MDMC17 Early Bird Offer: Register Before 12/16 and get FREE parking

Are you ready for an another amazing conference this coming April?
Order tickets now and get FREE parking for both days. Yes, you read correct. MDMC17 is going to be a 2-day event featuring new speakers, a career fair, an executive roundtable session, food trucks, an opening night party and more.
We have over 90 speakers representing companies including Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and more! Learn more.
Last year we had 1,367 attendees and 44 exhibitors on display. We trended on twitter both nationally and internationally for over 8 hours on the day of the conference. To become a sponsor, click here to learn more.
Are you a company looking to get in front of 2,000 digital & social media marketing and communications experts, technologists and data geeks then this is the place to be. To become an exhibitor click here for details.

2-Day Pass Early Bird Pass

  • Access to all keynotes and concurrent sessions on days 1 & 2
  • Access to Exhibitor Alley
  • Access to Job and Career Fair
  • Morning and afternoon coffee and snacks
  • Goodie bag with swag
  • Invitation to opening night party
  • PowerPoints of all presentations

*Early Bird: Register before 12/16 and receive 2 days of parking for FREE (a $40 value) with your tickets. This is only available for the regular 2-day passes. 

Price: $149

Click here to purchase tickets 


VIP Upgrade

In addition to the above, the VIP upgrade also includes the following:

  • Parking passes good for both days
  • Conference T-Shirt
  • One free food truck lunch voucher good for either day
  • Access to the VIP Lounge
  • Free audio of all sessions
  • One free drink ticket for opening night party
  • VIP seating during the keynotes on day 1

Price: $249

Click here to purchase tickets 

Share of Ear

By: Gregory Pride

podcasting .jpg
Photo credit:

Photo credit:
Observing the Share of Ear report, the obvious takeaway is that podcast listening and awareness are all significantly on the rise. This year, more than half of the survey respondents knew what podcasting is, and that is very important. What that means is that now is a better time than ever before for a company or individual to start developing a brand via podcasts. There are a few possibilities for how a brand could be grown through this medium, but they require dedication and a great deal of patience.
The first, on the individual side, comes from the information about education. Podcast consumers are starting to become more and more like mainstream America, according to the study, so podcasts about very mundane or specialized topics could actually have an audience now. Shows about video games, movie reviews, or other aspects of pop culture could allow an individual to reach out to the market and gain a wider audience.
The biggest value for businesses is that podcasting allows them to reach out to consumers in a venue where they can’t easily grab their attention: the car. By creating a weekly or monthly show about topics of interest to their customer base, they’ll be able to expose consumers to their products while they’re just driving around. As long as the show is actually on a topic that the customers enjoy, this will be a great opportunity for businesses.
Most importantly, podcasting is a venue that’s constantly growing. The trend is rising upwards in every aspect, and individuals building themselves up or businesses growing their brands need to hop on the trend before the market is too flooded for them to gain ground.

