2012 Conference Sessions

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2012 Conference Sessions 2017-01-03T23:18:04+00:00


@Midwest sessions were designed for the small to mid-sized business professions looking at getting a presence in social media and for those looking to refine their practices. Sessions focused on topics concerning better social networking management, developing/maintaining a strategy, introducing new business models, improving profitability and employing effective social media.


  • Tim Miles. Opening Keynote: The Pendulum—Communication in 2012 and Beyond
    In case you haven’t noticed, the world is rapidly changing stripe and color. In The Pendulum, Tim Miles pulls back the curtain on western society and invites you to take a step waaaaaaay back and look at the driving forces that have made us what we are today. He’ll give you an entertaining understanding of a shockingly predictable social cycle that will empower you to be far more confident about decisions on how you’ll communicate with others in the weeks, months, and years to come. Chances are, he’ll also screw you up for the next several weeks as you watch the giant jigsaw puzzle come together for yourself.
  • Joe Strupek. Gunfight at the Social Corral 
    Just because the World Wide Web is the wild, wild west, doesn’t mean you can get away with being a cowboy.  A discussion about social networking, personal and professional conduct, and ethics.
  • Tim Miles. Closing Keynote: Managing Change from the Inside Out
    What if the people inside your organization typically most resistant to new ideas actually became your greatest allies in implementing them? Would that be worth something to you? Learn that and more in this entertaining-but-purposeful look at the insights and events that drive change and how we can assess our own capacities, develop our skills and manage change in the most effective way possible. This presentation closes with an actionable strategy and plan for actually implementing the things you learned @Midwest.

Breakout Sessions

  • Jay Krull: Embracing Data-Driven Communications.
    Moving beyond social, forward-thinking communicators are looking to new information channels to determine which issues are most pressing for their constituents. In-depth website usage data is increasingly being used to produce better content geared toward the needs of site visitors. Products that talk back (The Internet of Things), along with geo-tagged social posts, are helping communicators create heat maps of trouble spots to prevent crisis communications scenarios before they start. Customer conversation records, stored as large volumes of unstructured text, are being mined, with assistance from a new breed of software tools, for insights that can help prioritize key messages. When taken together and analyzed carefully, these resources can help communications teams become more responsive to the needs of their communities. This session will take a practical look at how PR and marketing professionals can become data-driven in any organizational setting, on any budget.
  • Brian Huonker: Turn Your Social Customers Into Brand Ambassadors
    Social media channels have transformed customer service forever. No longer are consumers willing to be put on hold, wait for the next available representative or press 1 for… Today’s “I want it now” customers expect instant responses from their favorite brands. Instead of shying away from social media, businesses must leverage their social channels to spread a positive brand reputation, to connect happy customers, and to step up their customer support efforts.Happy customers who get their issues resolved tell an average of four to six people about their positive experiences, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs. It pays to treat your customers well, not only for the repeat business, but also to gain the positive word-of-mouth consumers who broadcast across social media. Satisfied customers can become your most influential brand ambassadors. They’ll help to answer customer service questions posted online and also tout their own positive experiences with your business.
  • Amy Humphreys: Keep it Professional. Keep it Relevant. Keep it Updated.
    With more than 115 million members, LinkedIn is the largest professional network out there. In regards to web traffic, LinkedIn is #11 in the U.S, and #13 in the world. There are more people on LinkedIn than roughly three times the combined populations of the top 12 U.S. cities. That would make it the 19th largest country in the world. That is a great opportunity to promote your small business, large corporation, or a great place to prospect for new clients. This speaker session will discuss the importance of keeping your profile professional, relevant, and updated. It will also touch upon best practices to gain new clients and prospects, create stronger relationships with current customers, and promote your business.
  • Jill Salzman: Becoming an Expert in your Field
    Do you want to be the go-to person in your industry? Are you passionate about your field and looking to advance your career? Jill will teach you how to create a powerful platform for your brand. Learn practical, actionable tips and tricks so that you can become a trusted source and establish yourself as an industry leader. 
  • Jennifer McCarron, Business Builders, Event Sponsors: Embrace the Video Revolution
    Video is a powerful marketing, sales, and social learning tool. Learn the advantages of folding video into your organization to strengthen social networks, build relationships, increase awareness and understanding, improve presentations, increase sales, recruit and retain staff, and better your career and your organization. We’ll arm you with both the WHY and the practical HOW to incorporate this dynamic tool into your organization. As an added bonus, we’d like to share the future of video with this audience…showing examples of how interactive video and customized video targeting will change how we search, shop, share, and show information. No matter what experience or knowledge level you have with video, you’ll appreciate the valuable and new information presented at this session. Resources, recently gained from the national Business Video Expo, will be shared with those who attend.
  • Brian Huonker: QR Codes: What It’s All About
    QR Codes are simply a gateway between the physical and digital world in order to engage consumers in interactive brand communication that deepens the marketing message, strengthens brand loyalty and drives customer conversions. Discover the best way to use this emerging technology in your marketing and communications plans with the goal of acquiring, maintaining and growing customers more effectively and efficiently.
  • Barbara Maldonado: Connecting Events and Social Media for your Small Business
    There are a lot of skeptics that are questioning the return on investment and effort for social media. What does a Facebook Page really do for your business? How do you know whether or not posts and photos are driving your sales – the answer…it’s tough. Connecting social media to call to action moments in your small business will help you leverage the community and following you are building with reasons to visit your small business or purchase from you.

