A Look Into the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference

By: Dan Klevorn and Pablo Romero
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This week in the UMSL Business podcasting series, “In Your Business with UMSL Business”, a few UMSL Business students sat down with Perry Drake, Angela LaRocca and Briana Smith to talk about the upcoming Midwest Digital Marketing Conference and how it has grown over the past four years. This year, MDMC will take place on April 12th and 13th at Union Station in downtown St. Louis.
Perry Drake is a professor at UMSL who started his teaching career at New York University in the field of Integrated Marketing. He began teaching at UMSL four years ago, after a 14 year stint in New York. It was at UMSL where professor Drake created the UMSL Digital Conference that first time took place on campus for only half a day. The Digital Conference grew and it became known as the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, or MDMC, and has since moved off campus to Union Station to accommodate larger crowds.
Angela LaRocca, Brand Manager at Unidev, was one of the original Digital Conference attendees and she recalls that she had to seat on the floor in this one room auditorium in the JC Penney building at UMSL because of so many people who attended the conference. Since then, she credits the growth of the conference to the hard work of everyone involved whixh has made it what it is today. Today, she participates as a speaker and shares about her impressive and diverse career in many fields.
Another speaker at MDMC is Brianna Smith. She is a Digital and Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, and Speaker that currently works at TeraRecon, Inc. as an Integrated Marketing Manager. She holds the Executive Conference Director position with the MDMC. What does an executive conference director do? Well, according to Brianna, she is in charge of setting up the speakers, sponsors, marketing, and the structure of the conference. Brianna states “we have expanded the conference with over 40 sessions structured into tracks”. These Day 1 tracks will cover “creative, data, and social media” as well as being “categorized into beginner, intermediate, and advanced sessions”. Day 2 is full of keynote speakers on the main stage so you won’t miss a thing.
So what will we hear at this conference?
During the interview, the team discussed the always changing world of technology and how it affects media and marketing. They believe future decisions will be based on “data driven” numbers that will affect which area works best with your brand. At MDMC, companies such as Adobe will have a session to discuss how data is a game change for the future, so expect other companies discussing similar topics.
As for those going to the conference, Perry, Angela, and Brianna discussed some of the tips to succeed at MDMC this year. They encourage everyone to get on the MDMC website beforehand to plan out which sessions they will attend so they can transition from one session to the next. Bonfyre will be setting the schedule so MDMC attendees can access the schedule in the palm of their hand. There will also be a career fair, which is new to MDMC this year, and students are encouraged to attend, so make sure that LinkedIn account is updated and you bring a business card. You can see the full schedule of the conference here.
Want to learn more about the advice Angela, Perry, and Brianna gave during the interview?
Listen to the whole podcast on iTunes: https://tinyurl.com/umslbusinesspodcast