One-On-One With ITA Group’s Event Sponsorship Program Manager Mark Fisher

ITA Group
ITA Group

Mark Fisher

When operating an event nothing is more important than trusting those you work with. Event teams and their partners spend a lot of time together! Getting to know the people you will rely on throughout the design, planning and on-site operation can make a big difference in your event success.

Today, we’d like to take a moment to share a little more about one of our ITA Group team members. Mark Fisher has been a marketer for over 25 years, and he’s created event marketing plans for some of the largest high-tech tradeshows, meetings and events in the industry.

In other roles, Mark has been able to explore meeting and tradeshow planning, promotions and event marketing in the pharmaceutical industry, associations, franchise and other industries. He was also a marketing manager for the Life Sciences group at Microsoft Corporation.

Additionally, Mark’s had articles published in event magazines and is also an established speaker at shows such as Exhibitor Show, Healthcare Exhibition Association (HCEA), and the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA). He’s also an instructor in the Meeting Planner program at San Diego State University.

What’s your role in the ITA Group family?

Mark Fisher: I specialize in sponsorship with ITA Group as the Sponsorship and Trade Show Manager—even though my background covers more than that. A major goal of my work with clients is to assist them in creating a successful event sponsorship program. Since teaching is one of my passions, not only do I get to collaborate with our clients on many sponsorship related topics, but I am also able to train our sponsors on how to get the most out of their sponsorship packages.

What does this sponsorship collaboration with clients look like?

MF: I’ll first sit down with the client and map out the experience for their sponsors looking at feedback from surveys, talking to some of the sponsors, whatever we can do to understand what they're looking for out of the event. And then I’ll go on a site visit with the client, and we’ll walk through the experience for the sponsor. Designing this sponsor journey is so important to understanding how they are going to give them the ROI they want and also build a long term partner relationship with the sponsor

Have you always been the teaching type?

MF: Along with being an event marketer, I’ve also been teaching a marketing promotions class for a meeting planning certification program at San Diego State University for over 20 years. Not only have I had the opportunity to engage a wide range of students, but working at ITA Group has allowed me to bring to the table that ability to train people and to teach people.

What are your classes like?

MF: Many of the students in my class are people who are in college or have just left college. Though, a good majority of folks are people looking to change a career into the event industry so it’s always interesting to see their perspective coming into it. I get to see tidbits of them as event planners and what they envision meeting planning to be as well as what's important to them. It's so interesting how social media and digital marketing is so prevalent in their minds.

Ultimately, I want people to walk away from the class feeling inspired to try something new or bring something different in to create memorable programs because memorable programs lead to loyalty.

Do you have any example of an event that left a special memory in your mind?

MF: I still remember this one session because I walked in the room and was immediately misted with water. Likewise, as I’m walking down the aisle I noticed the room smelled like floral. During the event, they’d make loud sounds and pop confetti guns and all sorts of stuff during the entire session. I’ll remember that 30–40 minute session for the rest of my life because they were playing with my other senses in addition to watching a PowerPoint presentation.

Have your students taught you anything in return?

MF: I always joke with them that I’m taking away a lot also from the class because they're teaching me. I have them create a marketing plan based on everything they’ve learned in class with the added exception they have no budget constraints—I walk away with great activation ideas and things I may have not thought about.

What should event planners consider as live events make their return?

MF: As we go forward into live events again it is important to focus on thinking about how people are making an investment. We’re going to have to make them more engaging. We’re going to have to make them more relevant. We’re going to have to make them more important and more memorable for them to continue to grow back to where we were before.

Want to get to know more of our experts? Check out this post featuring ITA Group’s Analytics Advisor Anna Boggs.