Expect the Unexpected

ExpecttheUnexpected-sliderHow does a marketing team come up with a theme for PRSM’s biggest event of the year – the PRSM2016 National Conference? Our goal was to come up with a theme that resonated with what was going on in the industry and provide context for a memorable experience for attendees at the event.   Sounds simple but as with most things, it’s always much harder than it seems.

With 2015 marking the 20th year anniversary of PRSM, we’ve done a lot of looking back this year.  So looking at the themes over the last 10 years was a natural place to start. We also analyzed our competitors and partner organizations and assessed a wide variety of high profile conferences we’d love to attend because the marketing stands out in the sea of emails that come across our desk every week.

The next step in our process was reviewing some of our favorite magazines such as Fast Company, Inc., Fortune and Harvard Business Review to capture the words and ideas that are trending in the global world of business.

Next we visited with Patricia Dameron, PRSM’s Executive Director who truly has her pulse on the Retail Facilities Maintenance industry. “Today’s business environment is complex, uncertain and volatile. Globalization, digital connectivity and matrix economies have sparked expectation for immediacy in everything we do. Retail FMs are challenged to keep up with an accelerated, ever-changing pace to meet consumer demands and corporate expectations.”

We also spent time with two individuals who are key to making the National Conference a must-attend event – Kip Eads, Director of Education and Lee Ann Norton, Director of Conferences & Events – to get a sense of the education focus and conference plans for the big event.

Armed with lots of conversations swimming in our heads and piles of notes, we carved out several hours for a no interruption brainstorm session. (Hard to do when marketers are always on deadline for something!) Luckily we have an Inspiration Room with an entire wall of white board and it didn’t take long to fill it up with our thoughts, ideas and what we like to call, “stream of consciousness” brainstorming.

And then…it happened.  Two themes evolved that both achieved our goal and had great potential. After further discussion, one clear winner emerged. Expect the Unexpected. Now the real work begins. Are you prepared for the Unexpected? See you in Long Beach!