A Review of BrandTech Planning Day

BrandTech Day Panelists: Kimberly Starks of Blue Scorpion Reputation Management and Immense DC, Roy Hodge of REH Systems Solutions, Stephanie Rollins of ChatBots Decoded, Darius Elahee of Legacy Pointe Telecommunications and (not pictured here) Nina Simmons of Nina Simmons Designs. View the full BrandTech Planning Day Photo Album.

As the owner of an educational consulting company – Cross & Dot LLC – ABC member Heather Robinson noticed that while it was easy to get doors to open for her in the school district space, it wasn’t so easy to do that in the small business community. “One of the things I learned being a full-time entrepreneur over the past four months is that when I say I’m an educator or my background is in education, sometimes that closes doors with other businesses.” One of her goals in 2020 is to uncover ways to open those doors. BrandTech Planning Day turned out to be a great way for her to do that.

The Marketing, Communications, Advertising and Tech (MCAT) Committee of the Atlanta Black Chambers put on their first signature event – a full-on mini-conference called BrandTech Day – this past May and while they plan to do it again in 2020, the team thought it could be great to have a mid-year check-in with Atlanta entrepreneurs. BrandTech Planning Day – held Saturday, November 9, 2019, at the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – was created as a smaller, hands-on approach to give practical, fresh inspiration to business owners through dynamic, expert panelists in the branding and technology arenas plus a workshop portion for attendees to consider their business goals for the year and begin planning out their brand and tech initiatives to get them there.


Heather Robinson, Owner of Cross & Dot LLC

As an astute business owner, Heather already knew that it was going to take some proper brand adjustments to integrate into that small business place. “I was actually really excited about attending BrandTech Planning Day and it absolutely did not disappoint!” Heather said. “I left with a lot of ideas, a lot of ways to frame my goals in branding and technology and it really helped me to focus on what my needs are. So as my business grows, I know that my team is going to have to grow. Roy (one of the panelists) brought this up and it also kicked me in my gut that automation is not only necessary, it’s required.”

Attendees also learned about both SMART and DUMB goals for their business – two elements that MCAT Chair Andrea D. Smith, owner of The ADS Agency, felt entrepreneurs could use to their advantage in 2020. “Most people know about SMART goals,” Andrea noted. “They’re Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound goals. It basically means safe goals. It’s what we’re taught to use in the corporate world to ensure our revenue, profit, etc. numbers are predictable. Public companies are rewarded on predictability. DUMB goals, however, is something most people haven’t really come across yet.” DUMB is an acronym for Dream-Driven, Uplifting, Method-Friendly, and Behavior-Triggered. “This is the stuff our nation was shaped with and great companies were built on. This is ‘aim for the stars and land on the moon.’ The power of DUMB goals lies in the method-friendly and behavior-triggered part. These are our daily habits. Excellence is built on habits.”

BrandTech Planning Day attendees discuss their 2020 goals in teams

BrandTech Planning Day attendees worked in teams to discuss their ideas for both SMART and DUMB goals for their year and how they could incorporate these into their 2020 planning. “Understanding how to pull all this together, plus building SMART goals and those fantastic DUMB goals that I’m now in love with – building all of that to focus the brand of my business around integrating into the small business community was great. It was a fantastic event. Every single panelist gave me something that I could take away, think about and try to integrate into my business, but it was really a good kickstart to get ready for 2020 when it comes to branding and technology. So I’m really excited about everything that I saw,” said Heather.  “I think my favorite thing about this event was the handout. As an educator, I love anything that’s on paper and is going to require me to write some goals down. That was fantastic and I wasn’t expecting that. It was a wonderful experience so if you didn’t get to go, I strongly suggest you get involved because it was a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon,” Heather added.

Save the date for BrandTech Day: May 16, 2020

Attendees can now look forward to BrandTech Day, the one day mini-conference, which will be held Saturday, May 16, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Until then, entrepreneurs can stay connected to the BrandTech initiative and experts via the BrandTech Facebook Group and BrandTech Webinars that will take place monthly between now and BrandTech Day. Entrepreneurs are also encouraged to join the BrandTech email list to keep apprised of these webinars and BrandTech Day announcements.



MODERATOR: Harold Alexander: MCAT Co-Chair, CEO of Underground.App

VIDEOGRAPHER: Patrick Thomas of Edge of the Frame

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Rose L. Lee, Symone Seven

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS: Nina Simmons Designs, The Graphics House