The following is a guest post from Todd Smith, Business Development Executive at The CEO’s Right Hand, Inc.
The Glazer Kennedy Insider’s Circle (GKIC) Superconference event held in Orlando this April was an amazing gathering of like-minded entrepreneurs, looking to build their businesses, using many of the techniques espoused by legendary copywriter and direct response marketing guru Dan Kennedy.
Bill Glazer, who along with Dan Kennedy, formed GKIC, sold the business several years ago to a private equity firm. These annual events used to have more than 1,200 attendees, but this year’s event had only 400. The teams who came in to run GKIC for the P/E firm may have been solid executives, but GKIC was built on personalities and relationships, and to some degree, the new owners lost sight of that.
The big news on arriving at the conference was that Advantage Media/Forbes Books bought GKIC eight days before the conference started. Advantage was founded by my colleague (and fellow Clemson alum) Adam Witty as a business book publisher. Adam built the company, using GKIC techniques, into a $35 million/year revenue enterprise. He subsequently levered that company to purchase GKIC, which was sort of the ultimate validation of Kennedy’s methodologies. Advantage published my first book, The Adventure Consultant, back in 2013.
The event was packed with fantastic speakers and incredible knowledge about ways to grow one’s business in an increasingly complex world. It’s a wonderful combination of old school tactics that still (and likely always will) work, along with more cutting-edge online tactics. I am a firm believer that a thoughtful combination of marketing techniques will always win the day. A reliance on offline tactics also makes more sense given that online advertising has become so expensive, that often small and high-growth businesses cannot afford to pay to “keep up with the big boys”.
One seldom walks away from a GKIC conference without a dizzying array of plans and ideas. Often, the biggest problem is not getting enough good ideas, but filtering through them all in order to target a few of them that can be easily implemented for maximum results.
The vendor booths at GKIC conferences are always fantastic as well. I talked to folks who offer Hispanic marketing services, printed newsletters, LinkedIn Selling services, website development, copywriting, human resources management/development, Facebook marketing, sales engineering, and much more.
And, of course, the wide variety of fellow entrepreneurs you meet is always reaffirming and refreshing. From the solopreneurs looking to change their lives and embark on their first venture to wildly successful multi-millionaire business owners, you can rub elbows with them all in a very encouraging, open environment.
The highlight of the event, however, was getting to hear from Pat Williams, the founder of the Orlando Magic and a long-time general manager for several National Basketball Association teams. Pat has authored many books, most notably on Walt Disney and former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.
In short, a very rewarding experience, as always, which has filled me with a lot of new ideas and the inspiration to execute them.