A Tale Of Two Conferences

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Heads-up: Two very important conferences are coming up next month (that's June... if you've been so busy that you don't remember what month this is).

The first is Corante's Innovative Marketing Conference (June 8-9) in New York (at Columbia Business School). Scroll down for details, or just hang out for a sec while I tell you what the second conference is.

The second is WOMMA's WOMBAT #2 in San Francisco (June 20-21).

Due to scheduling issues and circumstances beyond my control, it still looks like I will be unable to attend Corante's IMC (ugh...), but I will at least be able to make WOMBAT this time around. (One out of two is better than none, I guess.)

Update - I'm still working on trying to free myself for Corante's IMC, so there's still hope.

Transparency notes:
Conference #1 - I am Corante's Marketing Hub editor.
Conference #2 - WOMMA graciously invited me to be one of four bloggers who will cover WOMBAT #2, and I have accepted.

Here are the details (from Corante's site):

Corante's Innovative Marketing Conference:

The theme of the conference: innovation. Companies today are facing increasing pain points as marketing struggles to keep up with innovations in the marketplace. Media proliferation, product choice, consumer networks, “the TiVO effect” — all are posing immense challenges to the old ways of building brands.

At the same time, radical innovations in the practice of marketing are turning the field on its head. Search marketing, viral marketing, customer experience, word of mouth, mobile communications, customer involvement – each has shown promise for building incredible value. But can these cutting-edge new tactics really work for any brand? And should we really throw out the ad agencies—when the best campaigns are still generating incredible buzz, brand awareness, and bottom-line growth?

The 2006 Innovative Marketing Conference will tackle head-on the question of the future of marketing — drawing on the best practices from the past, and the real promise of the future. The conference will comprise a CMO Summit, and a larger Marketers Forum. Both days will assess the painful challenges and exciting new possibilities facing marketing today. Participants will gain practical tools, real world case studies, and the chance to network and share best practices with peers in a non-competitive environment.

How can we build the foundation for a new marketing that will deliver value in a new marketplace? We hope you will join the conversation.

Join Corante and Columbia for this intense 1-2 day conference and workshop (see below) that is designed to offer implementable insights and actionable learnings for companies and individuals looking to get a grasp of the forces that are remaking the marketing industry. We are convening many of the field's leading thinkers and doers for a series of lively panels, interviews, talks, and informal events that will help marketers understand where things are headed and how to get there.

Day One: The CMO Summit

The first day of the conference will be open to a limited number of CMO’s and VP’s of Marketing from a range of industries. A select group of non-competitive peers will focus on the most critical issues facing marketing leaders today and the best practices for innovative marketing. Participants will share their challenges, lessons learned, and most effective strategies, with colleagues in other industries who face similar issues. (Again, space is very limited for this exclusive event: we urge you to sign up for this event quickly. Please proceed to this page to apply and register - you'll hear back from us promptly.)

Day Two: The Marketers Forum

The second day of the conference will provide a large forum for marketing practitioners from a wide range of industries. Cutting edge thinkers and business leaders will present new models for innovative marketing and lessons from companies that are leading the way towards a new marketing foundation. Key learnings and case studies that emerged from the CMO Summit the day before will be incorporated in the Forum’s speeches and panels.

Among the companies and organizations that have attended the conferences:

* McCann-Erickson, Weber Shandwick, Interbrand, Avon, Estée Lauder, Adidas, American Express, Citigroup, Absolut Vodka, Coca-Cola, Unilever, HP, eBay, Microsoft, IBM, BMW, McKinsey & Company, AOL, BusinessWeek, The Economist, The New York Times, UNICEF, Bell Atlantic

Find out more.

(from WOMMA's site):

Smart marketers have always known that word of mouth marketing is the secret weapon of the greatest companies. Satisfied customers telling their friends are your most powerful advocates.

Word of Mouth Basic Training 2 is the forum to share what we've learned and how to do it better.

What you'll learn:

* Learn from real case studies and how-to lessons.
* Meet the world's leading word of mouth experts.
* Master the core skills to succeed with word of mouth.
* Discover how to implement word of mouth at your company.
* Network like crazy at the biggest word of mouth conference ever.
* Understand critical issues around ethics and honesty.
* Measure and track the ROI of word of mouth.
* Enjoy an official WOMMA event, the association that brings together the amazing people who are building this fantastic industry.

Who's going to be there:

The best minds in the business, all connecting and participating. WOM marketing experts from major brand marketers. Viral marketing masters. Bloggers. Grassroots organizers. Researchers, tacticians, professors, and pioneers. And lots of smart people who have developed unique ways to reach out and understand their customers.
A focused agenda featuring diverse speakers

We've created a focused agenda with an unusual diversity of speakers and panelists. You'll meet the experts who have mastered word of mouth and get a chance to ask questions up close and personal. No aloof speakers who walk out the door when they're done -- just the right people getting together to learn and share.
You need to know this!

Word of mouth marketing is rapidly becoming a core part of the marketing mix. It's amazingly powerful - and it's easy to make mistakes. If you are actively using word of mouth marketing, you'll learn the strategies and tactics to make your campaigns more effective. If you're just starting out, you'll learn what you need to know to be successful in this exciting new industry.

Right. So there you go. Mark your calendars, book your flights and hotels, and attend what I think will be by far two of the best conferences you'll attend all year. (I wouldn't recommend them if I didn't think they were worth your hard-earned cash.)

In the immortal words of Rusty Longshanks, "These things are going to rock!"

I couldn't agree with him more. ;D

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