedback. What were the top trends from these cool technology companies? Wearable tech! Check out most sought-after prizes and the event sponsors who donated them:

1. iPad Mini – Adobe
ipad mini final
2. Garmin Smartwatch (2)- Rimini Street
garmin  smartwatch
3. Amazon Kindle Fire – Velostrata
amazon kindle fire
4. Apple Watch – Coho Data & Equinix
apple watch

Thanks to all the sponsors that donated amazing prizes!

Find out about our upcoming events here!

 

 

Favorite Event Venues

Finding the perfect venue for an event that will not only meet the expectations of your attendees but also look the part can be difficult but with 80 annual summits, CDM Media has this perfected. While we use venues from San Francisco to Paris to Cape Town and everywhere in between, we definitely have our favorites!

With the help of our event management and delegation teams, we have narrowed down the list to our top 5 favorite venues!

1. Ritz-Carlton Montreal: Fun fact – the Ritz-Carlton Montreal was the first Ritz-Carlton built! Our team all agreed this was their favorite venue! Not only does it have a historic presence but is also top-notch with their customer service.

ritz inside montreal

2. The Landmark London: This luxury hotel is one of the most popular 5 star hotels in London and among our events team. The combination of British elegance and amazing facilities has us swoon!

landmark london

3. The Westin Paris – Vendome: What’s not to love about Paris? Especially if you’re staying at the Westin Paris. It’s centrally-located and is walking distance from shopping and sightseeing. This hotel mixes Parisian chic with modern design and technology.

westin vendome terrace

4. The Phoenician: This award-winning luxury resort has our hearts! Not only is the weather superb but the view is amazing! Guests can enjoy the exquisite gold course, also!

phoenician balcany

5. JW Marriott Chicago: Located in one of the world’s most powerful financial districts and in the heart of one of the largest cities in the U.S., the JW Marriott Chicago is a downtown favorite. This landmark Chicago luxury hotel displays the renowned architecture of world-famous Daniel Burnham.

jw marriott chicago

Find out where else our CDM Media team travels for our global portfolio of events here!

Top 5 Travel Accessories

If you’re hyper-organized and a frequent-flyer like the gals from our Client Services Event Management team, you know all the tricks of the trade for efficient and stress-free traveling! In case you’re not, we have broken it down to the top five most valuable travel accessories, according to Event Manager Kelsey Freese.

girl at airport

1. Portable phone charger: “We always carry fully-charged portable phone chargers with us to the airport. A dead phone is not an option! Plus, they barely take up any space in my purse or carry-on.”

2. Something cozy: “A scarf that doubles as a blanket is the perfect item to keep you comfortable and warm in the airport and during the plane ride.”

3. Vitamin C: “I always make sure to not only drink Emergen-C before traveling but I pack a few packets, too! It’s inevitable one of us usually gets sick after travelling but this helps keep us healthy and moving.”

4. In-flight entertainment: “Before I head to the airport, I double check that I have my headphones and my iPad. The other girls bring their books, too. We make sure we have something to keep us entertained.”

5. Refillable water bottle: “If you’re an avid traveler, you’re probably spending quite a bit of money on water bottles and snacks. I always have an empty refillable water bottle in tote. After security, I fill it up and avoid purchasing a bottled water. I bring my own snacks, too!”

 

Curious about where our team is globe trotting to around the world? Check out our global portfolio of summits here!

Increase Your Attendees’ Engagement

Being at an event isn’t enough. At CDM Media, we want participants and attendees to truly soak in information, their surroundings and absorb the forward-thinking ideas being presented to them. So what’s in our bag of tricks for helping keeping attendees engaged? We’re happy to share with you!

back of head full room

1. Keep presentations interactive: We love for our speakers, presenters and moderators to keep the attendees in the audience engaged by asking their opinions, ideas and current issues.

2. Brainstorm as a group: The presenter doesn’t have to be the only one sharing forward-thinking ideas at our sessions. We love for attendees from different companies to speak up and provide feedback, thoughts and brainstorm topics.

3. Keep things moving: Avoid downtime for attendees during sessions. Keep the sessions moving with conversation, debriefs and good transitional topics.

4. Break up the session-style: If you’re doing a PowerPoint presentation with one presenter, try mixing it up the next session so your attendees remain stimulated and help keep boredom at bay. Implementing 1-on-1 meetings helps change up the day, as well.

5. Know your audience: Keep the attendees in mind when creating your presentations and choose information that will be relevant and attention-catching for them.

