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Editor’s Note: Why Fear Change? Instead, ‘Be the Change’

1 May, 2017 By: Thomas Haire Response

Prior to Sugar Ray Leonard’s stellar keynote address at Response Expo on April 25, John Yarrington, our publisher, took the stage to welcome the Expo’s attendees. Facing a large cross-section of the Expo’s 2,700 attendees, Yarrington challenged the group with an inspiring talk about time, change, and the dreaded status quo — ending his remarks with a plea for everyone to “be the change.”

“Be the change.” By weaving quotes from John F. Kennedy (“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future”) and Benjamin Franklin (“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”) among others into his remarks, Yarrington was not only speaking to those registered attendees assembled for Response Expo. He was also speaking to you, our monthly readers, as well as the hundreds of folks who made it to San Diego in late April and helped fill nearly a half-dozen hotels in the city’s Gaslamp District with Expo-related (but not Expo-affiliated) activity and events.

“Be the change.” It’s a tough line to walk as an event organizer. You work hard to update your event each year and stay ahead of the industry’s curve, and you’re thrilled with those who buy in to support and join you at the actual event. However, you’re less thrilled with those who make it to town during your event but fail to actually support or attend. At the same time, though, you realize that the event has created an annual signpost and location that people flock to — and you know that it will earn positive word of mouth, even from those who make business at those adjunct locations.

“Be the change?” Yes. As Yarrington noted, this Response Expo focused heavily on the rapidly changing “Consumer Journey.” This is because, as he said, “Gone are the days where we — the marketers — have control. In today’s journey, the consumer is the king of the castle.” This focus was part of the change we at Response have taken on — changes to our editorial to better reflect today’s technology and marketers, and changes to the way a three-day event flows to ensure every attendee can make the most of it.

“Be the change.” We’re thrilled that more of you than ever before made it to San Diego during Response Expo. But I urge you to consider Yarrington’s wise words when you think about how the event’s experience can improve in 2018 — and beyond. As he said, “Change isn’t a one-way street.” As we continue to tweak Response Expo — and Response Magazine — we urge those of you who enjoy our efforts from afar to join with us, hand in hand, to be the change that will keep our industry thriving. We all grow stronger when we grow together.

Thomas Haire, Editor-in-Chief
Twitter: @THRants

About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

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