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Heading to Chicago for Blur...the marketing conference that erases the lines

By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk

PMA BlurBanner-120x120_1I’ll be heading back again to Chicago to attend the PMA's upcoming Annual Integrated Marketing Conference which this year is called “Blur”. It's taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 22-23, at the Fairmont Hotel. Now I've been a guest of PMA's conference for the past three years and have written many blog posts about their conferences before, during and after. This year, however, they've formally named me as their "Official Conference Blogger" and included me on their website's speakers page. So the pressure to do a good job covering the event is a little stronger now this year.

Actually the PMA, along with Yvonne DiVita and her partner Tom Collins, were a big influence on my decision to enter the blogosphere when I launched my blog, Donna's Promo Talk, three years ago. At the time PMA didn't have a blog nor did they have the staff to write one. So they invited me as a guest to their conference in return for blogging about it. I then learned as much as I could about blogging from Yvonne and Tom, along with Greg Bell who they introduced me to who had also recently started a blog to "cover jazz around Rochester and Beyond" called [email protected].
So anyhow, this year all the speakers and sessions at the conference will follow the theme of BLUR, which is all about how today's best integrated marketing programs erase the lines between "above" and "below marketing" and are focused on "effective marketing". In other words, BLUR is marketing without boundaries. Today successful marketing campaigns don't just have a TV ad or an Internet, social media or in-store component. They use many different ways to reach the right audience, at the right time, and compel them into action.

Sethgodin I'm really looking forward to hearing and meeting some of the speakers that will be there next week. Seth Godin will be the luncheon keynote on Day 2 and is giving all attendees a copy of his new book, Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? Also Don Shultz, professor at Northwestern University, who has spoken at previous PMA events, will be back sharing with us some new media consumption research and discussing ways for us all to best manage our marketing dollars. Anna Roca, Sr. VP of International Promotions for 20th Century Fox was added to the agenda not long ago and she'll be speaking about the global marketing strategies they put in place to promote James Cameron’s record-setting film, Avatar.

Kitty Kolding, CEO of House Party will be a speaker this year. I wrote about House Party in this post last July and also here the year before. Since then I've watched how the the company has grown tremendously and has had many success stories, so I'm really hoping for a chance to chat with Kitty.

My friend David Berkowitz will also be there speaking about "The 100 Ways to Measure Social Media". I call David my friend because I recruited him to come to Rochester last November and speak to our Rochester American Marketing Association (RAMA) group on the same subject. After the session David wanted to experience Nick Tahou's and their garbage plate, which unfortunately is one of the delicacies Rochester is known for. So he and I bonded and now social media allows me to follow many of his activities. He's been at SXSW in Austin this week and I just retweeted the blog post he wrote about it yesterday.

The conference will wrap up with the 27th Annual Reggie Awards Gala and dinner which will be held on Wednesday night. The finalists for this year's Reggies have now been selected and we'll find out who got the “cash register to ring” and takes home the big award! Oh yeah, they just announced that Michele Branch will be entertaining us that evening. Also Larry Moss, who's a balloon artist that I introduced the PMA to, is going to be creating a giant Reggie cash register out of balloons for the event. Larry has a project in Pepsi Refresh this month called Elastic Park that you can vote on for a chance to award him a $50,000 grant.

There's lots to be excited about this year. I'm sorry though that I'm going to miss SES NY which is the same week. I attended it the past two years and it's another great event. Oh well, they'll be in Toronto in June, so I hope to make that one.

So if you're going to be in Chicago and at BLUR, please look me up and say hello. Would love to connect with some Lip-sticking readers.

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