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Madison Advisors recently hosted multiple senior executives from seven fortune 500 firms in Chicago in our first Customer Communication Management Executive Roundtable. The concept grew from the idea that leadership within these firms needed, and wanted, more peer interaction outside the influences of vendors or product sponsors. The believe was that by removing these external influences, a more open and candid conversation would occur, and these peers would begin to share freely, even though their firms might be competitive. We invited senior leadership from IT and Operations, and we also had representation from Marketing and Line of Business. From the session feedback, I believe we hit a home run.
We established goals at beginning of the session, and captured those for review at the end of the day. Our agenda was structured, but fluid, to ensure we could flex, but keep us on track for the day. It included 3 short presentations with Q&A sessions, with plenty of break time. Marco Boer from IT Strategies started the day off with his read on the future of color inkjet production printing. This was a relevant topic with the audience, as only two firms had full color production capabilities, but all were currently looking at adding that capability in the next 12 months. Madison Advisors also covered current trends in the CCM and Enterprise Marketing Portal space, as well as future trends for the group to contemplate going forward. The bulk of the morning and afternoon was spend in two breakout sessions, each one hour with each group reading back to the entire group for 10 minutes each. It was in these breakouts that much of the interaction and sharing took place; including both what worked and what didn’t at their organizations.
The reception and dinner is where most of the peer to peer interaction occurred. Our 4 course dinner at Takashi was also a highlight of the day, lasting a bit more than three hours. The group occupied the entire first floor, and we had several courses accompanied with selected wines. Both of our dinner sponsors, Xerox and GMC, joined the group for dinner and shared their future strategies for color inkjet production devices.
As much as the information exchange was the draw to the day, the networking and opportunity to meet many of their peers may have been the best take away. The true test of the value of the Roundtable is if they decide to return to Chicago this fall during Graph Expo to repeat the process and continue the dialogue. Look for us there.