A Leaders Retreat Preview with Mike Grebb

We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about the Cablefax Leaders Retreat lately, and for good reason. After all, this private, off-the-record event in Amelia Island, FL, on April 30 and May 1 is completely different than anything else in the industry, and it’s especially curated for senior-level executives who want to future-proof the business and leave with incredible takeaways. Cablefax Editorial Director Amy Maclean sat down with Publisher Michael Grebb to get the scoop on this unique executive experience.

How is the Cablefax Leaders Retreat different from other industry events?

First of all, this is not a conference—at all. Everyone is a full participant in a series of interactive discussions among peers, carefully curated for the people in the room. We know we’ll be talking about technology, regulation, competition and the future of the content and broadband business—but the specific areas of focus will depend on our participants.

So what will people get out of the experience?

Our goal is to be different and impactful. Everything we discuss will be designed to help everyone in the room go back to the office better informed and armed with new perspectives and ideas. That’s a difficult mission, and it’s one that traditional conferences seldom achieve because they tend to feature the same talking points projected out to the audience from a stage. Any audience Q&A in these environments tends to be pretty limited, with few opportunities to delve deeper into complicated subjects.

The Leaders Retreat throws the notion of talking “at” people out the window. We have invited some participants to be “conversation starters” for their areas of expertise, but once the conversation gets going everyone in the room is on equal footing. Everyone can comment, ask questions, pose theories and present analysis. Cablefax will facilitate to keep things on track, but we will also step back to let that peer-to-peer magic happen. And the takeaways that come out of this format are sure to be pretty incredible for everyone involved.

Most of the events are jam packed, so how are you ensuring there’s time for follow-up and private conversations?

Easy. By not obsessively jam packing the schedule. We have tailored the content specifically for our participants, so that enables us to be far more efficient than a conference trying to satisfy every type of attendee with concurrent sessions and endless presentations.

In contrast, the Leaders Retreat format enables us to pack more information into a curated hour-and-a-half interactive discussion than most venues could impart in an entire afternoon. This also allows us to build in more time for excursions and networking time, so all of our participants can pow-wow individually and in smaller groups in a more unstructured environment. We’ll have plenty of breaks and even some offsite activities like golf and kayaking to help strengthen existing bonds and also lead to new friendships and business partnerships.

So this is a more casual environment than the typical event?

Absolutely. We like to think of this Retreat as our version of Allen & Co.’s Sun Valley gathering or even a meeting of the minds like Davos. We want everyone to feel comfortable enough to share innovative ideas and take part in the kind of creative collaboration that can make a real difference for their companies, as well as their personal careers. Everything about this Retreat will foster that kind of environment—because we strongly believe that it’s the best way to nurture the most open and interesting conversations.

This is a chance to be part of an elite Mastermind group, with new perspectives challenging all of us to not only think outside that proverbial box—but to get a 40,000-foot view of all the boxes in the universe and understand how everything connects. A conversation about artificial intelligence might lead to one about Big Data, which might lead to a discussion on privacy regulation and eventually to a huge takeaway about the industry’s collective lobbying and marketing efforts. Who knows?! I can’t wait to see where these conversations lead.

How does someone know if they are right for this experience?

Any mid- or senior-level executive with a point of view is perfect for this event. This is really a chance to get yourself in the room with a unique mix of peers who you otherwise wouldn’t spend focused time with. It’s an incredible opportunity to be part of something exclusive and exceptional. I have no doubt that participants in the Leaders Retreat will make new contacts that can supercharge their careers and ensure that they return to the office with fresh, new ideas that impress the board or the boss.

There’s really nothing else out there like this, and we’re proud to put something together that’s sure to make an impact in this business for years to come. Are you curious? Ambitious? Looking to get an edge on competitors? Then you’re perfect for the Cablefax Leaders Retreat.

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