Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

F194108586The Chicago AMA’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are communities of marketers that come together around a common interest or topic. SIG programs are lightly structured and offer a place to go offline, get candid, and network with an eclectic mix of marketers who challenge the status quo across industry verticals and disciplines.

SIG programming events are typically organized around: Industry Specific or Cross-Industry topics.

      • Industry Specific SIGs explore topics that are pertinent to marketers within a specific field. Currently, we have the following communities that are active and running: Financial Services, Nonprofit, and Higher Education.
      • Cross-Industry SIGs explore topics that are pertinent to marketers no matter what industry they work or are interested in. Market Research is our active community in this programming area.

In 2014, we introduced the SIG Pop-Up series. Pop-Up SIGs are organized around a singular top of mind topic that’s industry-specific or cross-industry themed. We provide the space, panel of experts, pizza and beer and you bring your amazing mind, deepest passion, creative humor, and burning questions.

All SIG programs and activities are open to Chicago AMA members and non-members.  For more information about our SIGs or current volunteer opportunities, please contact the Chicago AMA Board’s Vice President of SIGs Vice President of SIGs.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - Special Interest Group (SIG): Building a Charismatic Brand

Speaker:  Jennifer GoodSmith, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, The Morton Arboretum

goodsmith-color-photo

Date:  Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Time:  8:00 am – 9:30 am

Location:  

Association Management Center (AMC)
8735 W. Higgins Rd.
Ste. 300
Chicago, IL 60631

Join us for an encore session by Jennifer GoodSmith who presented at the AMA National Nonprofit Marketing Conference in July. Jennifer’s session is highly rated and will focus on building a brand identity. The steps it takes; such as: institutional commitment, engagement, and a willingness to look deep into your own organization and listen to your different audiences to see what they expect and want from you.
Come listen to how one local nonprofit organization, The Morton Arboretum, changed its organizational culture to build a brand culture as The Champion of Trees that helped it reach new heights. This session offers hands-on ideas that every organization can use to create brand loyalists, while cultivating and engaging brand ambassadors who share the essence, character and brand promise. From development to implementation, authorship to ownership, this session shares how to build your own charismatic brand while remaining true to your own mission.

Speaker:
Jennifer GoodSmith is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at The Morton Arboretum responsible for marketing strategy, brand management, creative services and media relations, with an emphasis on finding the right way to distribute the right messages through print and digital communications. Prior to joining The Morton Arboretum, she was Vice President of Integrated Marketing at the American Medical Association overseeing marketing strategy and integrated physician communications. Jennifer also spent 15 years in higher education, building marketing programs to enable universities to recognize and embrace what makes them distinctive while building brand recognition through traditional and social media channels.

Past SIG Events

Thursday, June 9, 2016 - SuperSIG - Engagement is Everything: Getting the Results You Want from Social Media

Location:

Brickfish
209 W. Jackson Blvd.
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60606

Thursday, June 9, 2016 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Positioning your brand in today’s market hinges largely on your digital presence. When executed well, it can build a strong community around your brand and attract new audiences. How do you optimize your efforts with social media in order to generate this level of engagement that leads to conversion?

Come to the Chicago AMA Super SIG on Thursday, June 9 and meet Michael Mullarkey, CEO of Brickfish. A Chicago-based firm, Brickfish operates with the philosophy that “Engagement is Everything” to deliver results for large brands like Neiman Marcus and Hertz.

Michael will begin the session with a 20-minute presentation. We will then break out into smaller groups where participants can dive deeper into specific issues and share experiences.  We will cover topic areas including:
•    How to target and reach a specific audience
•    How to deliver relevant and fresh content on a regular basis
•    How to spark dialog with your audience

REGISTER TODAY. LIMITED SEATING.

SIG stands for Special Interest Group providing opportunities for collaboration, connection and career advancement. Currently, the Chicago AMA has active SIGs for CPG, Higher Education, Market Research, Healthcare and Nonprofit marketing.

