Talking Future Events & Artistic Endeavors w/ Leslie Marshall S6Ep4
Hey there welcome to beer beef and business the business podcast for smart people who appreciate the insights found in a good conversation that guy sitting at the end of the proverbial bar is your host. David J P Fisher that everyone around here just calls. Md Fish. He's an author speaker and business coach. Basically he's a professional talker. So grab a glass of your favorite beverage. Grab a seat and join us for today's episode. Let's see where the conversation takes us. Hello Hello Hello. Welcome back to another interesting conversation with an interesting person today. The part of interesting person is being played by my good friend. Leslie Marshall Leslie is the head of experiential marketing for Morningstar. Try saying that five times fast and she's a hostile a fantastic artist I I love the are that. She's been putting on twitter and instagram feed. But Leslie thanks for joining me today. Thanks for inviting me David. I really appreciate it. Always love talking to you That's that's a good way to make the host. Feel good about himself off the bat. I like that something for all you other guests to learn and you know you want to of course give a shout out to our sponsor for today's episode sketchbook brewing One of my hometown favorites and today. I'm having their snowy owl. Which is a red Ri- Ale and it is delightful so I'll be sipping on that as we go here but let's see here on. Taco. I'll talk about events. 'cause you run some really big events Across the world for Morningstar you also a really involved in a lot of their online digital marketing and with everything that's happened in the pandemic with the Shelter in place in the quarantines. You know obviously a lot of in person events are being pushed back or cancelled. And we're trying to go to virtual events in many cases but Virtual events can be weird right. You're wrestling with this. How how do we make virtual events as useful or at least may not as useful in person events but but not as a deficient as in person event like what are the ways that we can get the same interaction an engagement? From virtual assets. When you think about what I love to come to an event whether that's a large conference or just a meet up with someone of your groups about a favorite topic. We all want that human connection. That's why we shop in a live event. There's so much digital content available now in order for a live event. Stand out. It really has to have a lot of value around personal connections and meeting the people that you want to connect with our learn from and so when we think about how the event landscape is changing in the in the face of this condemning for me personally as extroverted also descend loving event. It's been so hard to not have the personal interactions that to having every day as well to my job and just my day to day life so right my team and I are really thinking about what what's important to our client. What's important to the attendees? And what do they want when they come to a live experience and so As I mentioned the live the personal connections being able to meet the different speakers being able to have yet whether that's Cuban anytime with those speakers as well as a chance to meet each other so when we're looking at our virtual events and we don't have anything set in stone yet but we are looking at adding virtual components on two even the live events. That were rescheduling for later. This year looking at opportunities that will allow attendees to connect with each other. Maybe it's through different chat rooms or like zoom type function where they could all have a happy hour or you're online you can see people face to face. We think these things should be facilitated so that there's An opportunity to ask questions. And it's maybe more facilitated conversation we've thought about roundtables with our own Morningstar analysts roundtables with speakers so in addition to hearing from apple livestream session from speaker. We would love to have something like the Speaker Session. Afterwards where people could ask questions right with all the great technology to that's available. That's one of the fun things that's been exciting about how the technology has helped people connect during this pandemic because otherwise we would just be off in our little bubbles trying to sort everything out and we're looking at mobile APP licenses and figuring out. How could the mobile APP that we already use at our live events via compliment to virtual event? And again all right it's the networking and connections content. Sharing that's available through a mobile APP. We already used so really taking advantage of the technology. We have to do more to help. People connect I think is key and then simple things like one of the reasons. People come to our live conferences. Is it helps them fulfill ce credits so making sure that if people attend a session online. They're able to submit though sessions later to their accrediting organization to get the C credit so really thinking through. What's valuable the customer? And how to bring that through into over Jill because just watching videos online is not no you might see one or two sessions. That are really interesting. But that's not going to bring you back. I think over talk. Yeah right and that's really interesting because one of the thoughts I've had is in this. Is I think even beyond or let's say it preceded A lot of the events being cancelled because of The pandemic is content is is almost getting a kind of meaningless and that's always a little harsh. Maybe but I just think of for example webinars and I host a lot of webinars. I'm speaker on many webinars. It's not to devalue them but there's so many out there that if you're running a and they fulfill kind of I think an important function in some ways. Their function is the content. I WANNA learn how to be better at acts. I WANNA learn how you just platformer Speak a lot on sales in Lincoln and all that kind of good stuff. But what actually propels people to put in the effort of going to invent? It's it's not the agenda. Allot right the I get to be in a room