Today’s unprecedented marketing and economic environment puts an old joke in a new light. The joke is about two guys being chased by a bear in the woods. One guy says to the other as he’s running out of breath, “I don’t think we can outrun this bear”. The other says, “I only have to outrun you!”
This year the bear is the marketing/economic environment, and you need to carefully pick which conference is most likely to help you run faster. Here are some things to look for.
• Presentations and panel discussions must be concrete. Look for speakers with titles like yours, your boss’, or business partners
• Opportunity for a deepdive into at least one issue you really need to address. There should even be hands-on learning centers and concentration of presentation material.
• Presentations that address the big issues your company is grappling with, so you can bring new thinking and approaches back that are ready for implementation
• Ability to network with others who you really need to meet for knowledge sharing, or business partnering.
This year, we re-thought Re-Think (the annual ARF convention). We reconstructed our approach to be a 3 day programmed learning event that goes from “research transformation” to “putting the human at the center of a 360 media and marketing world” to “innovating innovation”. Presentations and panel discussions come from research leaders from 20+ major advertisers (e.g. J&J, Unilever, Procter, Microsoft, 3M, Levi Strauss), scientists (e.g. anthropology, behavioral economics, neuro-science), leading consultants (e.g. Mark Earls, Grant McCracken, Erich Joachimsthaler), media organizations (Canoe, NBC, Google, ESPN, Crispin, Porter+Bogusky, Time), and commercial leaders (e.g. Nielsen, Kantar, IRI, IPSOS)
We also created a one stop learning zone for “listening” where 10-12 leaders are all in one place offering hands on demonstrations. You will look back at the conference as the day you began to integrate “listening to social media” into your research strategy.
You will come away from this event newly equipped to attack seven BIG QUESTIONS. We are posting a pdf of the issues and a roadmap of which talks address each issue.)
There is an African proverb that says, “Smooth seas don’t make good sailors”. This economy has driven the ARF to re-create its conference strategy…perhaps providing a blueprint for others as well…to make them more tangible to attendees than ever before.
Go to http://www.thearf.org for all details and to register and get ready to wish the other guy good luck with the bear.