The Super SIG is a great platform for marketers to convene around a shared topic, listen to an expert shed light on the issues and break out into smaller groups to do a deeper dive into the topic.  Participants benefit from the perspectives of marketers from other industries that we may not typically see in our daily jobs.

AGENDA:
5:30 – 6:00       Networking
6:00 – 6:20       Featured Speaker
6:20 – 7:00       Group Discussions
7:00 – 7:10       Wrap-up
7:10 – 7:30       More networking

Light refreshments will be served.

Speaker and Host:

Michael Mullarkey is the CEO & Chairman of Brickfish, a social media software company that transforms how brands engage their audiences across all devices, platforms, and digital media. Leveraging patented technology, Brickfish has tracked over 1 billion engagements for hundreds of leading brands such as Capital One, Redbox, Microsoft, and NIKE. Through its Viral Mapping™ and Geo View™ analytical software, Brickfish provides consumer insight and targeted solutions. Michael also controls several patents for online marketing platforms, voting campaigns, social sharing, and content distribution.

Michael started his career with SONY Electronics within the sales and marketing group. He then became Senior Vice President of Diversified Markets at SONY USA, where he managed over $1 billion in sales. He was instrumental in the launch of DirecTV, WEBTV and several new products within the consumer products group.

Thursday, March 10, 2016 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM 11 Deadly Presentation Sins: A Path to Redemption for Public Speakers and PowerPoint Users

Few things in our business are more important than the ability to present our ideas and programs in clear and compelling terms. Solid presentation skills can help you win new business, gain approval for programs and campaigns, rally employees and earn a reputation as an industry leader.

Yet most people are terrible presenters. And even professional marketers and communicators occasionally succumb to the worst sins of public speaking, from listless delivery to lackluster content, from meandering stories to mundane visuals. In this engaging, interactive workshop, you’ll come away with dozens of practical tips for developing and delivering more persuasive presentations, and coaching others to be better presenters.

This is Chicago AMA’s first Pop-Up SIG for 2016. The session will help you:

  • Structure and focus your content on your audience’s needs.
  • Develop more evocative, TED-style slides.
  • Find, shape and tell compelling stories that move audiences to act.
  • Invest your arguments with emotion to win hearts and change minds.
  • Manage your energy and physical presence.
  • Open with a bang and finish strong.

11 Deadly Presentation Sins combines lessons from the worlds of business and entertainment to help you give the performance of your life. Sources of learning range from Seth Godin to Star Trek, Romeo & Juliet to Ricky Gervais, Steve Jobs to Saturday Night Live. Whether pitching new business around a conference room table or addressing hundreds of peers in a ballroom, you’ll come away with greater confidence and skill when all eyes are on you.
REGISTER TODAY. LIMITED SEATING.

SIG stands for Special Interest Group providing opportunities for collaboration, connection and career advancement. Currently, the Chicago AMA has active SIGs for Higher Education, Market Research,Nonprofit, Healthcare and CPG. Pop-Up SIGs are organized around a singular top-of-mind topic that’s industry-specific or cross-industry themed.

AGENDA:
5:30 – 6:00 Networking
6:00 – 7:15 Featured Speaker and Program
7:15 – 7:30 Wrap-up

Light refreshments will be served.

About the Presenter:

Rob Biesenbach is a veteran executive speechwriter and a professional speaker himself who’s conducted workshops for AARP, Allstate, Bloomberg BNA and Lockheed Martin, among others. He’s also a former vice president at Ogilvy PR and a Second City-trained actor who has appeared in nearly 200 stage and commercial productions. He brings these worlds together in his workshops and books to help people become more skilled, confident communicators. This session is based on his latest book, 11 Deadly Presentation Sins: A Path to Redemption for Public Speakers.

About the Host:

i.c.stars provides a rigorous technology-based workforce development and leadership training program for low-income adults, developing Chicagoland’s most promising information technology talent with leadership goals and connecting them with career opportunities through social enterprise and partner organizations. The profits earned through their business model support their training program. Working with low-income young adults, providing them with employment opportunities and preparing them for community-based advocacy allows them to achieve their social purpose.