full of bunch of my peers and not only have conversations that I'm planning on with spew lowry. No but almost kind of that serendipitous event. I mean one of the things I love about. Events is literally who I have lunch next to have had great conversations and built relationships based on. Oh we're getting coffee at the same time in the the hall between sessions. How have you seen anything? That kind of helps replace that that. Those interactions I you mentioned Kinda like virtual roundtables which is kind of interesting Is there anything else you've seen? That has allowed people to do that. We'll again I think About roundtables you talk about a coffee break one of the ideas. We thought to as we can schedule. Coffee Break Similar to the online video parties that people are having with their friends and family or coffee break announced time a time to take a break and that we would we would facilitate some type of interweaves for people. Interact like it'd be focused on topic ways for people to introduce themselves so a lot of the virtual platforms. That were exploring. Have these capabilities where you can establish these connections and give people a chance to talk and have those you know kind of unexpected connection points. Ride that Morning Star hasn't used for our events specifically but one of the technologies. I'm interested in Company called brain date. They do the settlement of live events. Where you can schedule you can put in. These are the topics I'm interested in talking about. And then the the programming matches you up and you have a brain date with someone that you might not know or maybe yeah. I love that idea that concept so I think those types of technologies help people meet each other in unexpected ways. I think we'll continue to be really valuable. Even ack with US pandemic slows down our looking for ways to reconnect. I do think Digital digital collection points that bring forth almost alive. Experience will be really valuable. Yeah and I think something that you said which is important this idea of facilitation because and this happens in the offline world going to an event people it can be awkward or they might be. Shire it it can be. I feel pretty comfortable in in a group of people but for example. I've been to your Chicago. Conference the Morningstar Investment Conference at such Kogyo. It's McCormick place. It's huge. It can be really intimidating to walk into that room. If you don't know anybody right. And so you're right. The idea of having facilitated ways to help people get past that awkwardness. And that's something that I've been talking to people a lot about even as far as rank training on. Hey here's how you have a good conversation with somebody. You don't know that well right because just because it's easiest zoom call with pretty much anybody be necessary going to jump into a really comfortable conversation right. It takes a little while but if you know that this person's interested in sustainable investing they volunteer with a local organization and they also have clients in a certain niche. If you knew a few points about them it would be easier to get going into conversation so thinking about ways that we could surface that for ten days are a lot of lot of the different quite that team. Now we're going to be working on us. We plan can come up with our contingency plans for the fall right and and I love that as you said the idea of going. Hey We know if we appeal together that have a few shared common points of interest and then kind of help shepherd the conversation in the beginning and then you can let people take it over each other and I think it's also interesting this idea. You've kind of mentioned something about even beyond twenty twenty where we're going through this odd pandemic and then we don't even know what the kind of the return to quote unquote. Normalcy will look like but in some ways. What will be interesting is even as we get back to. You know in person events. I think what we are seeing is that there's a strong value and desire for the in person world right. I I think anybody who's afraid of us going completely digital after a couple of weeks just having zoom calls. You're like give me a copy something but but I think it is kind of breaking down the barriers between like often an online in really instead of some of these digital components being like cutesy little add-ons on the APP at two alive experience. It they going to become more integrated crazy and think no. I don't think so. I think there's so many opportunities where this technology will help us. Different technologies will help us bridge between live and digital experiences. So you go to a live event. You can take that experience home. Maybe rewatch session. Maybe reconnect on some different types of on the platform Through different media. So I do think this does escalate in A. There's been a lot of this development is technology development with all these different tools but I do think the pandemic is bringing those tools to the forefront and forcing us to really think through. What do we want our digital experiences to be right How do we want to connect with people and I think after this pandemic winds down it will still help us bridge that gap between the time? Maybe that we see people that we've met at conferences. Help US bridge the gap between different learning opportunities that we WANNA explore at a conference that maybe we missed out in the live experience. So I'm really excited about the potential that technology can really bring to live plus virtual events. I think really. I think it will really help actually enhance the live experience. That much more and then I think for people who may still be nervous about traveling still gives people a chance to connect in an environment. That feels safer them where they're still learning connecting with people And we have just have an opportunity so many more people that way. So there's a lot of things I'm really excited about in terms of opportunities even the face of a lot of uncertainty right right. Well you just mentioned like the idea of having Kind of meet the speaker like I think of even what I've been doing. The