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The Uprising: Three Ways It Redefined Professional Development

Last updated: 10-21-2019

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The Uprising: Three Ways It Redefined Professional Development

Thursday, March 21st. That was the day I went from a bystander to being part of the Marketing Rebellion, and little did I know that seven months later I would be a part of The Uprising. Back in March I was a first time attendee of Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, and had the opportunity to network and meet people that would change the trajectory of my professional career. By far the most valuable moment of this conference was briefly meeting Mark Schaefer, getting a copy of his book Marketing Rebellion, and devouring it on my return flight to Cincinnati. This book, Marketing Rebellion, would not only end up being the book that defined my professional outlook for 2019, but completely affirmed my approach to marketing.  

The point of this opening paragraph is…if you have not yet read Marketing Rebellion I highly encourage you to pick up a copy.

Marketing Rebellion prompted me to quickly consume the rest of Mark’s books, and subscribe to his {grow} blog. A relatively small chain of events that provided me the opportunity to learn about, and register for a new approach to professional development - The Uprising.  

How Did The Uprising Redefine Professional Development?

First and foremost, The Uprising is not your traditional conference. Unlike traditional conferences, it is an intimate, private retreat (limited to 30 people), that focuses on the concepts and skills needed for leaders to tackle what is next. It is an opportunity to re-imagine marketing. The two-day retreat provided opportunity to learn from other marketing leaders, and to grow together in our understanding of where marketing is heading in the future.  

Secondly, learning sessions were defined by the attendees (via a pre-retreat survey), and all sessions were co-facilitated by attendees. Sessions surpassed the usual “death by PowerPoint” and were instead discussion-based. Because of the structure of the agenda, conversations evolved as they rolled-over from session, to break, to session. Learning occurred through a continued narrative, rather than loosely-connected, episodic conference sessions.  

Finally, because of its limited size, it provided genuine opportunities to network and cultivate meaningful conversation. Unlike the traditional conference where networking takes place between sessions, The Uprising is built upon personal interaction with thought leaders. There were multiple opportunities to build these personal relationships with other marketing leaders. Dinners were centered on a round-robin, assigned seating where it was possible to meet everyone in attendance. Onsite entertainment allowed for after dinner drinks, camp fires, games of ping pong, and corn hole (to name a few). This was also likely a product of the venue: The RT Lodge.  

I am over a week removed from the event and still processing the experience. I left energized and ready to tackle these challenges we face as marketing leaders. I continue to have conversations with new friends, and look forward to the chance to attend future Uprising retreats. Simply put, The Uprising has set a new bar for professional development.

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