Every year, the Marketing Group hosts the Annual Booth Marketing Conference. This year as co-chair, I helped organize the event at the Standard Club in downtown Chicago and it proved to be a rewarding leadership experience that was also personally close to my heart. The goal of the conference is to educate students about new trends in marketing, allow them to meet and hear the stories and challenges of successful marketers, and provide an opportunity for students to engage with a variety of companies, all while considering marketing as a future career.
As I walked up the majestic stairs of the Standard Club, the packed conference hallway buzzed with students eagerly talking to each other and connecting with company representatives. A chime alerted students to head into the spacious conference room where the day started with an engaging discussion. On stage, we had Art Middlebrooks, the Executive Director of the Kilts Center for Marketing, and Clayton Way-Poi, the VP of Marketing, Emerging Data and Technology at Beam Suntory, entering a conversation about breaking through the data clutter.
The two engaged in an interesting exchange on how companies are utilizing data to reach consumers in the right place at the right time with the right message. During the conversation, we learned about how the spirits industry—Beam Suntory in particular—is leveraging data while having to deal with barriers between them and their end consumer.
As a student who only participated in the Marketing Conference last year and got to benefit through the learnings and connections I made, I can definitely say it was an amazing experience to be on the other side and to plan the conference from scratch this time around. I worked with my co-chairs to define the theme of the conference, the panel topics, and then work with our sponsors and company partners to source the best speakers. We decided to focus the conference on a theme that is very close to me, as someone who comes from a digital agency background and is going into brand management: New Frontiers in Digital and Data-Driven Marketing.
The theme of the conference really came to life in our second panel, which explored proving return on investment through content; and seeing how marketers are now quantifying a historically creative aspect of the marketer’s toolkit. This panel saw CPG giants Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo, Tyson Foods, and others discuss different perspectives and case studies for their respective companies. They helped students understand what content marketing is, from influencer marketing to leveraging native content in social media.
I moderated the final panel, consisting of Carrie Sweeney, Team Manager of Retail Partnerships at Pinterest, and Jon Morris, CEO of Rise Interactive. I can definitely say that was one of the highlights of my Booth career. The panel focused on the extremely relevant topics of personalization and privacy, which garnered a large amount of questions from Booth students, who wanted to hear more about how platforms and agencies navigate privacy in today’s technology-forward marketing landscape. Fittingly, one of the main takeaways of the conversation was how, “it’s only going to get more complicated.”
I am incredibly pleased to have developed my own leadership and event planning capabilities as I worked to make this conference a success. And, I am looking forward to see where next year’s co-chairs will take the event.
To learn more about future events from the Kilts Center and to engage with the Chicago Booth marketing community, connect with the Kilts Center on LinkedIn.