that would save our attendees 15 percent off the published room rates,” she said. “We’re not having our event at a hotel, so I didn't have to block out a bunch of rooms in order to secure the venue; I don’t feel like I did a great job getting something out of it for me or for the conference."
Gordon has a traditional format planned for next month’s conference, launching with a keynote speaker, featuring several panel discussions, and holding up to three breakout sessions concurrently, in order to address the needs of both senior-level attendees and the “young women in advertising that want to kind of learn from the veterans.” The final presentation of the day will be a panel of ad-agency leaders “talking about the diversity initiatives they've created within their ranks, what they look like in practice, and how you can do the same,” she said. “I wanted to end with the how-to next steps for the people that are attending.”
Gordon hopes to videotape the event for non-attendees. “I don’t want to put behind a gate everything that was shared,” she said. “I’d like to make it as open as possible. And right now, my goal is totally around securing another few sponsors [in order to fund that]. It’s challenging with a first- year event -- you don’t have a sizzle reel, you don’t have press clippings, you don’t have testimonials. It’s still kind of an idea, and that’s part of its appeal -- it’s a visionary event. But it also makes it a little more challenging for companies that either do their planning way in advance or who want to go with something that’s a little more proven.”
Gordon was at the break-even point when we spoke in June. “Everything will be covered from ticket sales and sponsor dollars,” she said. “But I have dedicated a year of my life to this, without compensation, and so it would be nice to raise more sponsor dollars, so that there’s some kind of compensation for all the sweat and time I've put into it.”
Thinking ahead, Gordon sees The 3% Conference as an event that will be held on both coasts, in San Francisco and New York. “I think it’s such a long-overdue conversation and that we’re just getting it started with this event,” she said. “I want there to be a real, active community around it all year long, through the Facebook community and the LinkedIn group. And then, let’s revisit it every year. We live in a society where there’s so much online interaction, I actually think the kind of in-real-life events are more important than ever.”
For more information about The 3% Conference, visit 3percentconf.com