Quarantine Conference: A Retrospective & What’s Next

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We came, we saw, we conquered (from a safe physical distance)! From the comfort of our own homes and deserted offices, Quarantine Conference brought together over 2,000 people from the United States to Amsterdam and even Hong Kong. 

QCon was an interactive experience that allowed us all to step outside of isolation for a moment to connect with each other and learn how to keep ourselves and our businesses going and positioned to take advantage of the underlying potential presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

“…it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.” – Leon C. Megginson [Often misattributed to Charles Darwin]

Adaptation is at our core and it’s imperative at this time that Hawke Media, our partners, and our associates make it possible for those in our network to have access to tools to facilitate change. 

Consider this piece a hub for all that are seeking to become change-makers for their business to restore, maintain, or enhance their livelihood. Below, you will find essential takeaways from each session of Quarantine Conference:

SXSW Panel: Blazing Trails

Quarantine Conference kicked off with a panel we resurrected from this year’s canceled SXSW in Austin, Texas. We brought together a group of heavy-hitters in the cannabis industry to discuss how far the industry has come and where it’s headed, especially in the wake of COVID-19.

Panelists explored the implications of being labeled an essential business in states and cities around the country, how to advertise and build a strong brand story, and industry trends during and post-COVID. 

Adapting in Crisis

How do you improve the Navy SEAL sniper program? How is that relevant to your business?

NY Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, and former Navy SEAL sniper, Brandon Webb offered viewers some insight into how he (and a group of peers) helped improve the success rate of the Navy SEAL sniper program by helping students train their minds to perform on the subconscious level and the benefits of developing a positive self-image.

Spoiler Alert: The same principles remain consistent throughout other aspects of life. Wherever there is a need for change, adaptation, or growth these teaching will be relevant.

Coronavirus Firsthand: Through the Lens of an Entrepreneur and Survivor

Todd Herman is a man that wears many hats. He is an entrepreneur and he’s worked with top athletes, Olympians, and executives to help them visualize their goals. All of this in addition to surviving a skirmish with Coronavirus himself while having to lead a company through it.

Todd took viewers through the benefits of developing an alter-ego to help you become who you need to be in order to succeed.

“…through this power of using an alter ego, what I want to just show you really quickly here, is that we can actually unshackle ourselves from the emotional response that can cause us to make poor decisions, and step into a more powerful model of how we want to be showing up in our current times.”

Fireside Chat with Daymond John

A man that likely needs no introduction, Daymond John, sat down with Hawke Media CEO, Erik Huberman to answer some questions and offer entrepreneurs some guidance in a time of uncertainty.

Daymond built one of the most iconic streetwear brands of the 90s and early 2000s from the ground up. This and more experiences helped Daymond shape his philosophy in business, which is to focus on long-term goals.

Change is a constant and you have to be prepared to meet that challenge when it presents itself.

How Social Distancing and Live Streaming are Bringing Us Closer to Music

Joe Belliotti dropped by Quarantine Conference to talk music with our viewers. As a veteran music marketer, he’s been instrumental in helping brands connect with audiences through music.

Joe presented viewers with a case for the opportunity for artists and brands to use music to reach audiences in an unprecedented and more interactive way through live streaming. Audiences can be closer than ever to their favorite artists in a time marked by physical distancing.

Navigating Your Employees through a Pandemic – An HR Perspective

Hawke Media COO, Tony Delmercado and Trinet SVP of Human Resources, Catherine Wragg met to discuss the importance of HR in guiding companies and shaping the employee response to COVID-19.

Now more than ever, it’s important to lead with empathy and compassion as employees and leadership are afraid, nervous, and uncertain, among innumerable other competing emotions. It’s important to be able to provide as stable a work environment as possible as many employees transition away from the office.

Future of Marketing: The Quarantine Age

If this panel was any better, it’d be a crime. Hawke Media VP of Sales, Scott Taylor and a panel of lauded guests (Jonathan Smalley, Ashley Crowder, John Bree, and Jeff Nicholson) joined in a lively roundtable discussion on what to make of the marketing landscape during and post-COVID.

This session was full of advice and wisdom as much as it was pure comedy as our host went fully off-script for a candid look into how this group of marketing professionals is handling the pandemic.

Remote Experiential

Coronavirus decimated the landscape for live events, but if you know anything about experiential experts, you know they’re resourceful.

