RFP event in Times Square draws a crowd

It was standing room only last night as 180+ digital media pros packed the Manhattan room of the Marriott Marquis overlooking Times Square. Only expecting 140-150, they had to bring in extra chairs to handle the overflow.

Who would have guessed that the mundane topic of RFPs would draw such a crowd on a Tuesday night in January?  The RFP is certainly a hot topic (or sore subject?) among those in the digital media business.

Online Marketing Network organized the event which was billed as “Learn How to Earn RFP’s and Win Media Business from Top Media Executives.”

The event featured two panel discussions with top media executives including:

  • Sarah Rankin, VP, Associate Media Director at Deutsch
  • Kallana Warner, Media Supervisor at Media Contacts
  • Charles Pinkerton, Partner & Director of Communication Insights at The Media Kitchen
  • David Simone, Associate Media Director at MEC
  • Matthew Granish, Associate Media Director at DraftFCB
  • Jennifer Hartwick, Digital Media Manager at Mindshare
  • Jaimie Sparber, Digital Media Manager at G2
  • Sheevani Raikundalia, Sales Manager, East Coast Advertising, Washington Post Digital – moderator
  • Rob Shore, National Account Manager at Washington Post Digital – moderator

These experts gave advice on topics including:

  • “Day in the Life” of a Media Buyer & Planner
  • Best Practices for Meeting Requests
  • Effective Meetings & Presentations
  • Communication & Staying Top of Mind
  • Understanding the RFP and Decision Making Process
  • How to Make your Proposal Stand Out
  • Communication Process & Follow Up
  • Managing Client & Agency Relationships

The panels gave dozens of tips on how to properly present a media program to a media planner. For example, “use bullet points” (notice my generous use of bullet points above 😉

One overall theme was how incredibly hard a digital media planner’s job is.  Besides actually getting work done, they “sometimes get 30 calls a day” from ad sales people. The next time a media planner fails to return your call, think about what it’s like to be in their shoes. And work harder to make their life easier.

The other overall theme is how difficult it is for an ad sales person to cut through all that clutter to get noticed. That’s not an easy job and not for someone who can’t deal with rejection and adversity.

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