On June 12th, GumGum’s New York office hosted an Agency Panel Discussion. The panel consisted of seven current GumGum employees with past agency experience. Whitney Graves, GumGum’s Agency Relations Manager, moderated the panel discussion in addition to spearheading the initiative. The original idea for the panel stemmed from a conversation she had with Jeremy Kaplan, in which they realized there is a huge learning opportunity, especially in the New York office, for a large-scale discussion on the agency experience.

Planning began for an agency discussion within the National Sales Call and was quickly formalized to a full panel. In collaboration with Ali Grogan, Abby Bond and the marketing department, the panel discussion grew to include seven panelists—with questions sourced from numerous meetings and departments—and full office attendance from the New York team. “This was for the office, not one team in general, but for everyone,” Whitney explains.

And Whitney would be the person to truly grasp the importance of understanding the agency mindset: she herself worked on the agency side for seven years before moving to GumGum. Agency burnout, lack of sufficient support and the corporate structure of agencies all influenced her decision to move. She was drawn here due to her exposure to GumGum on the agency side; GumGum is a “solution that makes sense,” she says. Describing the transition to GumGum as “eye opening and exciting,” Whitney recalls feeling empowered and supported to make changes, exercise her influence and speak up for her opinions.

Whitney used this empowerment to guide the panel toward her vision. The panel was designed to be heavily conversational, applicable to all teams, filled with a variety of agency experience and centered on the goal of bridging the communication gap across different departments and teams. And Whitney is very happy with the results. Describing it as “very successful,” she says the panel provided an outside perspective on how GumGum compares with competitors and how agencies envision us. Her key takeaway is the importance of educating agency contacts. “They’re essentially a seller as well,” she says. “We need to educate them well and succinctly in order for them to be able to sell GumGum to their clients and brands.”

With the success of the New York panel, Whitney is looking to expand these discussions to other offices, while continuing to encourage the inclusion of every department and team. For a full breakdown of Whitney’s takeaways from the panel, you can read her blog post here

Interviewed by: Lauren Angelini