Thursday, October 8, 2015 SuperSIG for Building Brand Awareness

SuperSIG for Building Brand Awareness: Four Ways to Communicate Your Value Proposition
Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM (CDT)

Sprout Social HQ
131 South Dearborn Street
10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603

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All in all, Marketing is all about communication. When you add analytics and sociology it gets pretty scientific. No matter your industry, communicating key messages is essential to business development and getting to predictable and consistent customer acquisition costs.

At this event, we will highlight four approaches to communicating your value proposition to your target audiences that directly impact the growth of your customer base. We will cover Lead Nurturing, Lead Generation, Maximization of Value with Current Customers, and Referral Programs. In addition to “how to get started” we will cover aspects of developing a strategy, execution and measurement system.

SIG stands for Special Interest Group. SIGs provide high quality opportunities for Education, Connection and Career Advancement. Currently, the Chicago AMA has active SIGs for CPG, Higher Education, Market Research and Nonprofit marketing.

The Super SIG is a great platform for marketers to convene around a shared topic, listen to an expert shed light on the issues and break out into various SIGs to do a deeper dive into the topic as it applies to the industry represented by each SIG. The REGROUP AND SHARE portion raises the value of your experience exponentially as participants benefit from the perspectives that each SIG brings to the table that we may not typically see in our daily jobs.

AGENDA:

5:30 – 6:00 PM Networking
6:00 – 6:30 PM Speaker Presentation
6:30 – 7:00 PM Breakout into SIG groups – CPG, Higher Ed, Market Research, and Nonprofit
7:00 – 7:30 PM Regroup, Share, Q&A
7:30 – 8:00 PM More networking

brandies dunaganOur guest speaker is Brandies Meva’a, CEO & Co-Founder of SourceDigital Marketing, a team of professionals with deep expertise and passion for helping clients increase lead flow, reduce customer acquisition costs, and connect with target customers. Commencing from the i.c.stars program in 2006 Brandies first worked at Hewitt Associates as a Benefits Analyst for two years, while starting up Second Nature Digital LLC., a web and blog development firm with a fellow alumnus Shana Robinson. Through her business, Brandies has been able to work with small businesses and not-for-profits which enabled her to bridge the two fields she is most passionate about; that being technology and community based organizations. Since i.c.stars Brandies has also forged a relationship with the Black Angel Network as a board member, helping to develop programs and core curriculum for the youth that they impact.

Light refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, June 17 CPG SIG - Authentic Engagement Through Social Media

Food Royalty (CPG) SIG Presents – Authentic Engagement through Social Media
Wednesday, June 17th from 5:30 – 7:30 PM CST

Sprout Social
131 S. Dearborn Street, Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60603

Authentic Engagement through Social Media
Social Media is not foreign to anyone in the CPG market, but what is good engagement? Using social just to market a brand and advertise promotions or campaigns is not rich engagement. Hear from leading brands as they talk about how they are utilizing social to drive meaningful, two-way conversations with customers. Learn from their successes, risks and failures!

Beam Suntory products will be available with light refreshments.

Event Agenda:

5:30 pm – 6:00 pm: Registration and Networking
6:00 pm – 7:15 pm: Presentation & Discussion
7:15 pm – 7:30 pm: Wrap-up

Speakers:

Joe Beitzel

Joe Beitzel is Director of Channel and Product Innovation for Custom Culinary®, the leading manufacture of Bases, Sauces and Gravies, where he is responsible for creating e-commerce business plans and building a direct selling team. Prior to this, Joe was Director of Marketing and executed Custom Culinary’s first social media and content management strategy.

AndreaJavor

Andrea Javor is Sr. Director of Global Media Strategy at Beam Suntory, where she optimizes media strategy for brands including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Laphroaig, Courvoisier, Yamazaki, Hibiki, Sauza and Pinnacle. Andrea leads a team of cross-functional media experts imbedded in the business to implement best practices and innovative execution in paid media investment, social content/community management, customer service and social data and analytics.

