After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, we’re thrilled to be hosting the 2022 Make BIG Happen Summit from October 20-22 at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, Florida.
On today’s show Heidi Smith, Chief Marketing Officer of CEO Coaching International, previews our signature event, which will be BIGGER than ever with over 500+ CEOs gathering in one place for multiple days of stimulating networking and learning. Previously, the Summit was only open to CEO Coaching International clients; however, this year the firm is welcoming applications for any qualifying CEO interested in attending.
Heidi and our podcast host Steve Sanduski, also share some tips for getting the most out of a conference and reminisce about their favorite speakers at past Make BIG Happen Summits.
Our 2022 Keynote Speakers
“This event has been in the making since 2019,” Heidi says. “We really wanted speakers from the top, people who have successfully exited their businesses for over a billion dollars. We wanted to have some thought-provoking speakers. And we also wanted to hear straight from our clients. What have they gone through? How have they journeyed with us to become as great as they are?”
Our confirmed speakers include:
- Jordan Belfort, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” whose proprietary sales-training techniques and daily motivational speeches are the “stuff of legend”, earning him a reputation as a “motivator without peer.”
- Jesse Itzler, the author of the New York Times bestseller “Living with a Seal.” Jesse is the co-founder of Marquis Jet, the world’s largest private jet card company (which he and his partner sold to Berkshire Hathaway/NetJets) and an owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.
- LaQuita Cleare, an international speaker and renowned public speaking coach who has worked in more than 50 countries across four continents with Fortune 500 companies, public figures, politicians, and YPO. You can listen to LaQuita and Steve discuss the art of CEO storytelling on a previous podcast episode.
- Immaculée Ilibagiza, a Rwandan-American author and motivational speaker whose first book, “Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust,” is an autobiographical work detailing how she survived during the Rwandan genocide. She has been honored with numerous humanitarian awards, including the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace.
In addition to excellent food, drinks, and networking opportunities, attendees can also expect the kinds of surprises that the Make BIG Happen Summit is known for. Heidi isn’t giving away any secrets, but she promises “entertainment, political figures, all kinds of really fun, interesting stuff.” If past Summits are any indication (see below), the wait will be well worth it.
How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Conference
In our Making BIG Happen System, continuous learning is one of the CEO’s top five responsibilities. To make the best use of your valuable time, attending our Make BIG Happen Summit or any other conference shouldn’t be a passive experience. Try to incorporate these tips from Steve and Heidi into your itinerary:
- Identify what you want to learn. Review the conference’s agenda ahead of time and identify which sessions you want to attend and what you’re aiming to take away from those sessions.
- Reach out to attendees you’d like to meet. Many conferences provide an attendee list or an app to help you navigate who’s who. If there’s anyone on these lists you’d like to connect with, try reaching out via LinkedIn or another social network to arrange a meet up. To increase your likelihood of connecting, be specific: “I’d love to talk to you for five minutes about X.”
- Step outside of your space. CEOs from different industries often approach common problems and opportunities from unique angles. Hearing from or meeting diverse CEOs could spark an unexpected connection that will lead to your next BIG idea.
- Take notes. Whether you carry a notebook or feed all your thoughts straight into your phone, note any ideas that really resonate with you, as well as some general takeaways from sessions you attend. Schedule some time when you get home to review those notes and see if there are one or two ideas you’d like to include on the agenda for your next leadership meeting.
- Invite your c-suite. Many of our CEO coaching clients bring their CFOs, COOs, and Head of Sales to the Summit. We’ll have dedicated breakout sessions for leaders in these roles aimed at enhancing the quality of your company’s entire leadership team.
- Connect with your coach. CEO Coaching International clients who plan on attending the Summit should make sure your coach knows you’re coming and ask if they have any networking suggestions. A CEO can never know too many other CEOs and our team is happy to facilitate introductions.
Highlights of past Make BIG Happen Summits
Sandra played Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway for 10 years in 1,500 performances, a record for a leading lady. But it was only after she stopped trying to “act” and learned how to be her authentic self that she won the role. Her presentation ended with a surprise duet with her husband, Ron Bohmer, whom she met while he was playing the Phantom. It’s not every day you see a room full of hardened CEOs dabbing their eyes.
Netflix’s former Chief Talent Officer, Patty is famous for designing the company’s often-imitated “culture deck.” Patty told a story about being interviewed for her position by Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings. Hastings asked her, “If you were to come work for Netflix, what kind of mark would you want to make?” And Patty replied, “I’d like Netflix to become a great company to be from.” That’s a goal all CEOs can share. When other executives see your company on an applicant’s resume, they should assume that person is amazing because they worked for you.
Former CEO Coaching International client Sarah Dusek co-founded Under Canvas, a glamorous camping (“glamping”) company, with her husband Jake. The determination that they both showed to overcome some early obstacles was both inspiring and relatable to so many of the other CEOs in attendance. But after growing the company into a success, Sarah and Jake revisited the first Make BIG Happen question and asked themselves, “What do we want?” With a renewed sense of clarity, Sarah and Jake doubled down on our system, and within a year they sold Under Canvas for over $100 million at a 25X multiple of EBITDA.
A client of CEO Coaching International, Kerry likes to joke that her industrial cleaning company, StoneAge, makes “squirt guns on steroids.” Her personal story of overcoming addiction and starting her march to the top from the ground up was so powerful that we had to invite Kerry back to this year’s Summit. She’d also be a great person to talk to if you’re interested in ESOPs and other profit-sharing models as a means to attract and retain top talent.
Make BIG Happen with Us in Miami!
For more information about the 2022 Make BIG Happen Summit, please click here. We’re opening up registration to a very select group of CEOs who are not currently coaching clients, so don’t wait to apply.
About CEO Coaching International
CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 67.8% during their time as a client, nearly four times the U.S. average and a revenue CAGR of 25.5%, more than twice the U.S. average.