3 Ways to Boost Your Snapchat Efforts

By: Chase Kohler
Snapchat is the emerging network the industry cannot get enough of. While traditional social media has been focused on preserving memories for generations, Snapchat delivers on their promise that twenty-four hours later the moment never happened. With live filters, download capability and geo-targeting options added over the last eighteen months, the former ‘teenage wasteland’ has become one of the fastest growing marketing platforms. While major brands and events across the gloImage_Abe have made their way onto this platform, surprisingly, marketers as a whole have been slow to embrace the latest social trend, with only an estimated 70% active on the platform on a consistent basis.
Image_ASo what’s alluring about vanishing photos, videos and filters? Unlike the ever-lasting portal of Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat holds content that cannot be scanned by Googlet least not yet, we’re watching you Google +). To follow a brand that is not paying to play on the main page, one has to manually enter the exact name or scan a barcode. Snapchat takes more effort than traditional social media networks to engage with, meaning those who do engage feel a much stronger connection than just scrolling through a curated feed. Since a user can switch from plastic surgery cuts to CNN breaking news through a simple swipe, the options become limitless for what brands can offer.
Here are a few easy ways to jumpstart your Snapchat presence now:
1. Create a Geofilter
Genius or simplistic, one cannot deny the stronghold geofilters have provided to Snapchat’s growth. Whether on a street, at a national monument, or attending your cousin’s wedding, geofilters provide a custom filter that anyone can use to personalize a photo. Priced based on the amount of space and volume of users, geofilters range from $15-20,000 for a twenty-four hour period. With photos from Snapchat appearing more frequently across other platforms such as Instagram, this tool provides promotional potential beyond your simple sugar rush.
2. Ask for a ‘Snap Back’
While many brands utilize Snapchat for bursts of behind the scenes magic, not every brand has an exciting celebrity ready in the makeup chair.  According to Adweek, nearly a fourth of all content created on the platform is product focused, yet only a meager 11% of all brands request a further call to action! While content strategies will vary depending on business model, those ten seconds you have with consumers is your time for pure engagement. Keep the campaign going with a URL name or ask them to ‘Snap Back’ ideas! Side Note: Live links are not a feature in Snapchat for brands yet, but it’s most likely only a matter of time.
3. Give a Personal Lens
As mentioned above, the introduction of interactive filters last year helped Snapchat’s content move from native to national, with added capabilities like image downloading and re-purposing on users’ Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Interactive filters use facial detection technology to create a custom environment over someone’s silhouette. Beyond the millions of puppy dog images created lies a key potential for marketers-sponsored lenses. This recent example from Wendy’s showed the ‘Hot’ lens to promote their new Jalapeno Fresco melt. No longer are messages only being pushed to users, but they are personally choosing to utilize them. That’s brand power like never before!
So if you’re not on Snapchat yet, either for personal or brand reasons, there’s no time like the present. With the network still considered ‘emerging’, we have yet to see the full potential this platform has to offer marketers. Only recently have they introduced their new paid advertising platform, complete with a toolbox of analytics to make our senses tingle.  Creating content on the platform is perhaps the cheapest of all social media networks because you don’t need high quality designs or surveys – just day to day activity. If all else fails, you came up with some cute new photos to share.
Image Credits
Image 1 VIA MarketingLand
Image 2 VIA SearchMarketingExpo

The Top 3 Things I Learned from Volunteering @ #MDMC16

By: Amy Cabanas
FishbowlThe Mid-West Digital Marketing Conference this year allowed me the ability to introduce myself to such a wide array of diverse potential employers, colleagues, and marketing professionals that I can honestly say it was nothing short of a networking extravaganza!
1. “Treat every networking event like it is your own personal party and you’re trying to be a good host. Walk up to people and make sure they have everything they need and ask if they are having a good time. My mentor Matt Coble, CEO of G Inc., a who was also on the planning committee, spoke to us regarding this tactic in our pre show training meeting. This works, I used this tip throughout my day volunteering at registration. As things slowed with registration, as the day wore on, while walking tech ally I was able to approach many people with that tip in mind, which resulted in new contacts.
2. “Trust your instincts,” is another rule of thumb when preparing for your volunteering position at a conference this size. I was able to maneuver my way through many situations that transpired without having to bother my lead and/or Perry and Cara. I think we all as humans second guess ourselves, but 9 times out of 10, you can handle it, so go for it.
3. I recently was lucky enough to sit in on a marketing presentation where I learned that “it is less important about who you know, and more important about who knows you?” Naretha Hopson, CEO of Ever-Appropriate Etiquette Institute, also mentioned that your concerns should lie in what people are saying about you when you leave the room and/or conversation. So make sure you present yourself well and when you leave have the same in mind.
So needless to say, I had a blast being a volunteer this year for #MDMC16. I not only learned a great deal but I made new contacts, built new relationships and fostered current friendships. This being my last semester as an undergrad business/marketing student I am happy that I signed up for, not only the UMSL Digital Lab, but volunteered for the conference. I would highly recommendation the experience to anyone interested!

