Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
"The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge
and the dissemination of truth."

John F. Kennedy

Meet Our Thoughtleaders:
An Interview with
Mike Doane
Gordon Nary


Return to Mike's Webpage

Gordon:   You have a relatively short profile on our Thoughtleader's web. so let's start with some of the key points that you mentioned,  What initially interested you in a career at CadmiumCD?  

  A friend of mine worked at CadmiumCD as a programmer. I was working as an Account Manager for a hydraulic supply and fleet washing company at the time. I wanted to change gears and find a job I could be passionate about. He mentioned that CadmiumCDís consumer-facing websites were outdated and they were talking about hiring someone. I knew a little code, but not too much, so I set my mind to learning HTML, CSS, and Javascript, went on the interview, and landed the job. Lucky for me CadmiumCD co-founders Pete and Michelle Wyatt were impressed by the blog I kept and my ability to learn, so they gave me a chance. I took on a few extra projects (researching marketing software, implementing marketing software, creating marketing strategies for product launches, developing content, etc), and now here I am, in charge of marketing for the company.  
Gordon:   What are your primary responsibilities as Marketing Manager at CadmiumCD?  

  Weíre still a small company (though weíve grown from 15 to nearly 50 employees in my short 3 years here), so I wear a lot of different hats. Iím in charge of writing content, creating effective marketing assets, developing strategies to reach our audiences, overseeing social media and email marketing, buying advertising, creating direct mailers, developing our product websites, and planning our annual users group CadCon, among other things. Itís a lot of fun because no two days are the same.  
Gordon:   What are the three most important marketing lessons that you have learned at CadmiumCD?  

  Good marketing requires listening to your audience and being personal. You have to make yourself available to potential clients and you have to create content based on their questions. Otherwise youíre just going to spam them and make them regret reaching out in the first place. Also curating other peopleís content is crucial. Itís how you get the mediaís (positive) attention and cultivate readers and eventually fans.  
Gordon:   What are some of the primary challenges of using digital technologies in marketing?  

  I would say the technology is there to solve marketing challenges, so there arenít too many. Learning new tools and getting them set up is always tough initially, but once you have them established, theyíre really wonderful to use. Being in the events industry, our software also has some marketing functionality (a scavenger hunt that can be used to connect attendees with exhibitors for example). One of the challenges we constantly see is bad Internet connections disallowing these types of tools to work properly. Itís really a shame that here we are in 2016 and Wi-Fi is still an issue at venues.  
Gordon:   What impact has digital technology had and possibly will have in the future on Face-to-Face marketing?  

  Technology has had a tremendous impact on face-to-face marketing and events, even in the last five years. I actually wrote a white paper about aspects of it called ďThe Most Influential Advances in Event TechnologyĒ. Essentially technology has empowered audiences to connect like never before and engage with content like never before. Itís helped education become more robust and collaborative. A lot of people look at technology with fear. But really itís this amazing tool that, if used properly, can add another layer to conferences and events that people previously couldnít tap into.  
Gordon:   You also wrote en exceptional white paper on The Top 5 Challenges with Exhibitor Floor Plans. What inspired you to address this topic?  

  Thanks Gordon! I wrote that white paper because thereís a real need in the industry right now to understand software and how it can really bring teams together. The beginning of it talks a lot about how digital floor plans can be improved and what event planners ought to look for when shopping for the right tool. Towards the end I talk about how the floor plan shouldnít necessary be divorced from the rest of the conference technology Ė the app, website, schedule, etc. These things should work together to provide attendees with a comprehensive experience, online and onsite. I think there are still a lot of planners out there who donít necessarily understand the technology thatís available to them, so I simply wanted to share some of the possibilities.  
Gordon:   How has the rising threat of terrorism affected US companies on planning meetings?  

  This is one of those things I donít think Iím qualified to have an opinion on. All Iíll say is this: if we let threats like this affect our meetings, our travel, or our lifestyle, weíve given power over to those who intend to frighten and threaten us. We as an industry are much stronger than these threats because weíre about connection and community, and those things transcend fear.  
Gordon:   How has winning PCMA's 20 In Their Twenties award affected the trajectory of your professional life?  
Mike:   It hasnít changed it too much. I love working for CadmiumCD and I love the work I do. I think thatís how you win awards like this. You focus on doing good work and donít worry about the trajectory of your professional life. It shapes itself as people notice the work youíre doing and the value you bring to the table. Thatís the only thing thatís really been affected. More people are noticing my work and thatís great because I want to share ideas with as many people as possible and learn from them along the way.  
Gordon:   When you take hiking trip with you wife Emily, what are some of the paces that you hike?  

  Emily and I love to travel together. Itís a big part of our relationship. We take regular trips to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, to Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland, and we love to go to the Delaware State Parks and hike on the beach trails there. When I won the PCMA award you mentioned above, I brought Emily along to Vancouver with me and we actually went snowmobiling near Whistler Mountain, which was definitely an experience! We also love hiking the trails locally in Harford County Maryland. If youíre ever in the area, let me know and Iíll take you to some cool places. The Disney movie Tuck Everlasting was actually filmed at a local waterfall and rock structure.  
Gordon:   Did Emily introduce you to hiking, or did you introduce her to hiking?  
  We both were hikers before we met, but Iíve always been the more dedicated hiker. I try to get out into the woods at least once a week. I actually grew up a short walk from one of my favorite trails and spent much of my childhood running around the woods.  
Gordon:   What are three top locations to which you would enjoy hiking in the future and why?  
  Iceland because they have no laws restricting where backpackers set up camp (and the scenery is breathtaking), New Zealand because have you seen Lord of the Rings? (breathtaking again!), and the Pacific Coast Trail because itís the sister trail to the Appalachian which I love hiking.  
Gordon:   Where did you attend college?  
Mike:   University of Maryland, College Park.  
Gordon:   What were your favorite courses?  
Mike:   I actually studied Classical Literature and Languages so I donít remember taking too many courses I didnít enjoy. Among my favorites were some Eastern Religion courses, Old Norse language and literature, and those that connected psychology, society, and mythology.  
  You have a secondary successful career as a writer and in writing education.  Could you give us an overview of your some of the writing projects which you are involved?  
  Sure. I build marketing plans for authors and businesses and also do some freelance copywriting and website setup for them as well. Personally, Iíve written three novels, the first of which Iíll be publishing in the summer of 2016. Itís called The Crossing, which you can read more about on my website.  
Gordon:   Any plans to write the great American novel?  
Mike:   Iím working on it!