The invitation came in an email, smartly worded and to the point, announcing....

The 1st CURAYTOR EXCELLENCE conference in Orlando Florida, and it said....

"We still believe in belly to belly. Our live event is named after the standard that we hold ourselves to each and every day, 'Excellence'. Our sessions are largely hands on in an intimate, classroom style setting. We do not have an exhibit hall. 95% of our attendees are existing Curaytor customers who come to brainstorm, network and mastermind with their peers."

Surround yourself with Excellence for 3 days, receive hands-on practical advice and experience, from people who think like you.... "belly to belly".... Get in early and you have the opportunity to be a part of something special, AND you've got a chance to be in the "FRONT ROW"!

WHERE DO I SIGN UP? This sounded GREAT. There was something about this event that was familiar. I felt like I had already been there, and it hadn't happened yet.

The good folks at Curaytor have been providing MY Tampa Agent marketing, advertising, technology and coaching advice for almost 3 years. If Jimmy Mackin, Chris Smith and Andrew Leafe had their hands in this conference, I knew this wasn't a meeting to miss.

Knowing these guys you gain an appreciation for the innovation, creativity, passion for the latest technologies and dedication to customer service that Curaytor has.

From the beginning of our Curaytor relationship, actually even before .... the "richness and authenticity" of the experience with Chris, Jimmy and the team at Curaytor was something I had known previously.

AND then it hit me!

The FRONT ROW ... at that moment, I was time-warped back to 1980 and the real possibility of getting

FRONT ROW SEATS for the GRATEFUL DEAD at Radio City Music Hall.

Getting tickets to almost any concert in 1980 was easy.... you got in line at your local Ticketmaster ®, and bought what tickets they had when you got to the window.

Not for the DEAD. Jerry Garcia and his Band, it turns out were brilliant marketers. They understood that you grew your fan base one fan at a time. When you attended a Dead Show you were able to put yourself on a mailing list (US MAIL) for the Grateful Dead Newsletter. You'd then receive periodic newsletters, letting you know where and when the band would be playing. These guys understood the importance of taking care of their fans.

To get a ticket, you'd send the Grateful Dead Ticket Booth in San Rafael, CA, a stamped self-addressed envelope with a money order, including a nice hand written note, detailing the show you were interested in. Someone would send you tickets. Being early, creative or just plain lucky, just might get you seats in the FRONT ROW!

This "fan's first" marketing approach and treating supporters to the best seats, was just one of MANY ways Jerry and his mates built a passionate and loyal following (if you're a Curaytor client this may sound familiar).

Sometimes you got great seats and other times you were a little further back. In the end you knew it didn't matter. You were guaranteed to get better seats than anyone buying from Ticketmaster, and the EXPERIENCE was one you would be glad you were there for.

I am fortunate to have been at both events. The Grateful Dead at Radio City in October,1980 (and a few other shows) and the 1st CURAYTOR EXCELLENCE Conference, October 7-9, 2015.

The similarities between CURAYTOR Excellence in Orlando and a DEAD Show(s) doesn't end with getting tickets or with the unique richness of the experience. Here is just a short list of how this Deja Vu experience played out for me.

  • Dead shows had a "FREEMIUM" Business Model. Attendee's were encouraged to "tape" shows. At every show, there were sections set up for the "tapers", complete with electricity and lighting. The powerful word of mouth network that grew the Dead was mostly powered by this FREE MUSIC.
    • Curaytor has been giving content and information away forever! If you are reading this, you've probably been on a webinar, participated in one of Jimmy and Chris's Facebook groups or sat with an adult beverage on a Wednesday evening for the WATERCOOLER collecting "aha moments" and "pro tips" by the bushel-full.
  • the value proposition at a Dead show happened on the stage and in the audience, with whom you were having a unique collective experience.
    • Audience members were expected to be part of the performance and to provide entertainment to other attendees
    • Curaytor Excellence epitomized this ideal. Sessions were interactive, lively and audience participation was encouraged. The afternoon breakout sessions were performance and Real Estate Art, combined.
  • The Grateful Dead taught us to treat customers with care and respect
  • The Grateful Dead were early adopters using Data Base Marketing Techniques and the latest Technologies to reach out to their fans and share their music with their adoring fans
  • The Grateful Dead provided content that you just couldn't get anywhere else.

( ... as a CURAYTOR client, all of this is familiar)


I could go on detailing the similarities between Curaytor Excellence and a Dead Show, and the equally fascinating symmetries between The Grateful Dead and Curaytor. Honestly, the list is pretty long!

Returning home from the Orlando conference, I immediately wanted to re-read, MARKETING LESSONS from THE GRATEFUL DEAD, WHAT EVERY BUSINESS CAN LEARN FROM THE MOST ICONIC BAND IN HISTORY written by David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan.

It was a great book when I first read it in 2010, and reading it again after Curaytor's EXCELLENCE CONFERENCE brought home just how lucky I am to be a small part of 2 amazing communities so many years apart.

Communities comprised of wonderful people with common purposes, collaborative minds and giving souls.

It reminded me that the communities we associate with define who we are. In an era of tweeting, blogging, posting etc., companies cannot force a mindset on their customers. You have got to earn it.

As a Realtor, I am glad to have been reminded of this. In a small and hopefully significant way, we help build the communities that we work in every day. Curaytor and The Grateful Dead know this.

For an old Deadhead, the Deja Vu feelings are quite refreshing and bring a huge smile to my face. Not unlike the smiles you had when you were at a Dead Show. Surrounded by friends, some you knew well, some you just met and some you might see down the road, just not getting a chance to catch up this time.

There was a show to see you know!

Attending one Grateful Dead show, just got you wanting to go to another, and most of us have been to more than a few!

Being at the first CURAYTOR EXCELLENCE Conference, has me looking forward to the next one.... and the one after that.... and the one after that!

If you couldn't make it, and you'd like to make plans to be part of Excellence 2016, ask to be in the FRONT ROW.

I'll be the guy sitting close by, with a smile on my face, humming RIPPLE!

Hey, one more thing ..... in the spirit of the DEAD, I have 3 copies of Marketing Lessons from The Grateful Dead, that I'd love to share with the 1st 3 of you who can find me, and send me a request.... :)

"Let there be song to fill the air"