By Lou Mengsol, President, US Sports Congress
I’ve been seeing a number of industry publications talk about their 40 under 40 or one-on-one interviews with industry insiders. Invariably, they get around to asking the questions “what’s the best piece of advice you can give someone?” There seems to be a trend that recently they have all talked about – patience. Bravo! But I’d like to add my two cents – communicate.
We’ve become a world of electronic everything: emails, voicemails, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook – the list goes on and on. When I look around, I see new, inventive ways we’ve adopted to disengage from each other. When you simply can’t meet face-to-face with a client or colleague, electronic communication is better than no communication. But there is something to a face-to-face meeting that electronic communication cannot provide. People offer you non-verbal clues as to the undercurrent in their decision-making process. How often has someone said something and turned around and done something different? You remember the old communication model? Communication requires someone to send a message, someone to receive the message and then provide feedback. There is no denying that this type of communication is the catalyst for true compromise and innovation.
Take the case of our recent US Sports Congress Advisory Board meeting. Over the last few weeks we gathered 10 professionals from various sectors of the industry. Their common interest: All have experience or attended the US Sports Congress. The goal here was multi-faceted, but at the heart of it there was an agenda to discuss various topics all tied to the industry and specifically the USSC.
After two days, I can honestly say our heads were spinning. There was so much information shared about their ideas to make the US Sports Congress better. While we may not be able to implement every idea, we did get a sense about where we need to improve the attendee’s experience. It also provided us with a channel for both refinement of those ideas and for us to understand the basis for the change. Some of those changes include the schedule, the addition of interactive workshops and affiliated programming with the Sponsorship Academy (more details to follow).
One thing is certain – we never could have accomplished all we did by using a text or an email. There are emotions and logic that drive all these great ideas but through personal contact with our Advisory Board members we are more able to understand what drives them and the passion that’s behind them.
That, in my mind, is one of the reasons that the US Sports Congress is such a terrific event. We always welcome your emails and text, or log on to the website – our phone number is there, too. I’d welcome your call at any time.