Shop Talk For Entrepreneurs: Inc. And Fast Company Diversify Their Offerings

The teams at Fast Company and Inc. are headed for a busy May. 

In addition to publishing their B2B magazines, they are running in-person events for both. On May 16, Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies 2024 Summit & Gala will take place at North Javits in New York. 

The Summit originally was virtual, but interest in the live experience is so high that “we had to ask Javits to add 100 seats,” says Damian Slattery, SVP of marketing for Inc. and Fast Company, “We’ll be at 600 this year.” 

Five days later, owner of both magazines Mansueto Ventures will host Inc. Founders House, a “jewel of an event,” in Philadelphia. This will display the challenges – and glories – of creating a company. “Inc was owner Joe Mansueto’s roadmap to becoming a successful entrepreneur,” Slattery says.



The big events in the fall will be Fast Company’s Innovation Festival and the Inc. 5000 Conference & Gala. “The sense of community among the audiences is palpable, strong and at scale,” Slattery states. 

At the same time, “70% of our ad sponsorship revenue is in the category of custom and events,” he adds. “Our clients want more than ad placement, they want deep engagement. That’s why we’re building in-person, custom content.”

He explains that custom content services are really about content strategy.

“The quality that we’re able to bring marketers today is rooted in events, experiences, custom storytelling,” Slattery continues. “These allow us to deliver audiences for each brand in their own unique bespoke way to those partners.” 

Slattery joined Mansueto in 2018, and was there for the pandemic dip and the recovery. Prior to that, he spent 20 years at Sports Illustrated as a journalist, and served the old Time Inc., working with Mansueto CEO Stephanie Mehta. He saw publishing changing, and the kinds of integrations being developed between brands advertising. "This was custom content or advertorial that was done without agencies," he laughs.  

Mansueto has been profitable for years. But is there anything it could have done better? 

“We worked really hard to pivot quickly to virtual events," Slattery says. “I’m sorry we didn’t see the opportunity before. We had to scotch-tape and gum together our virtual platforms – we didn’t have that virtual insight. When we got the back end right, we saw great opportunity there.”

Mansueto is aggressively moving forward. Later, this month, it will open a audio/video studio at its headquarters in downtown New York. “We can now have in our mix the ability to do audio and video content in a turn-key way,” Slattery says. 

And the strategy is clear. 

“Each year, we huddle with the clients,” Slattery explains. “Even programs that are renewed every year, we have to lean in to optimize.” 

And the others? “We have to be ready to not plug and play anything that doesn’t work,” Slattery admits. 



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