Reflections from the best marketing retreat ever

marketing retreat

Uprising alumni help make newcomers feel welcome at the marketing retreat as soon as they walk through the doors! From L to R starting in the back Carlos Oramas, Alex Ledsma, Keith Jennings, Yazmin Sortero, Evelyn Starr, Dan Nestle, Aaron Hassen, Valentina Escobar-Gonzalez, Mark Schaefer, Chelsea Rae Stuck, Heather McKay, Richard Bliss.

Just experienced my favorite week of the year — The Uprising — and I thought I would share a few learnings from this exceptional marketing retreat (year five!) with you.

The retreat featured the legendary Sandy Carter (IBM, AWS), Ed Keller (father of modern word-of-mouth marketing), tech pioneer Robert Christiansen, LinkedIn guru Richard Bliss, branding expert Evelyn Starr, and my genius friend and podcast co-host Keith Jennings.

I attend a lot of events and they’re almost always iterative—”how to do better on Facebook ads,” etc. Meanwhile, in the next 12 months, we will not even recognize the field of marketing. The Uprising is designed to address these cataclysmic changes NOW, build a plan for relentless relevance, and form a cadre of people to support our career journey.

The Uprising marketing retreat is distinctive in many ways:

  1. It’s not focused on “information” — you can get that on Google. It features insight from industry-leading thought leaders. Meaningful, relevant, competitive advantage you can get nowhere else.
  2. The event is co-created. You don’t sit through lectures and pitches from sponsors. We explore the future of marketing in a way that leverages the wisdom of everyone in the room and builds powerful new perspectives.
  3. We learn, but we also refresh. There is time set aside for nature, food, music, conversation, reflection.
  4. The last point of differentiation is difficult to understand unless you’ve been here. I limit the event to 30 attendees. The Uprising creates a bond. When you walk through the door of the forest lodge where we have the retreat, you might feel nervous and even alone. When you walk out at the end, you’ll feel energized, inspired, and supported by 30 new friends. Some have even used the word “transformed.”

From a personal perspective, this is my greatest career accomplishment because I know this event sends ripples of positive change and hope through the people who attend.

To capture some of the key moments from this marketing retreat, I asked Daniel Nestle (who attended his third Uprising) to join me on a bonus podcast episode. Daniel is a renowned corporate communications executive and host of the Trending Communicator podcast. He also co-presented at The Uprising with me on harnessing AI for personal relevance.

We based this new show on the topics covered at the event:

  • Personal relevance and AI (Schaefer + Nestle)
  • The personal branding journey (Aaron Hassen + Valentina Escobar-Gonzalez)
  • The future of branding (Starr)
  • Megatrends from Davos with Sandy Carter
  • Hacking the LinkedIn algorithm (Bliss)
  • From success to significance (Jennings)
  • Word of Mouth Marketing in the Digital Age (Keller)
  • Building brand communities (Alice Ferris + Jason Blanchard)
  • Future of content marketing and social media (A. Lee Judge + Natchi Lazarus)
  • Becoming a resilient leader (Christiansen)

Covering this event in a short podcast unfortunately captures just the tip of the iceberg. Much of the value from The Uprising comes through 1:1  conversations and connecting the dots with the help of 30 new friends over a BBQ in the country, a hike through the forest, or big laughs during the trivia competition.

I hope you’ll experience this remarkable retreat for yourself soon. The next Uprising, held near Knoxville, TN, is October 21-24, 2024. Let me if you’d like to talk to me and learn more.

Click here to listen to Marketing Companion EPISODE 288

A few photos from the April retreat (photo credit – Alex Ledsma) :

marketing retreat

Alice Ferris and Jason Blanchard on building brand communities

Uprising marketing retreat

Evening fun included a private concert!

marketing retreeat

What an amazing opportunity to learn from Sandy Carter, who brought us the top trends she observed at the Davos Economic Forum

marketing retreat

Small conversations build on ideas and create new insights at The Uprising

marketing retreat

Of course I had to say a few final words as we celebrated the end of our time together with a BBQ in the country

uprising marketing retreat

The natural environment and the opportunity to re-energize with friends is an important part of The Uprising experience.

marketing retreat

Word of mouth marketing expert Ed Keller explained the relevant new surprising implications of influence in the digital age

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