Mastermind 2023 by 97th Floor

Critical Thinking is Still Critical – Learnings from 2023 Mastermind

The mission behind the Mastermind event is to elevate those around you. It’s my second time attending this event and it’s one of my absolute favorites to be at because there’s no better setting than the picturesque 9,000 foot location of the St Regis in Deer Valley and a hand-picked invite list and thoughtfully organized event by 97th Floor.

It’s the kind of event where the invited speakers can see you in the audience and address you by name when responding to your question.

The kind that is perfectly balanced with informative sessions and social activities where you legitimately make new friends and contacts. And a picturesque location that is so well naturally suited for an unforgettable networking and bonding experience.

The entire experience is architected around connection, conversation and elevating each other in whatever ways we can.

For me, this type of professional retreat is central to recharging and connecting with new, innovative minds.

A few reasons why the event is so valuable:

  • They started a Slack group with various threads like Intros to get the party started. It was also an easy communication tool to view the agenda or message the organizers as needed.
  • IMO, the best session was a round robin style of sharing where each person shared their favorite marketing tech stack or productivity tip or tool. The responses (and spreadsheets!!)) were shared out in the Slack group.

This year, my favorite memories include the following: a gentleman sits down next to me at dinner and we strike up a conversation. I later realize it’s Guarav Agarwal — Chief Growth Officer @ ClickUp, and the keynote speaker! Getting introduced to Daniel Murray of The Marketing Millennials, and Christina Garnett the marketing muscle behind customer engagement gorilla Hubspot. Making a new acquaintance with Laura Leszczynski. She is whip smart and graciously shared her list of amazing marketing books, resources and plugins. My buddy Eli Schwartz texting me the day before saying he’s going to be there too.

Top learnings: IYKYK

  • Drone shows
  • Ice cream trucks (FYI, asking about people’s least favorite flavor is a serious ice breaker)
  • .5’ing it
  • Hedging

Kids, for a bit more context, on at least one, to “.5 it” means to use the .5 filter on your iPhone camera that sets up the wide angle lens to be able to capture everyone in the photo.

The funny part was a bunch of marketers interpreting it as “.5’ing the budget” which essentially means cutting it in half? Something we don’t like to have to do.

My main takeaway from the keynote speaker was this:

The competitive edge is building the skill of how to think – and you build this by doing it.

Guarav Agarwal, Chief Growth Officer, ClickUp

Guarav went on to say how we’re in an age where many tactics are the same. Technology changes every 10 years, new generations emerge and they each behave differently– that will all of this fluidity and change, all we as marketing leaders can do is update our thinking. To continue to gain clarity of thought. 

IMO, if all we can do is elevate our thinking, the best way to do just that is to come to seek out groups and events like Mastermind that help you think critically and make those around you better.

The contributions from the individuals attending this intimate event always helps me be a better, well rounded marketer.  It was an immense pleasure to be invited to attend and interact with as many people as possible.

The only thing missing was more snow on the mountains. But, we definitely took advantage of sitting outside around the fire pit with wine taking in the mountain air.

Meeting so many other marketers that are also new friends is absolutely time well spent.

My creative brain lights up at an event like this bc it’s so much broader than SEO. In fact, the conversations (and social events) are about collaboration and finding common ground. To me, it speaks to how SEO integrates with aspects of marketing like brand awareness, finding what your audience really wants and optimizing for conversion.

When I returned home my LinkedIn inbox was full of connection requests from those I’d met at the event. Real people. REAL connections. That’s incredibly valuable for me both professionally and personally.

Michael, remember that time we stole a bench?! 😛

The best part is that AI (ChatGPT) didn’t have to help me write this article. Making human connections has a natural and organic output.

I can’t wait to go again next year and keep elevating those I’m connected to now and in the future. Thank you, 97th Floor team, for being the catalyst to this.

The thoughts and opinions in this article do not reflect those of my employer.

Similar Posts