6. Attention-grabbing graphics: We’ve learned from Dona Wong, author of Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics: The Dos and Don’ts of Presenting Data, Facts and Figures, whether it’s choosing the best chart form for data, using colors gracefully or limiting the number of graphics per slide, be selective to maximize a lasting impression.

Walking for Awareness

CDM Media’s Matt Rymon, of our Cardiff office, has set out on a goal to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer, a disease his father was recently diagnosed with.

Matt will be walking five miles a day for a month, totaling 150 miles, and raising money for Prostate Cancer UK.  Prostate Cancer UK fights to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life. They help find answers by funding ground-breaking research and lead change by raising the profile of the disease and improving care.

prostate cancer uk

Matt’s goal is to raise £250.00 and you can donate to help him reach that goal here! Help Matt reach his goal AND show support for Prostate Cancer UK. CDM Media is behind you, Matt!

Introducing Fitness in the Office!

In an effort to promote employee wellness and productivity CDM Media has brought in four new exercise desks to be placed around the office.

With the grey winter months among us, the CDM employees are encouraged to maintain their energy levels and focus by doing some light exercise on these new stationary bikes. The nudge to get healthier and more energetic comes from our CEO, Glenn Willis, who is hoping to establish a fit-friendly work environment.

Grab your laptop, hop on and enjoy the ride, CDMers!

To follow our office updates, be sure to like us on Facebook!

IT Support guru, Bennett Baker, tests out one of the new four Fit Desks.

IT Support guru, Bennett Baker, tests out one of the new four Fit Desks.

 

 

On Being Tenacious, Prepared, and Grateful

So, it’s long been an intention of mine to write more/share thoughts. I have no idea if this is vanity getting the better of me, or if it is me being the overly competitive type thinking that the vast amount of Linkedin stories add up to little more than common sense or same old, same old.

I have been putting off writing simply because I had no idea how to start. Whilst in junior school in England I remember many of my English writing teachers tell me that a story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Now here is the snag: I don’t consider myself to be an industry expert, I don’t consider myself to be a hugely successful entrepreneur, and I don’t think that I am so worldly that I can impart a “zen” like wisdom to all, so coming up with that story was proving tough.

I am sure most of you have heard or are following the earthquakes that devastated much of Nepal. I was with my team in NYC watching video footage from drones, personal cameras, and TV crews that were quick on the scene. The damage to the cities and many of the ancient monuments/temples and other buildings is hard to see. This will become harder as the news develops and more stories emerge about the rising death tolls and utter devastation that the earthquakes and aftershocks have had on one of the world’s less affluent but culturally rich countries. Amongst all of the stories I was particularly taken back by the unfortunate death of the 33-year-old Google X executive that died in the avalanche that destroyed much of Everest Base Camp. This, I suppose, spurred me into writing as he and I were of similar ages and both work in technology. My heart-felt hopes and prayers are with the Nepalese people, as well as all of the people and their friends and family who were caught in tragic circumstances following their dreams of climbing the 29,029 feet to the top of the world.

Image: Nepal earthquake

I was fortunate enough to travel to Nepal in my younger years, spending several weeks on a climb. In a complete plot twist and drawing on my own time in Nepal it was nothing short of amazing. At 18 years young, like most young men, I thought I knew everything and could conquer the world. Then I arrived in Kathmandu. From the minute I stepped out of the Tribuhavan International Airport and with the rest of the group hopped on the bus that would whisk us to the hotel for a much needed sleep after a 20hr trip from Heathrow, I was taken back by the sheer poverty and third-world conditions. I found myself feeling guilty about many things I have complained about (such as the hot water levels in the shower). As I soon found out, I began yearning such comforts of home, the hotel, and even Kathmandu city life. Whilst trekking and climbing, our rations, along with oxygen levels, depleted. We adapted to life eating SPAM fritters and hacking up a lung whilst throwing a snowball or two. Needless to say the couple of months that I was out there would test my personal and mental endurance and in many ways shape some of the values that I hold closest to me. I am very thankful to the Nepalese people and that experience.

How does this draw parallel with my current sales role? Allow me to explain:

Prepare to win…

Those of you whom know me and especially my team in NYC will know that I hate losing.  It is a deep-rooted loathing and something I cannot lose from days of playing competitive sports. I ask the question of all candidates that I interview “Do you like to win, or do you hate to lose?”. Cheesy, but as we know all too well in sales, where we are faced with many setbacks and objections, we need that competitive drive. The drive that, no matter what, we are going to win.

