Friday, June 3, 2011

Business Marketing Association 2011 International Conference

Just came off of the Business Marketing Association's (BMA) 2011 International Conference, "Unleash".

The conference took place June 1-3 at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Chicago. Three days of presentations and networking events topped off with a couple late nights. I have to admit I'm wiped.

Things I learned: business-to-business (b-to-b) marketing attracts wildly creative and highly intelligent people. Mutual respect is ever-present. Speakers are truly experts in their field, if not on the cutting edge of innovation.

  • Roy Spence, Co-Founder and Chairman, GSD&M, is hilarious and encouraged Southwest Airlines to stop charging extra $$$ for luggage. A whole advertising campaign was based on this shift in thinking and the airline has benefited enormously by this.
  • Josh Bernoff, co-author of the influential Groundswell, almost walked away with the venue's PowerPoint remote.
  • Roy Vallee, CEO, Avnet, made it a point to attribute much of the company's success on the content-driven philosophy of Chief Communications Officer Al Maag (who was just named BMA's Chairman).
  • Jim Lecinski, Managing Director, Google, is a jazz aficionado and his love for jazz has influenced much of Google's innovation.
  • While luncheon keynote Seth Godin was inspirational, he was in a hurry to hit the road once his 40 minutes were up.
  • Trevor Bayne, who made an appearance with his Avnet/BMA sponsored Ford Mustang NASCAR, is a nice kid.
  • My co-workers are great to hang out with, even in the most stressful of moments.

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