&THEN: The 2016 DMA Conference At a Glance

October 11, 2016

 The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is set to host their annual marketing conference now titled, “&THEN” from October 16 through October 18 in Los Angeles, California.  For those not familiar, the annual &THEN conference is an educational and networking event specifically for the direct marketing industry.  There are bold thought leaders and keynote speakers to offer you different perspectives and share their experiences. There is also a plethora of people and companies in attendance for you to connect with, which is one of the biggest draws of the annual trade show. 

The DMA introduced their new conference, rebranded &THEN, just last year – breathing new life into the nearly 100-year-old organization. They’ve added HUB stages where speakers would have about thirty minutes to either address current topics, present case studies, or introduce a new service. There’s also a new feature, The Hot Zone, where innovative startup companies compete for the chance to win new business from big top name companies, top tier ad agencies, and leading solution providers. 

Dma &then 2015

Blake_Mcoskie_TOMS.jpg(Photo via The Wall Street Journal)

2015 was a banner year for the Direct Marketing Association, securing some of the biggest names in business and advertising as keynote speakers.  The first speaker was the founder of TOMS shoe company, Blake Mycoskie.  For those unfamiliar, TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a person in need every time a pair is purchased; creating a socially conscious business model.  Mr. Mycoskie explained his idea of buy one give one and how sometimes you don’t have to start a charity to make a difference; sometimes you can start a business and it will actually work better.  The results of his altruistic efforts?  35 million pairs of shoes sold and an additional 35 million pairs of shoes donated.  Based on this success, TOMS has recently expanded to eyewear, leveraging the same “buy-one-give-one” model.

kevin_roberts_saatchi_and_saatchi.jpg(Photo via Advertising Age)

The second speaker was Kevin Roberts, the Executive Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, In his keynote, Mr. Roberts spoke about the implication of big data in the marketplace and the need for marketers to embrace the sea of information available.  His theory is that data and emotion need to be tied together in order to get a message to truly resonate with an audience.  “Emotional thinking leads to action.  Eighty percent of decisions are made emotionally.  Emotional thinking creates loyalty beyond reason, “ (DMA Blog).

jon_iwata_ibm.jpg(Photo via Silicon Valley Watcher)

Jon Iwata, the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at IBM also delivered a powerful speech.  In his keynote, Mr. Iwata touched upon the importance of data and the way a data driven marketing plan can turn to the creation of a data-driven world, (Data Services Inc.) – noting that data and analytics could drive “not just corporate strategies, but our everyday lives,” (Data Services Inc.). 

 

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Last but certainly not least, singer and songwriter John Legend, spoke before performing for all guests in attendance. Aside from his musical talents, John Legend is also a philanthropist and entrepreneur.  He compared performers to marketers and discussed how they both share the same ability to be storytellers and conversation starters.  He left the crowd with three main points: tell stories not power points, look towards the greater good, and always be authentic.

what to expect at the dma &then 2016 conference

This year, the DMA &THEN event is bound to meet the standard it created last year.  Some of the speakers you can expect to see are:

 

2016_dma_speakers.png(Photo via the DMA Digital Editions)

  • Cassidy Blackwell – Brand Marketing Lead of Walker & Company Branding
  • Shante Bacon – Founder & CEO of 135th Street Agency
  • Beth Comstock – Vice Chair of GE
  • Simon Sinek – Author of “Start With A Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”
  • Matt Marolda – CAO of Legendary Entertainment
  • Jamie Gutfreund – Global CMO of Wunderman
  • Tyler Oakley – Youtube & Podcast Personality, Humorist, Author, and Activist
  • Beau Avril – Global Head of Product Commercialization of Google Preferred
  • Dan Weinstein – Founder & President of Collective Digital Studio
  • Scott Donaton – Chief Content Officer of DigitasLBi
  • Kobe Bryant – NBA Legend & CEO of Kobe, Inc.

For 2016, we're particularly excited to see:

  1. 302 Code: a seminar where discussions about data in media, engaging millennials, and the future of publishing takes place.
  2. The Experience Zone: consisting of Expo Hall where you can address marketing needs, the Meet Up Zones where you can interact with new clients, and Innovation Alley where you can see startup ideas.
  3. The Hub Stage: located in the center of the Experience Zone, high engagement TED talk-esque segments on a circular 360º stage.
  4. Echo Awards Gala: where the winning campaigns that dominated 2016 will be celebrated and a concert by Third Eye Blind and Sugar Ray will follow.
  5. LA Live: the complex featuring the LA Convention Center, nightclubs, restaurants, a bowling alley, and a museum.

You can even win points and claim prizes if you download the &THEN app.  Once you download the app, you can make the most out of your experience through surveys and posts, earning you points that you can later claim for prizes like gift cards, DMA education courses, tickets to New Orleans, or even a pass to meet Kobe Bryant.

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You can even win points and claim prizes if you download the &Then app. Once you download the app, you can make the most out of your experience through surveys and posts, earning you points that you can later claim for prizes like gift cards, DMA education courses, tickets to New Orleans, or even a pass to meet Kobe Bryant.

connect with wilen

Utilize the networking opportunity that &THEN has provided and enjoy the convention!  Wilen New York looks forward to meeting with you at booth #927.