A behind-the-scenes look at what is basically the world’s best project

For the second year running, I had the pleasure of attending and covering the Inc. 5000 conference for the Inc. Media Content Strategies team. This three-day event is the perfect mixture of education and celebration. The founders behind some of the fastest-growing private companies in America get together to share successes and failures, applaud one another, and learn from an impressive roster of speakers.

Just me (Jacqueline Lisk) exploring the conference marketplace.

This year, the event was held at the JW Marriot Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, AZ. Speakers included Jen Rubio, co-founder and chief brand officer of Away (I appreciated her candor and composure); Amy Cuddy, social psychologist, award-winning lecturer, and author (I am still talking about her presentation); Michael Acton Smith, co-founder and co-CEO of Calm (I loved the way he spoke about his failures, not just his wins); Eric Ryan, co-founder of Method and Olly (he had some of my favorite one-liners of the day); Bob Parsons, founder, PXG and GoDaddy (he charmed the crowd with his unapologetic confidence, as well as his business track record); and Alex Rodriquez, who needs no introduction (yeah, he is polarizing, but he is owning his mistakes and navigating an impressive comeback).

A-Rod speaking with Eric Schurenberg, CEO, Mansueto Ventures

I was there to assist the Content Strategies team and cover the event for our brand sponsor, Lenovo. I helped the Inc. team curate top quotes from each day–a roundup of the most inspiring and memorable moments. The task required me to listen intently and take notes like crazy. With the support of my recording app (I use Voice Recorder) and my editor, I think I pulled out some great lines that resonated with attendees and jived with Lenovo’s brand voice. Lenovo reviewed the short list of contenders and chose their favorites. The Inc. team designed social media cards, and Lenovo and Inc. shared them on social media at the end of each day.

Top quotes example from the #Inc5000

When I wasn’t at a conference session or hunched over my laptop, I got to mingle with entrepreneurs against the backdrop of the Arizona desert. I also got to share a drink and a bite with some of the founders I had written about for Inc. It is always special to meet these people in person. Their stories inspire me, and I feel lucky I got to tell them so in-person.

Shameless selfie with a cactus and a sunset

I love what I do, but obviously, not every project is rainbows and butterflies (or cacti and sunsets). This was a special experience, and I came home invigorated and grateful.

By Jacqueline Lisk

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