Helmed by Jennifer Matthews (GritDaily.com), this panel brought together some great minds in the experiential space to show us how to navigate events when gathering in large groups has become practically outlawed. 

The short answer is a quick pivot to digital. Listen in to see how to craft a unique experience in a crowded space that everyone’s racing to all at once.

Conversation with Anthony Scaramucci about the Future of Finance and Politics

“S.O.O., Stay On Offense”, three simple letters and a strong phrase that perfectly captured the sentiment of our time with Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci. 

We discussed everything from the markets to main street, and of course, we had to delve into politics. It’s not every day you get the chance to sit down with the former White House Director of Communications. 

Female Titans: The Women Shaping Business Post Crisis

Bri Seeley leads an all-female roundtable with leaders from brands that are paving their way in their respective industries and continuing to steam ahead during this crisis. Panelists include: Hillary France from Brand Assembly, Melissa Butler from the Lip Bar, Madeline Fraser from Gemist, Daina Trout from Health-Ade Kombucha & Lauren Kleinman from Dreamday.

Take a look at how these women are leading their teams and building winning strategies to bring their businesses out of COVID-19’s wake stronger than they went in.

Loud Conversation with the CEO Whisperer

Cameron Herold (COO Alliance) didn’t pull any punches with his presentation. He didn’t leave much room for excuses to stop doing business or to continue doing it the same way during coronavirus.

There’s money somewhere and it’s your job to find it. Pivoting your business isn’t a choice, it’s a mechanism of survival. This is a time of opportunity and even now, businesses can look to get a leg up on the competition by leveraging buyouts, according to Cameron.

Brick & Mortar to Online–How This Fitness Expert Reinvented His Business in 5 Days

Curtis Christopherson built a thriving personal training business with employees and brick-and-mortar locations to maintain. He wasn’t left with many options as coronavirus swept through North America causing widespread closures impacting the core of his business.

He had to act quickly and either shut his operation down until he could reopen or create a business plan that would open up new revenue streams. He chose the latter.

Leveraging Partnerships to Build a Community

Building community isn’t only about reaching out to customers. It’s important to look around you at businesses serving the same audience but in different ways. 

Developing relationships with other businesses can enhance what you offer to your customers. It builds trust, displays expertise, and can provide utility for customers.

Our panel, led by Hawke Media’s own Ashley Scorpio and joined by our partners from Klaviyo, Postscript, Trustpilot, & Vari take a deep dive into how businesses can leverage these relationships, including how to build them in the absence of face-to-face meetings.  

Understanding Behavior Change During and Post COVID

What do you do when all of your models are broken? There’s never been a time of such rapid change in recent history. Economies have virtually grinded to a halt.

To help us make sense of what’s going on around us and what it’ll look like in the future we brought together two of the brightest minds we know Micheal Greenberg (CEO of Retina AI) and Behavioral Expert Ankit Shah (CEO of Dopamine).

The habits that consumers and businesses have developed simply won’t work anymore and are already in the midst of a drastic shift. There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, but the other side of won’t look the same after coronavirus restrictions begin to let up.

Break the Internet: How to Utilize TikTok for Your Brand During COVID-19

What is an influencer worth? In a time where people are spending more and more time on their devices in order to connect with the outside world and influencer could be a crucial element to driving traffic to your product and generating sales.

Josh Richards, Michael Senzer, Warren Lentz, and Chris Sawtelle from TalentXEntertainment dropped by to give the QCon audience a rundown of how TikTok works as a newly minted power player in the social media space, including how brands can leverage influencers on the platform successfully.

Operating with Integrity in the Midst of a Crisis

Dan Price, CEO & Founder of Gravity Payments has made headlines for his altruistic approach to building a lasting company culture based on integrity. He raised the minimum wage at Gravity Payments to $70k a year for every employee and has stood by his decision ever since.

In a time when small businesses are hurting, Dan Price leads Gravity Payments with that same commitment to helping others maintain their quality of life. They’re doing whatever they can to help the small businesses they work with and employees at Gravity Payments have even taken pay cuts (voluntarily!) to make sure struggling small businesses wouldn’t be charged more in fees.

This is how to lead with principled integrity.

Thank you to everyone who joined us and continue to check out this page for weekly updates and deep dives into the topics we covered at Quarantine Conference!