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Recap: 4 Things I Learned at "Brand Crafted: How Iconic Milwaukee Brands Plan"

On September 17, I had the chance to interview three local leaders that make big things happen in Milwaukee. Wisconsin State Fair CEO Kathleen O’Leary, Wisconsin Center District CEO Marty Brooks and Summerfest Marketing & Advertising Manager Sara McGuire shared their insights on how they think about the future and how they plan for success.

What made the event special was their extra effort to customize their message just for Small Business Owners. The entire event video is below so you can see what they had to say. To give you a little cheat sheet, here are 5 things I learned during the event:

Small Teams Can Do Big Things
Summerfest welcomes over 800,000 guests in 11 days. The State Fair is over 1 million. The Wisconsin Center District will host the Democratic National Convention. These major projects are all executed by approximately 50 Full Time Equivalent Employees. Naturally in the conversation, each leader shared their FTE head count and none of them reached 60 or more employees. Sure, they expand with seasonal help and part-time employees but a well led team can do BIG things. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or feel like you’re not “big enough,” remember these teams and what they accomplish each year.

Teams need to understand the WHY behind the work
Marty Brooks makes a great point during his talk explaining how important it is for a team to understand WHY you are taking on a project. A team that understands why a project or task is needed will feel more invested and simply do a better job. Taking the extra time to explain how the work fits into the big picture is, frankly, a pain. But, it really makes a big difference in the performance of your team.

Plan for Things to Go Poorly
When its time to prepare for a project or event, we do so from a positive and confidence place. We believe it will do well so we only plan for success. Kathleen O’Leary shared the concept of “hip pocket” promotions used at the Fair. The Fair has promotions and advertising inventory set aside to use if they are behind on attendance. It’s such a logical and simple concept, but one that is often overlooked. I certainly will have “hip pocket” promotions for everything I do moving forward!

Have a vision and let it guide you
Each of the panelists have a strong vision of what their programming and facilities should become. That vision is the guiding light for the leaders and they do NOT waver from it. Do you have a strong vision of your company and where it is going? Take the time to picture the future and use it to help you make decisions moving forward. Simple, but effective stuff.

Join the Brand Crafted Social Club
This event is a part of the event series from the Brand Crafted Social Club on facebook. Click HERE to join the group so you can be a part of our upcoming events.

Enjoy the show…



Pat Miller