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Unleash - Day 1



Title Sponsor:

Sponsored by:

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Pre-Conference Workshop (separate registration)
(Erie Room)

"Unleash Your Inner Publisher"

The Internet gives us the capacity to publish and widely disperse our best thinking and to become thought leaders in our markets. So why don't more business marketers seize this opportunity? Very often it's because they feel uncertain about their ability, or their company's ability, to produce engaging and interesting content. But it's not as difficult as it may seem. With planning and a little creativity, b-to-b marketers can create content that inspires response and generates action. Learn the tricks professional publishers use and how to apply them.

Paul Gillin, Principal, Gillin Communications   

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Networking Lunch
(Sheraton 1, 2, & 3)

12:00 p.m. - 12:10 p.m.
Conference Opening/Welcome
(Chicago Ballroom)

A host of barriers—many very real, some perhaps imagined—stands between business marketers and their ability to succeed for their companies and themselves. When asked "What holds them back," 50 leading corporate marketers and agency leaders BMA surveyed in February inundated us with strong feelings on this subject, which you can see as a word cloud or Wordle™ here. Thus were born the "Unleash" theme and an entire BMA conference focused on aiding b-to-b marketers in eradicating these barriers and unleashing their sizable talents in a less-friction-filled world.

Gary Slack
BMA National Chairman, 2009-11, and Chief Experience Officer, Slack and Company  

Al Maag
BMA National Chairman, 2011-12, and Chief Communications Officer, Avnet  

12:10 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Scene-Setting Remarks
(Chicago Ballroom)

"Unleash Your B-to-B Culture"

How can business marketers unleash 21st century technology and break the mold of imagination-challenged b-to-b marketing if their company cultures remain stuck in the mid-20th century—excruciatingly risk-averse, fear-filled, and hierarchical? B-to-b marketers suffer far more in this regard than do their b-to-c counterparts, says Roy Spence, who believes we need to first unchain our b-to-b company cultures, no easy task. Marketers can't do this alone, but Spence will offer some fire-starter tips to help you go home ready to eke out more room to lead and unleash.


Roy Spence, Co-Founder & Chairman, GSD&M, and author, It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven by Purpose

12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
General Session Keynote
(Chicago Ballroom)

"Unleash Your Employees"

Armed with cheap, accessible technology, your employees are connecting with customers to create innovative new solutions. One in three workers may even use technologies your company does not sanction. Josh Bernoff calls them HEROes: highly empowered and resourceful operatives. Your company needs them because, in the ever-evolving torrent of Web information, your customers come to the table armed with more data and access than ever before. Learn how you can encourage your HEROes and how to manage this force for innovation without creating chaos.

Josh Bernoff, Senior VP, Idea Development, Forrester Research; co-author, Groundswell; and
co-author, Empowered: Unleash your Employees, Energize your Customers, Transform your Business 

1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
General Session Keynote
(Chicago Ballroom)

"Unleash Your Company Voice"

In approximately 13 years, global technology solutions distributor Avnet has gone from having virtually no “voice” in its industry to 50% or more of the measured voice—plus world-class employee communication scores and accolades as the Fortune’s most admired company in its sector. How? Through extensive internal and external communications and the unwavering support, direct involvement and leadership of CEO Roy Vallee and his C suite. Learn how this $24 billion company has become its industry’s acknowledged thought leader primarily through communications and PR.

Roy Vallee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Avnet

2:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Networking Break

3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
General Session Panel
(Chicago Ballroom)

"Unleash Your Content to Generate Meaningful Thought Leadership"

Creating great content—that customers, clients and prospects eagerly, frequently and easily access and actually read, watch or listen to—is the holy grail in thought leadership today, But, despite ongoing experimentation, relatively few b-to-b marketers would say they’ve found the right formula. In this general-session panel, Accenture’s Teresa Poggenpohl will lead a fascinating discussion with a distinguished expert panel of what is working and not working for b-to-b marketers, which companies have been most successful (and how and why) and how success is being defined and measured.


Teresa Poggenpohl, Executive Director, Advertising and Brand Management, Accenture 


Andrew Bosman, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Navigant Consulting, Inc.

Ben Edwards, VP, Digital Strategy & Development , IBM

Bob Pearson, Chief Technology and Media Officer, WCG, and former Vice President, Communities and Conversations, Dell  

Laura Ramos, Vice President, Industry Marketing, Services, North America, Xerox Corporation

4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
General Session Keynote
(Chicago Ballroom)

"Unleash Your Enterprise Spirit"

By “smashing together” high-tech American acquisitions with a Paris-based Fortune 300 conglomerate 50 years older than GE, Schneider Electric is an Internet-speed company with brand momentum, accelerating stock price and #1 shares from Chicago to China. Learn how Schneider revamped its brand portfolio from more than 130 brands to 10 keepers, simplified its marketing organization and achieved huge success with startup “solution” brands, transforming the firm from a “coiled spring” of regional complexity to a potent global leader in energy management.

Aaron Davis, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Global Marketing, Schneider Electric

5:45 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Networking Cruise

Responding to requests for more networking, we are adding an exciting two-hour networking event on the Odyssey Chicago, a sleek Lake Michigan cruise ship that docks at the Sheraton and will hold all estimated 1,000 Unleash attendees on four decks. We will board the Odyssey immediately after Bob Thacker's keynote, then proceed down the Chicago River, through the locks and onto Lake Michigan for the cruise. At 8:00 pm, the Odyssey will dock at Navy Pier, and attendees can stay on board for another full hour or disembark to enjoy Chicago's fine restaurants and many other attractions. Food and libations? Count on it! Many thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, CNBC.

Click here for Thursday, June 2, agenda.

Click here for Friday, June 3, agenda.

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