After a restful night’s sleep every night – trust me, walking 4-10miles and on average climbing the height of Ben Nevis (UK’s highest mountain) every day, it was restful – we would wake up to our Sherpa bringing us “milk tea” (interesting fact: Yak milk is pink!). After the morning routine of milk tea, bathing in a tiny water bowl (size of a dog bowl), chowing down on chef’s preparation (usually involving SPAM), we would pack up our bags and head out. Makalu is a 2-3 week trek from Tumlingtar Airport through some amazing lowlands and along the Arun River before you hit the Shipton Pass (whereby you know lowlands are no more and the trek becomes a climb to the base camp and beyond). I was always amazed that, despite leaving an hour after the rest us, the support team would overtake us half way through the morning to set up lunch and would repeat the same overtake again in the afternoon to set up camp. I was amazed at the support team of Sherpa and especially porters (generally a mix of older men and women whom carried on average 50-80lbs of equipment and supplies on crates attached to rope which was strung around there foreheads). In short, at 18 and being an avid swimmer, rower, and rugby player I thought I could beat them. I failed badly. I am sorry to say that there isn’t a comeback win for me here, it was just loss, after loss, after loss as they passed me by every morning and afternoon. That said I was very happy with this arrangement at times when temperatures were sub zero and the wind would kick up. Seeing those orange tents in the distance was a welcome sight indeed.

bc1

Preparing for the job at hand and never failing to stop learning are key in sales as they are in beating a spotty teenager up a mountain. Applying what learning I can from the experience, I know that I was beaten by an expert; someone who had over the past 30-40 years practiced and practiced and most importantly where far more prepared. Nothing beats consistent hard work and my elderly Nepalese friends handed me a beating to remember.

Tenacity can’t be trained…

On the sales team we work hard. I always remember resenting a certain sales manager/come CEO a little in the past for saying I needed to work harder. In retrospect he was probably right, there is always room to work harder and I know as I too dole out the same line of “you need to work harder”. I do so not to annoy, but to help with a persistent determination to win. This persistent determination or tenacity I believe is something that only the individual – that’s you – can have.

Climbing and trekking in the Himalayas comes with its challenges, as does sales. Preparing oneself will only get you so far; after that you just have to do it. No one will drag you up a mountain, and no one will get you that sale but you. The very best in climbing and in sales are persistently determined. I don’t know if he is the best climber, but perhaps one of the most known, Edmund Hilary who climbed Everest in 1953, being the first man to do so along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hillary had climbed 11 peaks in the Himalayas before attempting Everest, and he climbed another 10 peaks after. I can only talk about the tenacity needed in sales and it is immense.

Sir Hillary and Norgay smile after summitting the Mt. Everest

Perhaps the same phrase is said in climbing as it is in sales, in that you are only as good as your last deal or peak in the case of a climber. The best sales people are those that are always seeking out the next deal just as much as they are chasing down the direct dial, lead, or whatever the task at hand maybe. Like climbers, father time catches up with sales people. That’s not to say we burn out, just that we need to work at pace as you never know who else is trying to get into the sale. We need to conquer it first just like Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing did in 1953, a good 3 years before the next. Imagine what we can do inside 3 years with a client without any competition knocking on the doors.

Be grateful for what you have…

Since coming to NYC, I have been constantly amazed by this city same as I was in Kathmandu, though for very different reasons. NYC literally has everything you can ever think of, in Kathmandu its the opposite. Yet like any great city, the underlying culture helps shape the growth, architecture, and people. Not to say that New Yorkers aren’t appreciative of what they have, as I think any true New Yorker would defend the city till they are out of breath. But Kathmandu’s people are hardy (hearty?). Unfortunately they will need to be more so than ever. There is a deep religious and spiritual undertone within the city, something that I feel that Western cities and other modern cities have probably lost. The Nepali people are hard working and respectful of others. The Namaste greeting, which follows you around Nepal everywhere you go, literally means, “I bow to the divine in you”.

Whilst on my journey up Makalu I befriended one of the junior Sherpa. He’s someone I have kept in contact with in the years since and someone who I hope to visit soon. His annual salary of 32,000 Rupees (about $500) was back then a good salary compared to some. He wore an old Barcelona soccer jersey and pants and his boots were hand-me-downs from a group 3 years before and well worn. I can’t fathom how many miles and how many feet he had traversed up and down the Himalayan Mountains. Yet not once did he complain about his job, and was all the more happy to go out of his way to help me barter for a can of Pepsi or whatever else I was craving. I haven’t heard from him since the disaster and I hope he is OK, which I am sure he is. We nicknamed him “the Cat” for his ability to always land on his feet despite the tumbles and trips that happen at altitude.

sherpas

I don’t mean to overdo this lesson but sometimes in sales and with the company you are with, whether that is CDM Media or otherwise, it’s always good to take a step back and appreciate what you have got versus what you haven’t. That’s not to say that you don’t prepare and work tenaciously to get what you want, but be appreciative of what you have and the others around you.