#MDMC16 Recap: An UMSL Student’s Perspective

By: Kathrin Hanke
Together with over 1300 other people I attended the Midwest’s largest digital and social media marketing event – #MDMC16! It was held on April 21st at historic St. Louis Union Station.
After picking up my badge and swag bag I made my way through the exhibitor booths and tech alley to Dan the Pancake Man. Being amazed by his skills and creativity I wandered off to meet some of the startups and sponsors, and it was then when I saw all these tiny gold fish in their bowl. What great branding!? #MDMC16 could not have made it better – and the best part, you were able to adopt Louie, Ted and all the other little fish.
The day was kicked off by keynote speaker Travis Sheridan and then followed by the first round of breakout sessions. In addition to the three keynotes, there were 40 different sessions throughout the day, split up in seven rounds, each having five to six sessions running concurrently. The big question was: Which sessions do I attend? Making a decision was definitely not easy since there were so many great speakers and topics! Eventually I attended seven breakout sessions and made some notes for everybody who was not able to attend them. Check out my three biggest takeaways below:
#1: “Livestreaming grows at the know- like- trust factor exponentially faster than any other social media platform out there.” – Bonnie Frank, Live Stream Broadcaster
Bonnie Frank believes that Livestreaming absolutely changed the Face of Communication, especially the conversation on Social Media. As a matter of fact, if you are broadcasting with Periscope it will appear in your Twitter – Twitter bought Periscope about five days after launch. Frank also mentions Facebook Live, which allows you to directly live stream to Facebook. FYI: #MDMC16 live streamed parts of the conference on both of these channels. What a great way to engage with the audience outside Union Station, which for whatever reason could not make it to #MDMC16! Frank then shared some advice with her audience: “You gotta know what you are saying you know!” and explains that you have to gain you audience’s trust. She herself just talks about four things on a daily basis and is able to answer every question the audience might have – the key to gain an incredibly exposure without paying a penny.
#2: Creating relevant content is key to success.
We all have heard it a hundred times: You have to create content that is relevant to your audience. Once you have your content you have to make sure that you push it out on the right channels at the right time. But how? Todd Budin from Nielsen shared some tips on how to create memorable ads and how to be successful with your digital advertising.
Memorable Ads:
1. Tell as simple story
2. Use relatable characters and contexts
3. Show identifiable situations with a unique twist
4. Utilize strong imagery
5. Engage emotions
Digital Best Practices:
1. Maintain campaign/brand consistency
2. Align metrics across channels
3. Understand optimal frequency
#3: “Pinterest is not a social network, it’s a catalog of ideas.” – Raashi Bhalla, Pinterest
Raashi Bhalla introduced her audience to the “Art and Science of Using Pinterest” by explaining that Pinterest is THE place to go to when looking for ideas, inspirations and solutions. Pins showcase products with additional advice on how to use or make them. A detailed description or instruction would complete a Pin. She also advises to use text overlays in order to make the picture identifiable. Users are able to create lists and pin their favorites for later use – this allows Pinterest to target at key moments, regarding to life stage, interests and search inquiries. She also says that you don’t need to use Hashtags in your Pins because Pinterest’s “discovery engine” is already so advanced that it will identify and then categorize, as well as associate the Pin with related terms. Nor should you use Hashtags in your Pins because Pinterest might identify Pins with too many Hashtags as spam!
kh3The Midwest Digital Marketing Conference was a great event that had a lot to offer. Besides all the amazing speakers, 12 Arch Grants startups showcased their innovations and business ideas and competed for a $1,000 prize. At the end of the day Swizzle was the winner – a tech startup that does everything from influencer marketing research to app development. Congratulations!
Make sure to sign up for updates all things #MDMC so you won’t miss the even bigger #MDMC17!

#MDMC16 Interview: Marc Bowers of St. Louis Makes

By: Dan Feeherty
Among the many minds and companies spearheading innovation in St. Louis is none other than St. Louis Makes. Acting as an innovation help desk, St. Louis Makes provides resources to the products and ideas that need it most. UMSL MBA student Dan Feeherty recently interviewed Marc Bowers, founder and director about growing innovation within the community:


St. Louis Makes will be on hand at #MDMC16 to showcase and chat with attendees. Follow @StLouisMakes on Twitter!