last couple of years now is most of my speaking engagements. I always have a file while Webinar container. It right where Amadou's message and then in the next couple of weeks You know we'll do like forty five minutes. Our webinar removes attending. They can ask questions especially since a lot of what I speak on. Tends to be very kind of actionable. Practice off you know. Hey how did it work? But you just made me think. Like how cool would it be if you had you had an APP for your events and with Within that you could sign up that you went to. This breakout session or saw this keynote speaker and then almost like within the APP there was either later after the conference or even like a happy hour that at four thirty the speaker will be on answering questions at the event doing a livestream And you ask them you know. And that's kind of like the and part of it when I hear a speaker. I'm always like okay. I don't ask this in this in this in this or I want her to tell me about that more debt. That's actually really. That jazz is me up. That's pretty cool. Yeah I think he's opened up so many more possibilities to learn connect with people in ways that you wouldn't have been possible before speakers other professional. They're busy This just give them other touch points to connect with an audience connect with people that are interested in learning from them in in new and interesting ways. We've also been looking at ways to bring people to conference through virtual reality headset. That's something I've been reading more about looking at how it'd be cool you really do with immersive quality of Vr. You would feel like you're there really cool expiration in in that realm as well so except for you know that you have access to really good coffee going. You're catching me. He gets good. T sit down pop those on well and you guys you've done South with kind of augmented. Vr stuff. Before having you not necessarily for live virtual events but just even for we have working with clients. What kind of stuff have you done with that so far so far twenty? We're entering our third year of using augmented reality and virtual reality. That seems like a long time and in each year. That leads are trying new things. We're always looking at what we're what is the data. Tell us about these different experiences himself with App last year. We launched a functionality within Morning Star magazine so not only at our conferences. Can you get some interesting augmented reality experiences with the magazine on you can look at enhanced data global markets parameter which shows the impact of? What's happening in the markets day? Today you can see that actively today five years from five years ago ten years ago. Really with augmented reality in this live. Data feed you can see version of this map through the mobile device. Also see supplementary content so read an article from one of our analysts. We've got complimentary video that you could watch through the air so we just are trying to think of ways to add value to to printed content that you send it to print. It's done but with augmented reality can add different types of content experiences right and then the other piece that were exploring with virtual reality this year. We're developing virtual reality game called sustainable city where you'll get a series of investment choices and you'll be able to see how your investment choices impact have an impact on environmental social and governance factors related to your investment and see how that what that does to a city or or community and positively negatively. And you can make decisions like I don't WanNa continue invest in that company had a bigger negative impact on the community that I realized or this investment is not performing well and so you've pullbacks you can kind of manage your portfolio and really see the impact that you're having with these different. Ese Risk Factors and we do plan on debut in that game. Now we've push- conferences into the fall. Our plan is still to go forward with about using a game in Mumbai India London Sydney Australia and Chicago goal and we last year was the first year that we did this. Global Rollout with the virtual reality experience in the result of people. Put that headset on. And they're taking somewhere else they. There's a real wild factor related to their learning about investment serve making investment choices and having fun along the way and I think that's one of the really great aspects of VR. Is You people can have have a great experience at also just adds? They're learning about a topic whether that's investing or cooking or or gaming there's a lot of different so many different applications for virtual reality right Like we said there were it really seems at. It's another slash easier way of understanding the data understanding information. I think that goes back to even the idea of bringing that into events. Yes you can watch a live stream video a two dimensional video but when you start to put Three D. nature of being there. Yes obviously artificially but it. It just kind of gives you more information it lets you process things in a different way. Yeah really elevates experience in a whole new way because VR is immersive. You're right in that environment when he put that headset on so does really change. What your experience is all about. You are there. Your mind. Thinks you're there and that just enhanced as what you're learning how you experienced that content information that you're receiving even opportunities to connect with people through the are so that there are so many really awesome possibilities that saw things that were exploring and make make my job even in the middle of feels like all these events are being canceled. One of the exciting things is a little bit overwhelming. Okay what what's the game? Changer hadn't WANNA keep innovating in this environment right well. That's what happens when you have a title like marketing you get to do. Everything is fun. I everyday's is a new challenge. And it really speaks to. I really curious I love to learn new things and loved and understand how things work and it had to think about. How do we make this a great