So I hope this satisfies my English teachers and that it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. I will be back soon with my next post after some thinking about what to write and welcome your ideas and input. If you are interested in helping the plight of the Nepalese there are several great charities helping, but here is a less well-known one that helps the Sherpa and porters who contribute to the Tourism industry that is the largest part of the Nepal economy.  http://himalayantrust.co.uk/

Thanks to my friend, The Cat, and the Nepalese people. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during some tough times. I hope to be out there enjoying another Tongba soon enough.

CDM Media Announces Regional Spring Series Call for Speakers

Today we announced the Call for Speakers for our upcoming 2015 regional summits. It’s not easy to get away from the office, so the Regional Summit Series is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of us coming to you! These CIO/CISO Summits will gather top IT executives across several vertical markets to discuss each industry’s hot topics, trends and challenges in a unique setting. Watch the 2015 CIO Regional Summit Series video and see our press release below!

Map of Q2 Regional Summit Series 2015.

Map of Q2 Regional Summit Series 2015.

CDM Media Announces Regional Spring Series Call for Speakers: Industry-Leading CIO/ CISO Summits Seek Thought Leaders for Panel Discussions

Chicago, IL, April 23, 2015 – CDM Media, the leading B2B technology marketing and media firm, today announced that it is looking to add additional thought leaders to its upcoming regional CIO/ CISO Summits taking place in Charlotte, NC; Houston, TX; Boston, MA; Denver, CO; and Southern CA. With uniquely designed, laser-focused sessions that tackle some of the biggest challenges facing enterprises today, the CDM Media C-Suite Summits empower attendees to meet IT-related demands head-on.

Speaker qualifications include holding a position as a senior level decision maker of a major organization (SVP, C-Suite, EVP) and/or executive level experience within a major institution with a direct and relevant focus. To submit speaker proposals, visit:

CIO Charlotte Summit, May 19, 2015- http://www.ciocharlottesummit.com/callforspeakers/

CISO Charlotte Summit, May 19, 2015-http://www.cisocharlottesummit.com/callforspeakers/

CIO Houston Summit, May 21, 2015- http://www.ciohoustonsummit.com/callforspeakers/

CIO Boston Summit, June 11, 2015- http://www.ciobostonsummit.com/callforspeakers/

CIO Denver Summit, June 23, 2015- http://www.ciodenversummit.com/callforspeakers/

CIO GAS Summit, Frankfurt, Germany, June 23, 2015- http://www.ciogassummit.com/callforspeakers/

CISO Southern California Summit, June 25, 2015- http://www.cisosocalsummit.com/callforspeakers/

CIO Southern California Summit, June 25, 2015- http://www.ciosoutherncaliforniasummit.com/callforspeakers/

To learn more about CDM Media’s Summit regional summit portfolio, visit: http://www.cdmmedia.com/summit_calendar.php

One Week, Two Coasts

Greetings from San Francisco!

Our CMO Summit U.S. started today at Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco. High-level marketing executives and CMO’s from Facebook, Tesla, Accenture and more are gathering together at this exclusive event to address industry challenges and gain actionable insight for key marketing segments.

Our partners at Bluewolf have brought along their CEO and CMO to keynote the CMO Summit U.S. Attendees will learn the three pillars needed to begin their own customer journey marketing, why marketers need to fall in love with data, not technology, and the importance of messaging strategies and storytelling for B2B and B2C. Learn more in their press release here!

golden gate

Meanwhile, other members of the CDM Media team along with our CEO, Glenn Willis, are wrapping up in New York City (from the comfort of our new NYC office!) from this week’s very successful CIO Summit New York and CISO Summit New York. Various companies including Estée Lauder, Priceline.com, Citi, UBS, Barneys New York, L’Oreal, HBO and Wells Fargo were represented onsite to collaborate on trending topics and share challenges to build off one another’s experiences.

New-York-skyline_0

In true CDM Media style, we created dynamic events, built connections and conquered yet another busy week of world-class summits together. On to the next!