Comprehensive thought leadership consulting for B2B & professional services firms

The State of Our Profession: Field Notes From Our 6th Annual Conference

Where is the thought leadership profession headed in the next few years? Does it have a short shelf life, like many of the concepts that its professionals research, develop, package and market? Or is it a here-to-stay and growing field? And if so, will it ride out a recession and continue providing ample job opportunities for those who have made it a career?

Judging from our interactions with the 114 people who joined us on-site and virtually in our latest Profiting from Thought Leadership conference, we believe the answers to those questions are as follows:

  • Will the thought leadership profession continue to grow, or will it shrink? The 114 participants (including speakers) were our most ever. They were more than four times the number (25) who attended our first event in Boston in 2016.
  • Will a 2023 recession hamper or even decimate it? We believe the answer is no – but only if those thought leadership professionals a) work for company leaders who understand thought leadership’s impact on the top line, and b) are stellar at developing compelling content, packaging it to be captivating to the eye and ear, and attracting buyers who will pay a premium for the expertise revealed in the content.

Our 6th PTL conference, a joint offering of Buday Thought Leadership Partners and Rattleback, remains the only event designed exclusively for the thought leadership profession. We held the latest conference from Nov. 2-4 at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott & Resort in Dana Point, Calif. Our 114 onsite and streaming participants (about half on-site, half streaming) heard 27 speakers over two days. Some 23 of the on-site attendees stayed for a training session on Day 3.

The participants came from a range of B2B firms: management consulting, training, architecture and engineering, IT services, accounting, research, software, executive recruitment, and universities, among them.

They heard from thought leadership professionals at (in alphabetical order) consulting and IT services powerhouse Accenture, global staffing services giant Adecco, strategy consultancy Boston Consulting Group, strategy firm Bain & Company, Big Four consulting and audit firm Deloitte, geographic information systems leader Esri, leadership trainer FranklinCovey, research king Gartner, architecture market leader Gensler, communications firm strategist Horn Strategy, marketing platform provider HubSpot, consulting and cloud services stalwart IBM, Indian IT services star Infosys, global consulting kingpin McKinsey, market and thought leadership researcher Phronesis Partners, podcasting production star Pushkin Industries, HR gurus the RBL Group, cloud CRM leader, climate change activist Speed & Scale, and cloud services firm investor Tercera.

They heard from speakers from the host companies — Buday TLP and Rattleback — and mingled with people from our two sponsors, Phronesis and Turtl. And they learned from one another, with many attendees remarking happily that they had finally found their “tribe.” They left with new connections and a stronger understanding of their profession and its best practices.

Many thanks to all our speakers, attendees and sponsors for helping us put on our strongest conference yet. We greatly appreciate your support. And we’re here to continue making thought leadership a powerful capability in B2B firms, and a rewarding profession for the people who are part of it.

Visit our Profiting From Thought Leadership site to watch a highlight reel from our 2022 conference. 


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