LaSridhar

La Sridhar is the Kraft Cheese Consumer Insights and Strategy Lead for Kraft Foods Group. She is responsible for delivering compelling and differentiating brand/consumer/marketplace understanding to build and deliver strong strategic plans, compelling marketing tactics, and relevant innovation/renovation opportunities for the $2B Kraft business.

JoshuaSigler

Joshua Sigler is a Solutions Architect at Sprout Social, a social media management and engagement platform for business. During his time at Sprout, Josh has helped hundreds of organizations – both large and small – extract real business value out of social. Follow him @joshuasigler.

Thurs., June 4 - SIG 2015 Summer Madness Mixer

SIG 2015 Summer Madness Mixer
Thursday, June 4th from 5:30 – 8:00 PM CST

The Allis at Soho House
113-125 N. Green St
Chicago, IL 60607

The Spring 2015 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) season is wrapping up – we’ve had an awesome time and wanted take a moment to express our thanks for helping make it a remarkable experience!

We’ll be toasting to the end of a great Spring season – 2015 member volunteers get in FREE as a THANK YOU – (contact your SIG Ninja leader for the Volunteer promo code). For the rest of you rock stars, the ticket price includes eats & beverages.

Thurs., May 7 - Mission Drivers (Nonprofit) SIG Presents: Big Data for Fundraisers

Mission Drivers (Nonprofit) SIG Presents – Big Data for Fundraisers
Thursday, May 7 from 8:00 – 10:00 AM CST

Association Management Center
8735 W. Higgins Road, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60631

Many nonprofits have heard the term “big data” and have asked themselves how to turn their donor data into quality metrics they can analyze and, ultimately, turn into donations. Join Andrew Means from The Impact Lab and Beth Zemach from Association Management Center who will give you tips and tools to help your organization identify areas to focus on your data collection, how to ensure your data is high quality so you can analyze it, and thus reach the right demographics to increase gross revenue.

Takeaways:

What data is and why data quality is important.
Why nonprofits should be excited to use data to change their marketing and fundraising strategies, while increasing gross revenue.
Review use cases from nonprofits and recent political campaigns
Event Agenda:

Light breakfast included

8:00 am – 8:30 am:  Registration and Networking
8:30 am – 9:10 am:  Presentation by Andrew Means, The Impact Lab
9:15 am – 9:55 am:  Presentation by Beth Zemach, Association Management Center
9:55 am – 10:00 am:  Wrap-up
10:00am – 10:30am:  Networking

Speaker Bios:

andrewmeansAndrew Means is Associate Director of the Center for Data Science & Public Policy at the University of Chicago and Founder of Data Analysts for Social Good and The Impact Lab. Prior to joining the University, Andrew worked as Manager, Impact Measurement & Data Storytelling at Groupon and Director of Research & Analytics at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. He holds a Master in Public Policy from the Harris School at the University of Chicago and is a trained Six Sigma Green Belt from Motorola. Andrew is Chairman of the Board of Directors at The Supply and a member of the Board of Directors at MHA Labs. He also sits on the Associate Board of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Recently, The Chronicle of Philanthropy named him one of 8 leaders to watch in 2014.

bethzemachBeth Zemach is Senior Project Manager at Association Management Center and has a passion for data driven decision-making because she loves the results. Inspiring boards, committees and task teams to strategize based on empirical data, Beth helps associations grow. She draws on her market research background in the advertising arena, bringing a business planning perspective to association product and program development. As an AMC Senior Project Manager, she facilitates company-wide initiatives on demographic data, conference planning and other enterprise projects impacting business improvements at AMC.

Tues., Apr 28 - SIG Pop-Up Spring 2015 Series: Shopaholics: Keeping Up with the Increasingly Mobile Retail Consumer - Wearables, Oh My!

