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Meet me in Chicago for Game Changers: The Rules are Being Rewritten. Are You Being Left Behind?

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

I’ll be heading back again to Chicago next month to attend the PMA's Annual Marketing Conference taking place March 14-15 at the Westin Hotel. They've picked up the theme from last year's conference, Game Changers, with a new twist, "The Rules are being rewritten. Don't be left behind".

PMA-Game Changers

I say this theme statement is right on today. All of us have to deal with marketing in some respect and it's hard to keep up with the latest technologies, let alone understand how to use them effectively. I was just watching the Today Show yesterday morning and they were interviewing Kate Upton, this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model. She's 19 years old, virtually unknown and was discovered by the videos she has posted of herself on YouTube. She said she has now fulfilled her dream and looks forward to what this opportunity will bring her. I guess you could say she's a Game Changer!

I am honored to have been asked by the folks at PMA to moderate a panel at this year's conference which is called Building Brands through Promotion: Beyond Facebook. The focus will be on how to utilize Facebook application to grow your fanbase and engage with them by running sweepstakes, contests, games and other promotional offers. Joining me will be Mike Nabasny from Wildfire, Jim Belosic the founder of Shortstack and Kelly Lund who's with Capita Technologies. They represent three companies that have been Game Changers in the way we market our businesses and brands on Facebook. Each will be reviewing a different case study that demonstrates how brands are using these apps to connect with their fans. This breakout session will be taking place on day one of the conference, March 14 at 2 pm.

Other than the 15 breakout sessions there will also be 10 Keynote speakers. Some include, Jim Sabia from Crown Imports talking about the Corona brand, Jeff Rosenblum, Founding Partner of the Naked Brand, a documentary that shows how companies can't hide from the truth, and Cindy Donohoe, in charge of Pharmacy Marketing at Walgreen's, winner of last year's top Reggie Award. David Shing, Digital Prophet who's with AOL will kickoff the conference and Day 2 includes Lisa Landsman, Head of Commerce for Google and our very own former CMO of Kodak, Jeffrey Hayzlett, who is now a best-selling author.

I've been a guest of PMA's conference for the past five years and have written many blog posts about their conferences before, during and after. They formally named me as their "Official Conference Blogger" a couple of year's ago. Actually, PMA was one of the catalyst that got me blogging in the first place.

I launched my own blog, Donna's Promo Talk, five years ago this month. At the time PMA didn't have a blog so they invited me to be a guest to their conference in return for blogging about it. I then quickly learned as much as I could about blogging from our Lip-sticking founder, Yvonne DiVita, and her partner, Tom Collins, who then helped me launch my blog. They introduced me to Greg Bell who had also recently started a blog to "cover jazz around Rochester and Beyond" called [email protected]. Greg joined me at the PMA Marketing Conference in 2007 and we hosted a breakfast roundtable together on blogging. It was still a fairly new marketing concept at the time. So thank you again, Yvonne, Tom, Greg and the PMA.

If anyone would like to attend the conference you have up until this Friday, Feb. 17 to register here at the discounted rate. You can also register for one day at a reduced fee if you can't attend for both. Since I'm a speaker I have a code that provides an additional $100 savings. So if you're interested leave me a comment and I'll email you the code. The full conference registration also includes a ticket to the Reggie Awards dinner on March 15 which showcases the best promotions of 2011. So I hope to see some of you in Chicago.

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