As the pandemic lingers on and people continue to work from home, opportunities to truly connect with peers are hard to come by. While people might spend entire days on Zoom or Teams, conversations tend to be about what needs to get done without space for ideation, creativity or inspiration. Promax is working to remedy that by creating more opportunities for its members to connect through three new programs.
“For the past year, we as an industry have been over-indexed for tactical execution,” said Steve Kazanjian, president and CEO of the Los Angeles-based global non-profit entertainment marketing association. “Now, I feel there’s more air and these programs fit really well because they give us that opportunity to take that breath while reaching out to others.”
Over the past several months, Kazanjian and Promax Europe lead Lester Mordue have reached out to entertainment marketers across the globe to discuss their needs.
“We’ve been having a series of conversations on an international level in which we talk to key members to understand their pain points and what their concerns are. It was the first time I heard everyone say the exact same thing: How do I keep my teams motivated and engaged and how do I keep them inspired and connected?
“The further that we got into covid, the more those things suffered,” Kazanjian said.
Kazanjian then led the organization to create new ways for members to connect with each other, even without in-person events.
“It’s become evident that having big groups of 100 people in a Zoom is really challenging. What people wanted were more intimate moments where they could connect to their peers to have those conversations that used to happen at Promax conferences in the hallway or at the bar. And as we started thinking about it, we considered that we should not just mirror those experiences but make them even better?”
As a result, Promax is rolling out three programs meant to help entertainment marketers connect on a peer-to-peer level, as well as a career fair that will focus on equity and inclusion.
Promax’s Peer-to-Peer Roundtables will offer all members the opportunity to participate in a series of hosted conversations that pairs them with peers with whom they otherwise may not have been able to connect.
“When you’re at the CMO or EVP level, you’ve got a pretty robust network of contacts,” said Kazanjian. “People at the director level might not have such big networks so they need opportunities to meet people outside of their companies and strike up interesting conversations. For a year, very few of those conversations have happened because there haven’t been events.”
Virtual rooms will be made available once per quarter for groups of eight or so to gather and have these types of thoughtful conversations. Once these hosted sessions have taken place, participants are free to continue connecting and building relationships on other platforms or even in-person when the time finally comes.
“We’re really excited about these groups,” said Kazanjian. “They will give people the opportunity to have honest discussions in a relaxed virtual setting.”
The registration deadline for the first Peer-to-Peer Roundtable is Feb. 16 with the event slated for Feb. 23 at 9 a.m. PST/12 p.m. EST. Click here to register.
Similarly, Connect + Create + Collaborate pairs people with their peers, but this program does so internationally—so a creative director or art director in the U.S. would be paired with a creative director or an art director in Europe, for example.
“Being able to connect and develop a year-long relationship with another creative in another region offers an incredible opportunity for people to grow professionally. This allows people to get outside of their own perspective,” Kazanjian said.
The application deadline for Connect + Create + Collaborate is rolling with the first connections starting mid-March. Click here to apply.
Promax also will offer a virtual career fair at the end of March that will connect entertainment marketing executives with skilled BIPOC talent from both the entertainment marketing industry as well as from other relevant categories.
“We are working on building a diverse pipeline of talent into the industry from other industries,” said Kazanjian. “Entertainment marketing now is not just creative marketing, it’s direct-to-consumer, performance and growth. There are talented marketers in other categories who have transferable skills, we just need to find them.”
Promax’s Equity and Inclusion Career Fair will take place on March 24 with partner registration due Feb. 26. Click here to express your interest in participating.
Finally, the Leadership Lounge is designed to connect high-level executives, including chief marketing officers, executive vice presidents and heads of marketing. The program will connect these leaders across continents to talk about the challenges they face in a series of hosted roundtable conversations.
Questions such conversations may consider include “How do you transform legacy media?” “How do you combat screen and content fatigue both among your teams and among your audience?” “How do you turn diversity, equity and inclusion into measurable initiatives?” and “What will consumers’ new and emerging behaviors be in the post-pandemic world?”
The Leadership Lounge series is on an invite-only basis, with RSVPs requested by Feb. 11. The first session is slated for March 4 with additional events throughout 2021. Click here for more information.
For more information on any of Promax’s upcoming programs, please reach out to email@example.com.