2017 MIMA Summit: my picks to click

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Next week on October 12 the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) will host the 2017 version of its annual Summit. This is the 16th anniversary of the event if my memory serves me correct. With it being just around the corner I thought I’d share my picks on the sessions you shouldn’t miss.

But first some caveats:

  • I sit on the board of directors for MIMA, so I am a not completely unbiased.
  • However, I wasn’t involved in the programming decisions for the MIMA Summit so I feel like I can highlight my favorites going into the event without feeling bad about it.
  • I’m a bit of a programming junkie. I co-lead monthly programming for MIMA where we produce two-to-three events per month. I also sit on the advisory board for SXSW Interactive where I sift through hundreds of proposals each year to recommend what should and should not make the cut for the annual mega-conference in Austin. I have a strong BS meter for this sort of stuff.
  • More often than not, I’m not a fan of panel presentations. That is being put to the test because this year’s MIMA Summit is panel heavy.

Okay, enough on that front. Let’s get on with my selections for favorite keynote and top choice for each of the three breakout sessions from the full schedule:

  • Keynotes: My pick here has to be the morning keynote featuring a conversation with Elizabeth Nyamayaro and Jana Shortal. Elizabeth is a strong national female leader in a time where we need to highlight them more than ever, and she’s focused on social activism on behalf of the United Nations. She’s sharing the stage with a strong local female voice in Jana. When I read the description for this one I knew I was in. When it got the endorsement of my friend and MIMA board alumna Holly, I was 100% sold.
  • Breakout #1: Choosing one from this grouping is tough because it’s absolutely loaded. My guess is that attendance is not going to be an issue for the Big Event panel or the Ad Tech/Mar Tech discussion, but my winner among this group is the Role of Video discussion featuring folks from Nina Hale and Brightcove. I favor presentations that get into deep, advanced content versus higher level panel discussions (see caveat above) and this fits the bill. Video is still a highly relevant topic for everyone touching digital. Plus the kids (Heather and Kathleen) from Nina Hale know their stuff.
  • Breakout #2: For this one I’m going with what I think will be a crowded session so find a seat early: The Future of Influencer Marketing. Even though influencer marketing as we now know it in the digital space has been around for a few years, it can still be a mixed bag. (This is based on experience from programs that I’ve led and what I’ve learned from peers.) It is always helpful to hear the latest insights from others that are doing this kind of work and that’s what we’ll get with speakers that are brand side (McDonald’s and General Mills) as well as having an influencer as part of the panel.
  • Breakout #3: For the final breakout of the day I think the stand out pick is going to be about how to Cultivate a Cult Following. I anticipate this session is also is going to be jam-packed. That’s for a good reason – check out the brands that are part of this session: Red Wing Shoes (side note, their warehouse sale is taking place October 12 – 15, so head down to Red Wing the day after the Summit to score a deal or two); Boomchickapop (only 35 calories for their light kettle corn, are you kidding me?); American Public Media, parent company for 89.3 The Current (best radio station in the upper midwest); and Surly (if your customers are getting tattoos of your logo, you know you are a cult brand). To top if off, it’s being moderated by Tim Brunelle. If there is anyone tasked with keeping the conversation moving while getting great insights from a large speaker panel then Tim is the person for the job.

If you are attending the Summit, then flag me down so I can hear about your experience and what you thought of the sessions.

If you haven’t bought your ticket for the event and are still considering it, then use the promo code FriendofJamie when checking out for $100 off the price. Think of it as a parting gift from me to you as I wind down my term on the board.

And just as important, hit me up during the happy hour for an extra drink ticket or two. (MIMA Summit pro-tip: board members have loads of extra drink tickets for the taking.)

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