SIG Pop-Up Spring 2015 Series: Shopaholics: Keeping Up with the Increasingly Mobile Retail Consumer – Wearables, Oh My!
Tuesday, April 28 from 5:30–8:00 PM CST

Networked InsightsNetworkedInsights_Logo_20MAR15
350 N. Orleans St, Suite 850
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 985-9700

Mobile, tablets and phablets, now add iBeacons, Smartwatches and Glass, oh my! Wondering how all of these are reshaping the retail customer experience? Want to know what are the opportunities, challenges and pitfalls of folding all of these elements into your business? Join us on Tuesday, April 28, at 5:30 p.m. at Networked Insights located next to the Merchandise Mart to exchange perspectives, discover new ideas, and take part in a unique hands-on experience that allows you to grow with your peers. Space is limited so register today!

Mon., April 20 - Genius Makers (Higher Ed SIG) Presents: Why a Compelling Value Proposition is Critical for Higher Ed

Genius Makers (Higher Ed SIG) Presents: Why a Compelling Value Proposition is Critical for Higher Ed
Monday, April 20 from 5:30 – 8:00 PM CST

Enterprise Works Chicago
HTI @ Chicago Tech Park
2242 W. Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60612

“You’re unique…just like everyone else.”
Why a Compelling Value Proposition is Critical for Higher Ed

If every college claims it’s special, how do you set your institution apart? A compelling value proposition can help your university stand out in the crowded higher education marketplace. This Higher Education Special Interest Group workshop will teach you what makes a value proposition so important, how to identify and make the most of your unique attributes and specific steps for developing an effective value proposition for your institution.

Enterprise Works Chicago (EWC) is proud to be hosting the Chicago AMA’s Higher Ed SIG. A startup for startups, EWC is a university based operation charged with creating a robust entrepreneurial community to nurture commercialization and accelerate viable high technology startups throughout the Chicagoland community. EWC’s function is to engage the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, leverage University wide assets, and provide entrepreneurs in the community access to resources within and beyond the University to create viable startups that contribute economic benefit to the State of Illinois. Enterprise Works Chicago is located at HTI @ Chicago Tech Park on 2242 W. Harrison Street, Chicago IL 60612

Speaker:

philweilerheadshot.1b-1Phil Weiler, Senior Executive Director
Marketing and Brand Management
Office of Public and Government Affairs
University of Illinois Chicago

Phil Weiler is a marketing and strategic communications professional with more than 25 years of experience in both the private and public sectors. He has provided communications and marketing leadership for a variety of organizations including Oregon’s flagship public research university, the world’s fourth-largest software company, Oregon’s second-largest municipality and a Fortune 500 wood products company. Phil currently serves as senior executive director of marketing and brand management for the University of Illinois at Chicago, one of the nation’s premier urban public research institutions. UIC was recently named by Times Higher Ed as one of the 15 top universities in the world under 50 years old.

Event Agenda:
5:30 – 6:00 pm registration and networking
6:00 – 8:00 pm discussion

Chicago AMA Event Hosts: Genius Maker Co-Chairs Betsy Butterworth and Dean Petrulakis

Thurs., March 19 - Research Geeks (Market Research) SIG Event

Research Geeks (Market Research) SIG Event
Thursday, March 19, 2015 from 5:30 – 8:00 PM (CST)

Event Agenda:
5:30 – 6:00 pm registration and networking
6:00 – 8:00 pm discussion

Maximizing the Use of Qualitative Research through Active Listening and Objectives Setting

Curt Fedder of Life Stage Research Insights will draw upon his extensive experience as both a buyer of qualitative research (from his client side years) as well as from a vendor perspective (now that he works on the supplier side of the business).

At this session you’ll learn tips for how to listen to qualitative research, develop strategies for interpreting what you hear and taking better notes while attending sessions. There will also be a discussion on objective setting with examples of appropriate objectives.

This will be an interactive event as well: attendees will work in teams on “mini” qualitative assignments.

