Fuel Lines New Business Conference 2015

A new business conference for advertising, digital, media and PR agencies

October 8-9, the Music City Center, Nashville, TN

Business development has undergone a major change. A NEW APPROACH is now needed for fueling new business.

  • PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS for positioning, pitching and procurement that will make new business easier.
  • INNOVATIVE INSIGHTS from the best and brightest thought leaders who provide straight talk on the new drivers of new business.
  • WALK AWAY with new business ideas and resources plus a network of new friends from across the world.

New business has historically been a problem for agencies.

  • Most small to midsize agencies have no positioning and no point of differentiation. They look and sound the same.
  • They are often treated as vendors because they lack a positioning of expertise.
  • Most don’t have a target audience thus, no focus for business development efforts.
  • They are their own worst clients, the cobbler’s children with no shoes.
  • No appeal beyond their local market.
  • Forced to use interruption tactics to build awareness.

But, with all of these problems, new business is now much more difficult. It’s made worse by the paradigm shift in business development due to The Great Recession and the empowerment of prospects through social media. Interruptive type tactics such as cold calls, email blasts and direct mail have become ineffective and inefficient.

Rainmakers who were good at new business in the past are struggling today.

There are not a lot of people who have done this job in the past that know how to do it well now, Avi Dan, the founder of the agency search consulting firm, AVIDAN STRATEGIES.

The Fuel Lines New Business Conference will provide 20 top-notch sessions, with inspiring insights from the best and brightest new business thought leaders, who will provide their expertise on the NEW DRIVERS of business development.

This is an event where you can learn, network and leave with all the materials you need to take a new business strategy back to your agency and implement a marketing plan that will grow your business.

Limited Attendance

For a more personal experience, the conference is limited to the first 100 registrants. This will allow for greater access to speakers, sponsors, partners, networking opportunities and a greater sense of community.

Who Should Attend

If you are charged with developing a new business program for your agency, this conference is for you. This premiere two-day conference will include everything needed to create new business success and grow your agency.

The conference is designed primarily for the small to mid-size independent shops with 150 or fewer employees.


Michael Gass
Founder of Fuel Lines Business Development
Consultant, Trainer, Author, Speaker
Bob Hoffman
“The Ad Contrarian”
Author, Speaker and Agency Consultant
Peter Levitan
Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide
Author of ‘The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches
Paul Roetzer
CEO of PR 20/20
Author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint and The Marketing Agency Blueprint

Additional Visionary Presenters

Jaci Russo
Agency CEO at Russo
Speaker and featured writer for Ad Age’s Small Agency Diary and the Talent Zoo

Lee McKnight Jr
Director Of Business Development-Ad Agency New Business and Lead Generation

Don Beehler
National Public Relations Consultant and Writer
The Art of Telling Your Agency’s Story
Douglas Burdett
Agency Principal/Standup Comedian
Master of Ceremonies for the Conference
Davie Currie
CMO at The List
Ad Agency New Business Leads, Insights and Tools
Jamie Dunham
Agency Brand Strategist, Speaker and Author
Founder of Brand Wise and The Lipstick Economy
Jeff Fromm
Author “Marketing to Millennials” & “Millennials With Kids”
President of FutureCast, a millennial marketing consultancy
Stephanie Holland
Agency Owner, Consultant, Speaker
She-conomy: A Guys Guide to Marketing to Women
John McDougall
President of McDougall Interactive
Author “Web Marketing On All Cylinders”
Drew McLellan
Agency Management Institute (AMI)
Executive Director, Author, Speaker
Jami Oetting
Content strategist for Agency Post, HubSpot’s blog for agency professionals.
Bob Sanders
Sanders Consulting Group
Ad Agency New Business & Growth Consultant. Agency Training & Coaching
Julian Boulding
President of thenetworkone, one of the largest independent agency networks. It’s headquartered in London
Park Howell of Park & Company ad agency.
Park Howell
President of the Park&Co agency, Author of Story Built: How To Craft Spellbinding Brand Stories in 10 Easy Steps.

John Sonnhalter
Agency Owner/Author of Tradesment Insights.
The Sonnhalter Agency is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction.
Jody Sutter
owner of the Sutter Company
Helping advertising agencies and marketing firms get the clients they want by taking a more strategic, proactive approach to business development.


We’re pleased to host this inaugural event at the new Music City Center in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

Nashville is booming. It was recently voted by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top 5 cities to visit. Famous honky tonks, the Country Music Hall of Fame, fine art museums, first class hotels and great eats are just steps away from the Music City Center.

