How DO you get 40 marketers into a fishbowl?

40 marketers in a fishbowl

I was more than curious about that myself. So was delighted to attend the latest networking event hosted by The Marketing Society in New York at Siegel+Gale's offices.

The session was led by The Marketing Society's Chief Executive, Gemma Greaves and Margaret Molloy, Global CMO, Siegel+Gale - the Society's Chair of the New York hub. 

The fishbowl format arranges all attendees into a giant circle to allow for more intimate discussion, the idea being that the members themselves push to uphold the Society's BRAVE principle and share experiences and thoughts equally across the group. I can appreciate now exactly how this simple dynamic changes the nature of conversations away from a 'speaker versus audience' approach to one which is more consensual and productive to actually discuss meaty topics. 

The Marketing Society has tackled many of these meaty issues in recent years from workplace discrimination, diversity and mental health. All important considerations to help drive a bright future for the global marketing industry.

The topic last week was "Creating Change For Good" and included honest contributions from marketing leaders including Diageo’s Jason Chebib, YMCA of Greater New York’s Kathryn Glass, Luxottica’s Doug Zarkin, Querlo’s Francesco Ruilli, Fashion Institute of Technology’s Troy Williams, Walmart eCommerce’s Cynthia Kleinbaun and Colleen Scollans from Oxford University Press amongst others.

The conversation was a different experience to other industry and trade events you might attend, with zero ego, no sales pitches and no agenda other than communicating in a brave and honest way. 

I left the fishbowl session inspired by people who are humans first and marketers second. But also their passion for the craft of marketing and the willingness to share with and learn from each other shone through. 

I would definitely recommend it to other senior marketers as an antidote to other 'preaching' marketing platforms out there. There was never a more exciting time in the business, and it's great to see that the Marketing Society leads this change for good to help keep us all grounded and a little bit more human. 

Prior to the session, I recorded a #MediaSnack podcast session with Gemma Greaves, Chief Executive of The Marketing Society - we explored what drives Gemma to be the marketers' marketer, what lead her to decide on the BRAVE platform and who inspires and motivates her? We also discuss how bravery is good for business.

This piece was written by Tom Denford CEO, North America ID Comms Inc - the management consultancy specializing in media and advertising