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"The Marketing Forum"--Request for 4A’s Colleague Feedback

I’d appreciate feedback from the 4A’s new business community members that have previously participated in or carefully evaluated a Marketing Forum (Richmond Events) cruise. It seems to be significant investment in time and money. Based on your previous experience was the R.O.I. worth the investment? Did participation lead to legitimate new business leads? The promotional materials refer to a long list (+ 100) of client your experience were the client participants legitimate decision makers?

Thanks for sharing your point of view.

Brad Bennett
Wildfire, LLC
Winston Salem, NC

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Marketing Forum

I went once about 9 years ago.  I would prefer really expensive root canal work to ever going again. 
Posted by Mr. Robert Moorman (Friday, January 30, 2009 1:17 PM)

The Marketing Forum

We discussed The Marketing Forum several years ago at an AAAA New Business Committee meeting-- the comments were along the lines of it being an expensive endeavor that has a questionable ROI.  I recommend that you ask The Marketing Forum folks to provide you with the registration list of the names of the client executives that will be on the cruise. In the past the compliant has been that the clients involved were often not tier #1 marketers and that those tier #1 client organizations that did participate sent junior people.
Posted by Mr. Thomas Finneran (Friday, January 30, 2009 2:56 PM)

Marketing Forum

I seriously evaluated it a few years ago and had a client who took advantage of the fact that it was a completely free seminar series for him. From an agency perspective, I didn't think the ROI was there. It was very expensive and a lot of the clients, like mine (who's still my client, by the way), weren't there to find a new relationship but to attend the seminars. As part of his "free" ticket, he was obligated to talk to a series of agencies in 15 minute segments. Every agency has to make its own decision, but we decided we could do far more with the money that would provide a much higher return. I hope that helps.
Posted by Ms. Diane Fannon (Friday, January 30, 2009 5:49 PM)

Cruising for Business

We participated one year ago and found that the quality of the client attendees was not anywhere as promoted.   We did have 6-8 meetings that we felt were worthwhile (a seemingly serious client rep with a real issue/ need for a new agency). 
Of those, two turned into future meetings but in both those cases, nothing  ever developed -- budgets changed, new people or decisions preempting previous goals, etc. 
I would have to say these may only be good for those using the trip as part of a continuing brand awareness/building need that might possibly pay dividends down the road.   It was not as sold to us and we will not be participating again.  mk  
Posted by Mr. Mike Kolar (Wednesday, February 04, 2009 5:27 PM)

Was it really that bad?

I, too am considering going to the Forum, and was reluctant because of the daunting cost - but the ability to meet with people that I would have had to stalk to meet otherwise, seemed intriguing and may well be worth the ROI.  Has anybody had better luck?  Is it worth it?  Is there an alternative?
Posted by Bob Mazerov (Tuesday, February 02, 2010 5:09 PM)

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