Get the App! The free Music City Center wayfinding app, available for iPhone and Android, automatically locates where you are in the convention center and directs you to a destination, whether it’s a meeting room, restroom or the parking garage, effectively helping you navigate the 1.2 million square feet!

The conference center is also conveniently located eight miles away from the Nashville International Airport and situated at the crossroads of the state’s three major interstates.

Who We Are 

Since 2007, Michael Gass has helped pioneer the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business. He founded Fuel Lines Business Development as a resource dedicated to agency principals and new business leaders to provide the training and tools to boost your agency’s new business.


(Click speaker names for session titles, descriptions and bios)

Thursday, October 8

7:00am Checkin Begins

7:30am – 8:30am Continental Breakfast and Networking

8:30am – 9:45am Event Kickoff and Keynote: Peter Levitan

10:00am – 11:00am Breakout Sessions: Don Beehler (201A) | Jami Oetting (201B)

11:15am – 12:15pm Breakout Sessions: Stephanie Holland (201A) | Lee McKnight, Jr. (201B)

12:30pm Networking Lunch

1:30pm – 2:30pm Breakout Sessions:  Bob Sanders (201A) | Jamie Dunham (201B)

2:45pm – 3:45pm Breakout Sessions: Julian Boulding (201A) | Jeff Fromm (201B)

3:45pm Networking Break

4:15pm Keynote: Bob Hoffman

5:30pm Evening Break

6:00pm – 7:30pm Networking Cocktail Event sponsored by the GS&F Agency, located in the historical Cummins Station. Address: 209 10th Avenue South, Suite 222, Nashville, Tennessee 37203.

Friday, October 9

7:30am – 8:30am Continental Breakfast and Networking

8:30am – 9:45am Keynote: Paul Roetzer

10:00am – 11:00am Breakout Sessions: Drew McLellan (201A) | John McDougall (201B)

11:15am – 12:15pm  Peter Levitan (201A) | Jaci Russo (201B)

12:30pm Networking Lunch

1:30pm – 2:30 pm Breakout Sessions:  Park Howell (201A) | John Sonnhalter (201B)

2:45pm – 3:45pm Breakout Sessions: Dave Currie (201A) | Jody Sutter (201B)

3:45pm Networking Break

4:15pm Keynote: Michael Gass

5:15 PM Event Ends






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Do you have a refund policy?

Excluding a $25 processing fee, refunds will be granted only if requests for cancellation are received by Fuel Lines Business Development, in writing by September 1, 2015. No refunds will be allowed after this date; substitutions will be allowed for upcoming Fuel Lines Business Development Workshops.

Where is the best place to park?

The Music City Center (MCC) is home to the largest parking operation in downtown Nashville and with our reasonable rates and 24 hour roving security, it’s the best place to park in downtown.

MCC Parking Rate Structure

0-4 Hours

4-10 Hours

Daily Max




What accommodations are nearest to the Music City Conference Center? Though there are no reserved room blocks, there are many hotels within walking distance of the Music City Center. Please call hotels directly to make your reservation. Here are the closest hotels nearest the conference center.

Union Station—Wyndham Historic

1001 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203


Homewood Suites Nashville Downtown

706 Church St.

Nashville, TN 37203


Holiday Inn Express Downtown

920 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203


Hermitage Hotel

231 6th Ave N.

Nashville, TN 37219


Renaissance Nashville Hotel

611 Commerce St.

Nashville, TN 37203


Best Western Downtown Convention Center

711 Union St.

Nashville, TN 37201


Sheraton Nashville Downtown

623 Union St.

Nashville, TN 37219


Hampton Inn

310 4th Ave S.

Nashville, TN 37201


Hilton Nashville Downtown

121 4th Ave. S.

Nashville, TN 37201


Best Western Music Row

1407 Division St.

Nashville, TN 37203


Courtyard by Marriott Downtown

170 4th Ave. N.

Nashville, TN 37219




315 4th Ave N.

Nashville, TN 37219


Besides the catering for our event is there any other food service inside the Music City Center?

There is a Dunkin’ Doughnuts located on the corner of 5th Avenue and Korean Veteran’s Boulevard on the first level of the Music City Center, Dunkin Donuts has hot and iced coffee, espresso drinks, donuts, muffins, oatmeal and bagels. Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Directions once inside the Music City Center?

Get the App! The free Music City Center wayfinding app, available for iPhone and Android, automatically locates where you are in the convention center and directs you to a destination, whether it’s a meeting room, restroom or the parking garage, effectively helping you navigate the 1.2 million square feet!