I am going to be honest with you: I am not a huge fan of any event that I have attended in the past. I think that the way in which the event is structured, the location and the people and the way in which information is distributed to attendees makes it all too easy to miss the whole point of a meeting.
In the case of most events I have attended, information is spread out and spread out until it’s not a part of the conversation. And in the case of a marketing event, information is spread out and spread out until it’s not a part of the conversation. Which is to say, it’s like a board game. You know the game—a game where it is always the same five people playing together. You know when it’s over. You know when it’s played.
In most board games, like chess, it’s the same five people playing together until someone has a chance to take advantage of the situation, and that was the scenario in Apex Marketing Events. This is definitely not a board game. In fact, the first half of the meeting feels like a board game in the extreme. The only thing that is the same is the “topics” of the meetings.
Of course, when there are five people sitting around a table, the topics that people play are always the same. The first thing that really jumps out at you is the subject matter. Since the meeting is about buying advertising and getting the word out, the topics of the meeting are essentially the same as the meetings in the game.
The topics of each meeting are much more personal, and that makes for some interesting conversations. Even the first one ended up with a discussion about how many people would read an article in a magazine, and why. Since most of our team members are writers and not marketers, there are some interesting conversations about the differences between marketing and advertising, how advertisers have become such a huge part of our lives, and how the two are very different.
The first one was about how they knew they had a lot to do, and that the time was tight, but still the meeting ended with a promise to make more time in the future. The second one was about how they knew that they had to be in the office, but that they thought it was going to be a boring meeting. The third one was about how the meeting got started. They got a lot of feedback on their process and how to improve it.
All that talk of meeting-time and being in an office was so that we can get to the point of the third one. And it turns out they’re not just talking about the fact that they don’t have deadlines. They’re talking about how they have to be in the office, how their meetings are important to them, and how that’s how they can prove that they are a quality company.
I think they’ve figured out that the way they talk about their meetings is not quite as boring as it sounds. If you read the blog posts here, you’ll see that the team is way too obsessed with meeting-time and being in an office to actually start talking about anything else.
Its the same reason why I dont like the word “meetup”. I dont want to hear “we had a meeting about this” or “we had a meeting about that”. I want to hear “I did this” or “I did that”. I want to hear how its important to them. And I want to be in their office.
Apex is the marketing-focused division of the company and it’s run out of a nondescript building in downtown Los Angeles. To hear other people talk of these meetings, you’d think they were some sort of corporate retreat. A bit of a stretch, I suppose.