Saturday, February 23, 2013

Remarkable Conference

AMA chapter leaders showed Remarkable Leadership in producing this year’s conference in spite of adversity, snow and ice. The weather almost resulted in cancellation but chapter leaders were determined to deliver.  It is always a challenge to produce a first rate program. It takes a lot of planning, attention to detail and execution.

Each year the American Marketing Association, St. Louis Chapter, offers a conference in February (This is the 52nd year). Students and Professionals are invited to participate in a full schedule of presentations. This year the line-up included Mercy Healthcare, Pixel Farm of Minneapolis, University of Missouri Athletic Department and bestselling writer and speaker Kevin Eikenberry (author Remarkable Leadership). The event took place at the Missouri History Museum on 2-22-13 and 100+ were in the audience. Highlights are worth noting for the record:

Master of Ceremonies, Bill Ellis of Branding for Results, hosted the conference and skillfully and gracefully. He stitched the program segments together and made it look easy.

Barb Meyer, VP of Marketing Communications and Nancy Schnoebelen, Director of Advancement Communications presented for Mercy Healthcare. A variety of less than optimal technical difficulties didn’t prevent them from telling a powerful story of managing MarCom and faith. The most devastating tornado in the country since 1947 hit Joplin in May of 2011 and Barb and Nancy reinforced the power of Remarkable Leadership in spite of adversity as Mercy recovered from the impact on their hospital which was in the middle of the tornado path of destruction.  

Elliot Robia, Market Strategist from Pixel Farm of Minneapolis showed with metrics comparing the results of campaigns for a start up firm and a film festival. Engagement needs to be the goal when social media is part of your strategy. He cautioned against being too obsessed with “likes” when it is better idea to know your audience (or as Seth Godin likes to say “tribe”).

Andrew Grinch, Associate AD, University of Missouri Athletic Department drove in from Columbia, MO and arrived just-in-time to present the story of his marketing task of rebranding the Mizzou Tigers as they enter the SEC last year. Excite & Invite: Excite Mizzou fans - A New Era Begins. Invite SEC fans to find out about the University of Missouri - Mizzou Proud to be SEC. The 90 day campaign included outdoor billboards, pay per click web tactics and, of course, social media.

Keynote speaker Kevin Eikenberry delivered a powerful presentation via Skype. (His flight into St. Louis was cancelled due to weather but he made the best of it.) Are leaders born or made? Kevin suggested the answer is “both” and that there are 13 core skills leaders can develop - outlined in his book Remarkable Leadership.  

Heroic efforts that should be noted: Justin, the A/V tech at the Missouri History Museum was running up and down with switches from MAC to PC and back, sound and Skype challenges. Pam (of Creatives on Call) managed to get Skype working on her laptop to make Kevin’s presentation even possible. Remarkable.

Box Lunches from Patty Long were served in the AT&T room adjacent to the Lee Auditorium.

Connie Zabarovskaya orchestrated the bonus offering of company tour of LockerDome and agency crawl of Stealth Creative, Drive Social Media and Manifest. A shuttle bus augmented the invitation to get up close and personal at the four firms downtown. The students and young professionals especially enjoyed the access to these companies. LockerDome provided insight into how there start-up become the facebook for your sports life, Stealth Creative shared stories of their success in advertisting/marketing for clients in Telcom, Cable and and Agriculture. Drive Social Media talked about their innovative approach to driving business to restaurants and other businesses. Manifest shared some insight into how they are managing their growth as they more than doubled in size via a merger with a Chicago based company as they continue to manage accounts in St. Louis like Post Holdings and Scottrade.   

Congratulations to AMA St. Louis on Remarkable Leadership in the face of adversity.  

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