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Billick’s Message Resonates Throughout Response Expo Educational Sessions

Billick’s Message Resonates Throughout Response Expo Educational Sessions

By Thomas Haire

SAN DIEGO — Super Bowl champion coach and current NFL television analyst Brian Billick drew a crowd of more than 600 attendees to the Response Expo 2014 Keynote Address, presented by Havas Edge, on April 29 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The coach of Super Bowl XXXV champion Baltimore Ravens of 2001 kicked off the Expo with a message about relationships, accountability and creating the right mix of personnel to form successful teams and businesses.

IMG_7964_mk_fmt_0“You have to become a chief connection officer,” Billick said during a 60-minute presentation including a wide-open Q&A session. “Remember, people don’t care what you think until they know you care.”

Other gems from the witty and thoughtful former NFL headman included, “Those that won’t are no better than those that can’t’”; “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!”; and a three-step process for communicating with everyone on your team: “Ask, listen and solve.”

IMG_7787_mk_fmt_0Steve Netzley, CEO of Carlsbad, Calif.-based Havas Edge, which sponsored the keynote, says, “As with the keynote speakers from past Expos, Coach Billick’s lesson about how he was able to build a successful organization and culture was insightful. I’m proud to have been a part of bringing another wonderful presenter to Expo attendees.”

Billick wasn’t only working the keynote stage on April 29, though. He was also one of many attendees at the Pre-Show Intensive (sponsored by Dial800) earlier in the day. The event featured a panel of six DR leaders — including experts from marketers like T-Fal and Murad — moderated by Dial800 COO James Diorio.

“The Pre-Show Intensive was excellent, and it was so cool to have Coach Billick there,” says Rick Petry, a long-time DR industry leader from Portland, Ore.

IMG_9101_mk_fmt_0_0The week’s nine educational sessions, which drew more than 550 attendees on April 30-May 1, mixed top marketers — including the Direct Response Marketing Alliance’s 2013 Marketer of the Year finalists themselves — and the key TV network partners who help drive direct response campaigns. Two of those network sessions — one featuring representatives from Viacom Media Networks, Turner Broadcasting, A&E Television Networks and Discovery Communications and another with speakers from DISH Network, DirecTV and Comcast 360 — saw standing-room only crowds.

IMG_9269_mk_fmt_0_0On May 1, a panel made up of six of the inductees to the Direct Response Hall of Fame shared the wisdom of decades of success with a lucky group of attendees in the panel session. At the ceremony itself, the sextet — Chickie Bucco, Tim Hawthorne, AJ Khubani, Collette Liantonio, Tony Little and Katie Williams — was joined by fellow inductees Gary and Mary West and Suzanne Somers. Billy Mays, who passed away in 2009, was saluted with both a moment of silence and a warm round of applause.

IMG_9267_mk_fmt_0“Response Expo was awesome,” says Kevin Lyons, CEO & founder of Opportunity Media in Huntington, N.Y. “Billick’s keynote speech was excellent, and the DR Hall of Fame event was spectacular.”

Liantonio, leader of Boonton, N.J.-based Concepts TV Productions and Hall of Fame inductee, says she and her team were thrilled to take part in the event. “The event was simply first class,” she says. “It was just so well run and had a perfect tone. I was so touched to be inducted and to be able to share it with so many of my friends and colleagues over the years.”