    • It’s all integrated – messaging to invitation to events
    • Leveraging events to drive sales and purchase online and offline
    • Tweet-Up 101
    • Online tools that help you manage and effectively execute events
  • Bernia Wheaton: Navigating Social Media Advertising for Business
    In this interactive, engaging, and entertaining presentation, you will learn to create winning social media advertisements designed to entice your fans and convert them into customers. Social media advertising is an effective and affordable way to grow your B2B andB2C business and build customer relationships that generate revenue and increase profits. Topics covered include:

    • Social media advertising options
    • Selecting an appealing photo
    • Writing a 140 character blurb that will attract users
    • Tracking results
    • Transforming your audience into loyal customers
  • Steve Robinson, Constant Contact, Event Sponsor: 5 Keys to Email Marketing
    This informative presentation teaches you to create and deliver highly branded, professional looking emails designed to wow your customers and prospects. Email marketing is an effective, affordable and easy to use way to enhance your organization or business image and build relationships that lead to profit, revenue and increased participation. Topics covered during this overview of email marketing include:

    • What is permission-based email marketing
    • List building
    • Tips on getting your emails opened
    • Best practices in email marketing
    • Tracking results and what to do with this information
    • And much, much more!!
    • This seminar appeals to anybody that wants to learn five basic things that are necessary to successfully conduct email marketing campaigns.
  • Steve Robinson, Constant Contact, Event Sponsor: Supercharging Your Facebook Marketing
    It’s no secret that Facebook has become a huge part of how people interact with each other, share ideas and recommendations, and interact with the brands they like. But too many businesses aren’t seeing results from their Facebook marketing efforts because they are posting content without a plan for turning “fans” into customers and advocates. In this seminar, you’ll learn:

    • Why Facebook is important to your business
    • The difference between posting and marketing on Facebook
    • Ten tips to drive more “likes,” more “shares,” and more business
  • Kaitlin Nickrent, Dillon White, Jessica Funcannon: College Students and Social Media Branding
    Description of session: This speaker session will be discussing how students can use social media to boost their careers. If you’re a Generation X-er or older, you likely use social media to cut it in the real world. You may also use social networks for personal reasons, but it’s always with the understanding that you’re a professional. But newer generations of college graduates began their social media experience as a very personal one. And the shift to using social media for career development may seem optional. But it’s a necessary evil at the very least, and can actually be quite beneficial to your future at the very best. Jennifer and Jessica will discuss a few things students should consider when starting to use social media professionally and effectively. 
  • Marty Vanags: Social Media for Non-profits
    Poor non-profits. Kicked to the side as the poor sibling of the for-profit world, and expected to “run like a business” yet without the resources. How does a non-profit build its brand, reputation, and ultimately its resources through social media? Marty Vanags, CEO of the Bloomington Normal Economic Development Council, will provide an entertaining and humorous look at social media and how one non-profit has benefited from its use. More than a way to promote your next fundraiser, social media can build your reputation and provide new resources.
  • Social Media Trends: Should you Jump on the Bandwagon?
    Everyone wants to be on the latest and greatest social sites. We want to be where the buzz is, where the social media gurus are going, in the middle of the action. But can you manage every site? Can you keep up interesting content? This session will explore some of the newest social media sites, what they have to offer, and, more importantly, show you how to decide which ones are right for you.
  • David Adler: Social Media Marketing: Legal & Regulatory Compliance
    The past few years have witnessed an explosion of legal and regulatory activity social and other new media. This session will examine several key areas, including copyright, trademark and related intellectual property concerns; defamation, obscenity and related liability; false advertising and marketing restrictions; gaming; data privacy issues presented by social media; and impacts of social media on employees and the workplace. Attendees will learn how to identify legal risks and issues before they become full-scale emergencies and how to develop appropriate policies and guidelines covering social media activity. Outline of topics:

    • Overview of Social Media – defining the medium
    • Copyright, Trademark and Other IP Concerns
    • Communications Decency Act – Obscenity, Defamation and more?
    • Advertising
    • Marketing restrictions – email and text messaging
    • Gaming
    • Privacy
    • Employee issues and the National Labor Relations Board
    • Multi-jurisdictional consideration and guidelines for policy development
  • Barbara Maldonado: Mobile Marketing and your Small Business Submission
    Whether a B2B orB2C company, mobile can effectively support your business objectives and growth via a device so important to your consumer that oftentimes most return home if they forget it. With recent studies showing the vast growth of smart phone adoption in the U.S. and findings that more than 50% of U.S. consumers use their mobile phones within their shopping experience, mobile has arrived for large and small businesses, the session addresses the main ways that a small business can maximize mobile integration into their marketing mix.

    • What are effective mobile marketing tactics for your small business?
    • How does social media integrate with mobile – Is it the same? Different?
    • How can small business owners use mobile marketing to build awareness and sales?
      • Best practices
      • How to build your subscriber database
      • You have a mobile program – now what?
    • Case studies for small business
    • Partners to help you deliver success
  • Bernia Wheaton: Online Marketing on a Tight Budget
    If you’ve been faced with the challenge of marketing on a small budget, or launching a new product or service, then you won’t want to miss this presentation on a real-life example of marketing on a budget. Hear how Bernia Wheaton, Director of Business Development, increased revenue by over 50% by spending just $10/day.
  • Jill Salzman: Social Media & Start Ups: What Do I Do Now?
    You’ve launched your business and you’re familiar with social media.  But how can you take advantage of all that social media has to offer your start up? Learn to use Twitter. Interact with followers on your Facebook Fan page. Take advantage of the various free tools that social media has to offer so that your business improves. Unlock the mystery of what social media can…and will…do for your business.
  • Nathan Hintch: Facebook Promotions and the Law
    A presentation on Facebook’s terms and use re: promotions / sweepstakes, and the Illinois Prizes and Gifts Act.  As more businesses dip into social media, even large corporations are violating the rules with their Facebook promos, such as by requiring “likes” for entry in a sweepstakes.
  • Melissa Schenk: Media Shift: From Campaigns to Conversations Submission
    You might remember her from Tourism Queensland’s “Best Job in the World” Competition. She was in the TOP 50 out of more than 35,000 entries.  Through tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and You Tube, Melissa will give you a better understanding of the world of social media and how to use it to your advantage when marketing yourself or your business online. From campaigns to conversations, Melissa will have you rethinking the traditional, exploring the new, and experiencing the unknown. Listen – Engage – Experience. Harness the power of social networking tools and learn how to develop content that will build business success. Melissa will take you on a journey and teach you how to become your own Social Media Producer, make a name for yourself and be remembered.