SPEAKER:

curtfedderminiheadshot09jan15Curt Fedder is currently Managing Partner of Life Stage Research Insights which specializes in discovering consumer motivations through the analysis of consumer Life Stages: Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Seniors. He has held research positions across a variety of industries with major brand organizations such as BP, Kraft Foods, Nextel, Alberto-Culver and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is published in Journal of Advertising Research and Marketing News and is a frequent industry conference speaker.

Tues., Feb. 24 - Mission Drivers (Nonprofit) SIG Event: Put Your Audience First: How to Build an Effective Persona

Mission Drivers (Nonprofit) SIG Event
Put Your Audience First: How to Build an Effective Persona
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 from 8:00 – 10:00 AM CST

i.c. stars
415 N. Dearborn, Floor 3
Chicago, IL 606054

Does your nonprofit understand its target audience? Whether you’re looking to connect with potential donors, rally supporters behind your cause, or persuade lawmakers on Capitol Hill, your organization needs to deliver messages and content that prompt the recipient to take action. Yet, all too often, we produce content that sounds like it’s produced for ourselves, rather than the people we’re looking to reach.

Bridgett Colling, Director of Content Marketing at See3, will give you tips and tools to help your organization identify, profile, and reach your target audience. She will walk you through the process of creating effective audience personas that will guide your messaging and inspire action.

Takeaways:

  • Learn how to identify your target audience.
  • Understand how to gather information about your audience, identify its pain points, and develop accurate audience personas.
  • Develop concrete strategies for creating content that connects with these personas.

Event Agenda:
Light breakfast included
8:00 am –   8:30 am   Registration and Networking
8:30 am –   9:30 am   Presentation
9:30 am –   9:50 am   Q&A
9:50 am – 10:00 am   Wrap-up

pic Speaker Bio:  As See3’s Director of Content Marketing, Bridgett Colling is a leader in using digital media strategies help nonprofits move their missions forward. As a digital consultant, she worked with change-makers across the third coast, including Chicago Ideas Week, NPR Detroit and The New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan. She combines her writing and project management background with skills in Photoshop, InDesign and content curation, to build high quality content initiatives from concept to distribution.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Nonprofit SIG Chair Carey Kogol.

Thurs., Feb. 19 - Food Royalty (CPG) SIG Think Tank

Food Royalty (CPG) SIG Think Tank
Thursday, February 19, 2015 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM CST

D’Agostinos Pizza & Pub
742 Higgins Road
Park Ridge, IL 60068

What do YOU want to see on the Chicago AMA CPG Special Interest Group’s (SIG) 2015 program line-up? Join your fellow seasoned marketers and roll up your sleeves with thought leaders in the CPG sector for a lively discussion to identify the next hot buttons we need to address. At the end of this dynamic collaborative process, you will have helped develop:

(1) An overarching theme
(2) Discussion topics
(3) Prospective speakers
(4) Calendar of events for 2015

In the spirit of global think tanks, this is your opportunity to participate in charting a path that supports progressive dialog and the creation of new innovative strategies for the sector.

We will begin by providing everyone with a starter list of topics. Participants will be divided into groups and each group will be assigned one general subject area to be funneled into a specific topic with talking points. At the end of the session, we will have defined 4 major topics with talking points for the 2015 programming year.

Tues., Feb. 17 - Genius Makers (Higher Ed) SIG Pop-Up: Teens Talk Report - Communicating with Millennials

Genius Makers Higher Ed SIG Pop-Up
Teens Talk Report – Communicating with Millennials
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 from 5:30 – 8:00 PM CST

IIT Stuart School of Business
565 W. Adams St., 10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60661

For nearly 20 years, Stamats has shared findings from its annual TeensTALK® Report—in the 2014 edition, special attention is focused on how prospective students interpret college/university graduate’s placement in jobs and graduate professional programs, the value they place on online educational opportunities, and their perceptions and expectations regarding paying for college.Additionally, the 2014 TeensTALK® Report highlights noteworthy findings gleaned from recent Stamats market research programs, demonstrating trends in teens’ college-search attitudes and expectations as collected and analyzed by Stamats’ nationally regarded research and consulting team. Our goal is the collection and interpretation of multiple studies into one coherent report that stresses thoughtful analysis with a keen eye on offering insights that will help you refine your college counseling, advising, recruiting and enrollment management strategies.