experience for our clients? How do we make them just really help them solve a problem with their business? How do we get them excited about being part of something that Morningstar's put together? How do we help empower investors? So I it's it's a super fun fun role in changing everyday. Well and I know that you always enjoy a new challenge. You took up Imagine this up top but you you actually took up arch kind of a couple of years ago right this. We really kind of dove into classes again. You know I I come from a really artistic family by my dad went to art school of before he decided he had to get serious and get a real job. My Mom and my grandmother artists. My mom designs quilts a wonderful seamstress. Grandmother was our teacher. I grew up surrounded by really creative family members. And wasn't there's nothing wrong. There's no type of wrong our in our family we could. I was allowed to try things and so I had been meaning to get back to just drying sketching and I already had been doing a lot of photography work and so I I am already starting to have a sabbatical. It's Every four years we get six weeks off paid time off and not nice yeah. It's an amazing benefit and we're allowed to do whatever we want with that time and so one year I decided to get back into taking our classes and so I took a class at the art institute of Chicago. They offer lots of different types of sketching classes. And I think the hardest part for me because I like to do things really well. I think the hardest part for me was upsetting. You know sketching something like this is crap like this is anything that I looking at and so but being uncomfortable learning to be uncomfortable with cocaine your learning like it's been as I am that I was learning okay. You don't know how to sketch because this is a new skill for you. We haven't done this in a really long time and one of the things I loved about. It was letting go and not and not worrying about whether something was good or not and then the other piece was once. I got going and sketching that our it happen. Who WERE MY MIND would go? But it felt so freeing to just explorer are exploring try might might skills at something and then as my skills developed. It was fun to see like well. Look I've learned. I've learned so much and that actually looks like a bird not tomato. Yeah if it looked like a bird tomato. That'd be okay right right. So it's really freed me to feel more confident about exploring ideas and Being comfortable with not to go doesn't right now with the quarantine going on our my artists teacher. She reached out group of us to say she was going to start an online sketching group. Every Thursday she sends out the instructions Instructions for the sketching time people share on facebook and she set up a private facebook. Oh cool dribbling with now is mice again. It's been awhile. I'm kinda rusty with my sketches. So everyone's hearing this amazing sketch work like really great. Like hidden are people that are just so talented and I look at my sketches on facebook. Both people there aren't working so much better about that goes against the spirit class while I'm working on getting the guts to post my terrible sketches this week. You you should you gotTa Post Your Tomato. You know it's amazing how much you're talking about technology in the professional space and I. I really do feel that. The damage has really. I think helped people understand. That technology has a place while at the same time. Really reinforcing our desires people to be in relation with other people physically right to be out in the world. Whether that's at your office. You know I think a lot of people are realizing working from home. Isn't necessarily all. It's cracked up to be a good for some people but a lot of people. I've talked to get back to the office. I like seeing my colleagues my clients. My Co workers. You know being out in you know even for me. I don't mind working from home. But Man I could use a coffeehouse frightened now just to look at some different something different than these four walls but it's also saying like what technologies allow us to do kind of on a personal level. I mean my family is kind of scattered almost literally around the world and we had zoom Bingo the other day you know my my mom to see all the grandkids or you know. I love this idea of a facebook classroom or I have friends who are Zuma. Instructors in the gyms are close and so they're like hey. I'm going to be doing Zuma class in my basement. Just for the fun of it or you on a donate something. That'd be great but I'm GonNa do it for an hour and I had a friend who doing that I saw in her class. She had like ninety people like Marines. Can you imagine many people showed up your class? Like that's what I like about. Some of the online things people doing stuff in their homes and even seeing my colleagues in their home settings we gotta bring down the wall and a little bit right like Rome vulnerable when we're in our homes re-showing outside of ourselves you know. I've seen a lot of vulnerability with colleagues who are trying to also home school their kids and keep their keep up with their children's school lessons and my son has made it onto some of my linked in live sessions. Were all dealing with. Hey this is my real life and this is really me. This is what I look like when work out my basement or this is what it's like when my kids are having a meltdown. Seeing I think art were being in a way this being vulnerable showing more of our real selves which I think is really interesting because it's easy to go to work and like have the scenario of what's going on in my life at home and you is to that we are in a more vulnerable place and I do think the way I seen communities. Come together to help people you know. Essential workers don't have the option of work from home. I've been thinking about that a lot in. How do you help essential workers? How do you support people who bag groceries and are the nurses in your neighborhood? Who are helping Save lives. It's really shifted. Even how I think about the people I interact with in regular times right and I've I've actually written some some pieces on