Premiere Educational Conference Offers Keynotes by Distinguished Experts
and Interactive Training Opportunities

 

Government Marketing University‘s (GMarkU) 2020 GAIN Conference, the world’s largest gathering of government marketers, is set for November 10, 12, 17 and 19.  Federal and state and local government marketers, and students are all invited to attend and industry vendors are welcomed as sponsors. Each day is dedicated to a respective GMarkU tenet: growth, acceleration, innovation, and networking with government influencers and buyers.

Stephanie Geiger, Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, left, answers questions that have been asked about the 2020 GAIN Conference.

This is the 5th year you have brought GAIN to the government marketing community. What is different this year?

COVID-19 threw a curveball to our regularly scheduled programming, but agile marketing is about learning to pivot. We reimagined the 2020 event to be online and modular to meet the new demands put on marketers. Next week starting on November 10, participants are invited to Grow, Accelerate, Innovate and Network throughout two-hour sessions spread across four days. 

Our goal was to balance being virtual and interactive while countering “screen fatigue.” GAIN 2020 will be fast-paced and formatted to promote training and networking beyond just listening to a talking head. We believe this platform will provide a refreshing take on traditional face-to-face speaking engagements and panels while still cultivating thought leadership and networking opportunities. GAIN 2020 will maintain the same high caliber of speakers with exciting keynotes from Google and more. Oh, and did we mention there will be a virtual mixologist? We always bring the fun!

What does GAIN stand for, and how do those charters align with the content during the conference?

GAIN stands for “Grow,” “Accelerate,” “Innovate,” and “Network.” Each day represents a core tenant of what we believe defines Government Marketing University. We thoughtfully and intentionally chose speakers to deliver and achieve the sentiment of each respective day. 

  • The first day, Tuesday, November 10, will focus on growth. GAINERs will hear from Adam Vasquez, Market Inventor and Author of Toothfish. Adam will share his expertise on a marketing model dubbed “Market Invention” and share insights on how it works, drawing on government use cases. 
  • On Thursday, November 12, participants will accelerate with lessons learned from Tom Deierlein, Co-founder and CEO of ThunderCat Technology. Tom’s experience from combat, coupled with his marketing career, will offer GAINers a seasoned perspective on marketing, advertising research, and B2G sales for 2021 government marketing plans. 
  • During the following week, Tuesday, November 17, Google’s Emerging Technology Evangelist, Alexis Bonnell, will share how to sell innovation in government, our third tenant. GAINERs will learn to innovate using tactics like humanization, storytelling, narrative, and creating the art of possible. 
  • Last but not least, on Thursday, November 19, Former Navy Director, Emily Harman, will discuss the importance of networking, applying lessons learned from her 38-year career in the Navy, and translating personal life experiences into authentic networking interactions. 

What do you hope attendees walk away with?

We hope that this year’s conference will promote networking and collaboration in a virtual model and help government/industry marketers reinvent their strategies to navigate the future of marketing in a socially distant world. GAINERs will ” walk away” (from their desktop or laptop) with knowledge from renowned industry speakers, access to influential peers in their networks, and actionable templates and marketing resources. 

GAINERs will also have access to a “private” VIP LinkedIn group to facilitate an ongoing dialogue with like-minded individuals and foster innovative practices that will help advance government marketers’ mission-based pursuits into 2021 and beyond. We want to keep the party going, so attendees will also have the ability to participate in post-GAIN Zoom rooms with each of our keynotes and other featured speakers from our GAIN 2020 agenda. Additionally, GAINERs who complete all sessions will also receive a copy of Toothfish and an official training certificate. 

Pivoting from in-person to virtual is a challenge. Any lessons learned?

For GMarkU, we adapted our event to have a digital component, but it’s not enough to “just make it virtual.” We’ve worked hard to ensure GAIN 2020 has a presence in different mediums to enable ongoing conversations, connect the government marketing community and ensure GAINERs experience the same high energy learning environment they’ve come to expect over the last four years. 

Still, if we’ve learned anything, it’s that compelling content can make the difference between engaged and bored attendees. That’s why we hand-selected industry, federal, state, and local thought leaders to share insights, tips, and advice. Even before COVID-19, we conducted daily chats with marketing practitioners to share what’s working, and more importantly, what’s not working. Even though the landscape has changed significantly, the cornerstones of marketing remain the same. There is still an appetite for customer journey experience mapping, measuring success, and data collection.

For event planners and marketers in 2020 and beyond, our advice is to remember that you only get one shot. Test and plan your event, and remember to keep your audience and their consumption patterns top of mind. 

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