For the third year in a row, Dom & Tom had the honor of being named as one of the 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America. Four of our lucky D&T team members were able to attend the prestigious Inc. 5000 Conference & Gala. This year the conference and gala was held at the J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, TX, home of the Alamo, the famous River Walk, Texas longhorn cattle and finger-lickin’ good barbecue. The three-day event included education sessions, amazing speakers, networking events, a tailgate themed night culminating with a glamorous black tie gala honoring all 5000 companies.
One of the highlights of the event was when our very own Associate Director of Marketing, Whitney Meers, and our Content Strategist, Alice Fountain were able to participate in the Inc.edu “Brand Story and Customer Experience” course lead by Hilary Folger, partner and brand strategist for Lippincott. In this interactive session, Whitney and Alice were each paired up with another individual attending the course and were asked to review their partner’s current and/or future brand strategies. The goal was to help one another enhance their customer experience, make an impression and evaluate how to best create a lasting brand experience.
The strength of a brand platform can be tested by applying the following criteria with both internal and external audiences.
- Does it reflect and support customer motivations?
- Can it drive choice and differentiation in the market?
- Is it grounded in today’s core strengths?
- Will it drive key business metrics?
- Does it inform new possibilities for the business?
- Does it inspire and guide the employee culture to deliver?
- Can employees and customers understand and retell it?
- Is it directive enough to inform our customer experience and our innovation?
A breakout session that Alice attended was “What’s the ROI of Your Company’s Culture?” moderated by Jon Fine, executive editor at Inc. with speakers Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO, LaSalle Network; and Sherry Stewart Deutschmann, founder and former CEO, LetterLogic. This session emphasized the importance of valuing every employee in an organization and showing them that not only are they important to the success of the business but that they are part of a greater community.
- Guard your culture.
- Transparency is key.
- Connect with people.
- Take care of your relationships.
Not to be forgotten was the keynote speaker for the weekend, the one and only, Tony Robbins, who held an over 2 ½ hour masterclass for all of the conference attendees. Tony explained how leadership is a skill and what it really takes to have an impact on your business and life. He taught everyone that there are two master skills of life; 1. The Science of Achievement and 2. The Art of Fulfillment. The idea is that you have to have a vision that is larger than your life and understand that success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.
By the end of the masterclass, the room was roaring with people standing on their seats, cheering and overwhelmed with motivation. He truly is a “motivational speaker” and the desire to implement his suggestions and tools as soon as you walked out of the ballroom was apparent in the smiles and joy seen on the faces of everyone who attended.
With 5000 people on the Inc. Fastest Gowing Companies list you can only imagine the amount of people that attended this once in a lifetime event. The attendee list included an array of people from industries such as business, financial services, consumer products & goods to health and food & beverage industries. The D&T team coincidentally had the pleasure of having lunch with the #1 company on the 2016 list, Loot Crate, their Co-founder, Chris Davis and his team. What does it take to be #1 on the list you ask? Well, Loot Crate had a 3-year growth of a whopping 66,789% and 2015 revenue of $116.2 M. It was a pleasure for the D&T team to not only discuss how they got to where they are today but about their business model in general. Loot Crate is a monthly subscription box that is in 35 countries, it is a box filled with collectibles like a Back to the Future hoverboard replica and a Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure T-shirt and even a Harry Potter box that has to be vetted by J. K. Rowling herself.
Drew Papadeas, our Director of Business Development and Sergio Aguirre, our Senior Sales Strategist connected with an amazing young and intelligent man named Shan Patel, who is the Chief Operations Officer for Renogy, a renewable energy company that prides itself on supplying the highest quality solar products on the market today. Shan was attending the conference solo to represent his company, who was listed as #444 on the 2016 Inc. 5000 list with a 3-year growth of 864% and 2015 revenue of $18.9 M. Luckily, Drew and Sergio were able to convince Shan to join our table for the gala and a night of entirely too much fun was had thanks to his presence.
The best part of the three-day event was that our four D&T team members got to bond and celebrate the past three years successes as well as meet and celebrate with other attendees. A tailgate themed party was thrown by Chase for Business at Knibbe Ranch where guests, were permitted to sit atop a longhorn cattle for a photo-op, enjoy tasty food, live music, s’mores by the campfire and watch fireworks over the ranch.
The conference and gala concluded with a black tie gala where all attendees were dressed to the nines in tuxedos and formal dresses. A four-course meal was served in celebration of this year’s honorees and every single company was read from the Inc. 5000 list. There was a photo booth, dance floor and of course plenty of cocktails flowing. A highlight of the night was kicking off our shoes and joining some of the favorite people we met on the dance floor including the team from Washington DC based social sports management, events and marketing company United Social Sports.
All in all, it was a memorable event and one for the books with a little business in the front and a big party in the back. Congrats once again to the entire Dom & Tom and keep up the great work!