Over the past 27 years as an executive recruiter I have attended and participated in literally hundreds of conferences in multichannel and digital marketing as well as ecommerce. Webinars are great, but I also greatly enjoy attending events where subject matter experts gather together in once place, and like a Las Vegas buffet, you can pick and choose from sometimes hundreds of enticing presentations, panels, and roundtables, not to mention valuable networking opportunities. I now have a new favorite: The Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, sponsored by the University of Missouri St. Louis.
Entering its fourth year, the 2016 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference lives at the intersection of modern communications. Previously called the UMSL State of Digital Media Marketing Conference, MDMC is one of, if not THE, fastest growing digital and social media marketing event in the Midwest. The conference will be held on April 21, showcasing thought leaders and boundary pushers across many disciplines from all over the US. Experts in the marketing communications industry from leading agencies and brands will address the cutting edge of digital, social, tech and innovation.
For the third year, I’m proud to be among the presenters at the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference.
The Midwest Digital Marketing Conference is the vision of Dr. Perry Drake who some of the more “seasoned” direct marketers out there might remember from NYU, where for 14 years he was Assistant Professor of the Master’s Degree Program in Integrated Marketing, a program that has graduated some of the smartest and most accomplished marketing leaders I’ve ever worked with in the greater NYC region. Many are now in prominent marketing and executive leadership roles with top agencies and brands. Some might recall that Perry was responsible for creating some of the very first courses at the university level in the US that prepared students for SAS data mining certifications. When I used to speak at the SUG’s (SAS User Groups), it seemed like every SUG attendee in the NY area was enrolled in Perry’s classes. As a principal of Drake Direct, Perry and his wife, Rhonda, were sought after speakers at DMA and NCDM conferences for many years, and were true innovators in the application of analytics in the direct marketing industry. I always learned a ton sitting in on his sessions, and apparently many others did too because even to this day I occassionally speak with a marketer who was inspired by Perry to pursue a career in database marketing and analytics.
Several years ago, Perry moved to St. Louis to join the University of Missouri to create a certification program in Digital and Social Media Marketing at the graduate level and within Continuing Education. It didn’t take long for Perry to realize that there was a need for a midwest-based conference focusing on the disruptions occurring in the world of marketing and communications. He marshaled what resources he could to get the event off the ground in 2012, and four years later it has now grown to the point where he needs a bigger boat. Due to a significant jump in attendance in 2015, the UMSL Business MDMC conference this year is moving to a larger venue — the historic St. Louis Union Station, a landmark building constructed in 1894 — just steps away from the Gateway Arch.
In addition to 3 keynote presentations, there are 6 tracks. Each track has 5-6 presentations throughout the day for a total of 35 sessions. I’ll be participating in a couple of those sessions, including a first ever “Office Hour With The Experts,” in which I’ll sit down one-to-one with attendees and offer short consultations to answer any job or career-related questions, even review resumes. If you’re attending, be sure to hunt me down. I’ll be easy to spot– I’ll be the one busy networking!
For more information on the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, check out their website
Jerry Bernhart, Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, is one of the nation’s preeminent and veteran executive recruiters in ecommerce, digital and multichannel marketing, and CRM. With 80 published LinkedIn articles, Jerry is the “voice” of best practices in the recruitment and hiring of ecommerce and digital marketing professionals. Jerry is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Careers in Ecommerce and Digital Marketing,” on Amazon, and participates in many leading digital marketing and ecommerce conferences. Jerry has been recruiting and placing marketing professionals for more than 28 years. Check out Jerry’s other insights on the Thought Leadership section of the Bernhart Associates website.
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