Find Your People at GMU’s GAIN Conference


Among the hundreds of thousands of marketing managers across the country, a unique subset exists scattered around the coordinates of 38 degrees north latitude and 77 degrees west longitude.

Barreling around the lanes of asphalt that ring Washington, D.C. and its suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, these highly specialized marketers navigate the labyrinthine rules and regulations of federal agencies to deliver goods and services that keep the government running.

The elite among them - those who truly find the balance between doing good for the people and for their companies - are known by one name: GAINers.

Attendees of Government Marketing University’s GAIN Conference, to be held this year on October 13 at the Reston Town Center Hyatt, often comment on how the event brings together the best government marketers with vendors and government influencers.

“I love meeting men and women who do what I do,” Jessica Wessinger, Regional Marketing Manager for Public Sector at Lookout, said. "Public Sector marketing is a unique role that only those of us who do it can truly understand and appreciate it."

The public sector is often a mystery not only to most commercial vendors but to the general public as well. Not many people know exactly how specialized you have to be to market to government agencies.

"For most, it can be challenging to work with your headquarters because they simply don't understand our market" Wessinger said. "It's a great feeling to be able to connect to people who have the same challenges that you may also face - being a GAINer allows you to feel part of a bigger picture.

Lou Anne Brossman, who founded both Government Marketing University and the GAIN conference, echoed a line heard often during the event: “I’m so glad I found my people.”

When you work in such a specialized environment, you often have to learn the ropes from people who have done the work before. GAIN gives government marketers that opportunity.

This year’s conference features a keynote address by Asher Strategies CEO John Asher as well as break out sessions to help government marketing pros innovate, accelerate and network.

Smaller sessions include learning how to execute an innovative Agency-Based Marketing government marketing campaign.  GAINers will also learn from engaging government executives who will let you pick their brains about what really happens during the end-of-year buying season.

“Marketing strategies and best practices are never a one-size fits all,” Josie Smoot, Director of Marketing and Communications at IronBow Technologies said. “Having the opportunity to attend events like GAIN and network with peers to hear best practices, share challenges and solutions is invaluable.”

Marketing strategies are evolving just as quickly as the technology they promote. Whether it be new government rules, an expanded view of technology’s role in government or simply a change of administration, even the most savvy marketers can get left behind if they aren’t conferring with other professionals and their government counterparts.

“How we market to the federal government is always changing,” Ginger Kessler, Director of Federal Marketing at Brocade said. “Getting information about how to market more effectively from my peers and from experts is a huge value I get out of the GAIN conference.”

And with that, Brossman hopes the conference can play a big role in advancing a noble mission: Do better marketing to make better government.

To register for GAIN 2017 go to

X-SageJim McIntyre