this idea that we are all interconnected you know. Sometimes it's very it can be easy to dismiss it as this kind of whoo idea. Oh Yeah we're all interconnected whatever but We we really are you know. And there's this wonderful image is actually from Some Buddhist writing ancient Buddhist writings very old. It's called Andras Net in India's net is incident net that hangs above. It's like a palace but at every there is a jewel and every jewels reflected in every other jewel right. It's kind of this full description of the fact that we all are reflections of each other right. Even your point about the people at me obey groceries for me. It's been I think what we were realizing are essential people that make our economy. Run are often ones at maybe. Were not given the respect. All this happened And you know I say this a lot during the time you know whether it's on a Webinar or linked to live session Ao. Hey to make sure that you're thinking those people definitely the healthcare workers but also just the delivery drivers the person who works at Walgreens the cashier because they're scared is all of us are and they're they are going to work. You know maybe there. I'm hoping and humans are sometimes resistant to to learning lessons. But hopefully were We'll have a better appreciation of how connected. We really are to each other. Help seven I think it can start with just making the decision to recognize that connection so I think everyone like each person. Doing their part sounds corny. But we can make a lot of change. Have a huge impact. So I do think there's opportunity to reach out to our communities and be more connected even what feels like a disconnected world right now no absolutely and and I think even kind of going full circle to to what we started talking. Emma like why did we go to professional conferences? Which technically are about work but You know it's really about the human connection right. It's about us as people showing up into space with other people and connecting with people and so maybe a great reminder to bring some of that vulnerability necessarily bring with you feel about ours is because they're like wait. I get two days away from my kids grade. I'll take a little break but just recognize that everybody. We are engaged with even the professional sphere. I mean they've they've got those home lives right Moreno. Eventually we are going to get back into the swing of a new normal whatever that is but we aren't going to be all working from home and you know the more we can do to remember the lessons the better exactly well this. This sounds like a pretty good place to kind of wrap things up. We haven't had a chance to about beer but I think we've gone into a completely deep place that any good pub conversation gets into This has been perfect. Lese always ask my guests at the end of the show. What's one piece of advice that you give to someone to help them have a better day? Today there's a couple of things I think. One thing I a piece of advice I always tell. People is just always be curious especially like right. Now is a great opportunity to really. Have you always wanted to learn how to cook or have you always wanted to learn how to do yoga? Do you WANNA learn to draw so always be curious and even in times where it feels like. There's so much happening. Is there an opportunity to learn something out as we talk? Talk a lot about technology. I would never have described myself as a technologist or being even very good at technology but My career in my work even today. You know it's kind of forcing me to well. It's fear that let's figure out what our opportunities are continually help assault this deliver a new interesting experience of being curious for me has been a huge career life spark because it's really is the start of something new and started so many new opportunities and then. I always say a priority. I when I get up is Florida helped me be a good leader and just helped me Good problem solver and it. Kinda sets the path for my day. It does doesn't mean every day goes right. Somedays learned later is also learning the hard stuff you know. I get blessed. Were really difficulty. I get to navigate through but you know I always ask that I get set on the right right path for that day in that studying your day with an attention I think is is the key to just every getting started on the right foot. Every day is a much better shot at things going. Well these responding well when things don't go exactly great. Thanks for sharing that Leslie if you wanted to follow up. What's the best way for them to get in touch with you? All social media so at Leslie. Marshall is my twitter. Handle the as important Leslie Marshall is a broadcaster on Fox. A little different will different than me But sometimes you get each other we get tagged in each other's tweets mersal. I also am always open to messages through Lincoln and again my my accountant like Dennis. Leslie Marshall People through social awesome. And we'll make sure we put all those links in the show as well Leslie. Thanks for joining me. And while we've been talking I've enjoyed my snowy owl from sketchbook brewing. The IT really there they make fantastic beer and more importantly they are fantastic people but you can find them throughout the Chicago land area. They've started to branch out and what I'm saying is if you are not listening to this in the Chicago land area toy. Okay go find one of your local breweries Or local distilleries even local wineries. If you're in the right part of the country and help support them either small businesses and for awhile. It will be hard to be a small business in this economy but we can take care of each other as Lesley. So eloquently pointed out in that can be valuable so go buy a six pack from them. from sketchbook and thank you so much for joining us on this episode. If you WANNA give me some feedback WanNa Chat Find Lincoln at Defense Rockstar. And we'll talk to you on the next conversation here on beer. Beats Cam business by? Thanks for stopping by. You can find show notes and links in this episode at fear beads and business dot com. 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