Chicago AMA Event Hosts: Genius Maker Co-Chairs Betsy Butterworth and Dean Petrulakis

Event Agenda:
5:30 – 6:00 PM registration and networking
6:00 – 8:00 PM discussion

Speaker: Eericsicklerstamatsspeakerheadshot23jan15ric Sickler, Vice President for Client Services, Stamats

A member of Stamats consulting team since 1999, Eric Sickler delivers three decades of practical experience in all aspects of higher education marketing planning, institutional relations, student recruitment and enrollment management, staff development, and brand marketing. Eric has chaired national CASE institutes on recruitment marketing and has presented workshops on integrated marketing planning, institutional brand clarification, teen marketing trends, and creative strategy for CASE, the American Marketing Association, the International Council of Fine Arts Deans, the Association of Caribbean Higher Education Administrators, AACRAO, NACAC, state and regional ACAC chapters across the country, and a host of colleges and universities. His articles have appeared in CASE Currents and University Business magazines and Enrollment Management Report, and his work has been profiled in Admissions Marketing Report. Eric was a regional director for the American Heart Association and spent nearly 15 years at Central College as director of alumni and college relations, director of admission, and finally vice president for admission and marketing. After leaving Central, he was managing partner and chief operations officer at Think Corporation in Des Moines, and director of client services for The History Factory in Washington, D.C.

Monday, January 26, 2015 - Baby Boomers and The Changing Consumer Landscape

SIG: 60 is the New 40- Baby Boomers and The Changing Consumer Landscape

Event Agenda:
5:30 – 6:00 pm registration and networking
6:00 – 8:00 pm discussion

Join the next Market Research SIG event on Monday, January 26, 2015. Curt Fedder, Managing Partner
 of Life Stage Research Insights LLC, will lead this session.  The topic is 60 is the New 40: Baby Boomers and The Changing Consumer Landscape. Baby Boomers comprise 25% of the US population and collectively are an economic powerhouse with more purchasing power than any other demographic segment. While the media tends to focus on Millennials, and though some posit there are now more Millennials in the US population than any other segment, it’s Baby Boomers who still have the spending power. What’s more, though they are in the 50s and 60s, the Baby Boomer generation is unlike any other generation at this age.

At this session, we will talk about the “Grandparent Economy,” changing household living situations, how Baby Boomers are avid technology users and more:
•       Key challenges and issues facing Baby Boomers as they move into retirement.
•       How Baby Boomers’ behavior patterns affect marketing activities
This will be an interactive event where attendees will work in teams to develop implications relevant to the challenges the Baby Boomer generation poses to their particular marketing organization.

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - SIG Holiday Madness Mixer

SIG Holiday Madness Mixer
Thursday, December 18, 2014 from 5:30 – 8:00 PM CST

The Allis at Soho House
113-125 N. Green St
Chicago, IL 60607

We regret to inform you that we do not see your name on our Nice List this year…

Relax – you can easily remedy this oversight by taking 2 minutes to register for our SIG Holiday Madness Mixer taking place Thursday, December 18that The Allis at Soho House from 5:30 – 8:00pm.  There will be much feasting and toasting, so you better not miss it!

Don’t forget, 2014 member volunteers get in FREE as a THANK YOU – register here (contact your SIG Ninja leader for the Volunteer promo code).  For the rest of you merry makers, the $15 ticket price includes eats & beverages.

See you there – Happy Christmahanakwanzika.

– Michelle Batten & Pon Angara, your Chicago AMA SIGs Board Ninja Elves

P.S. If you are interested in becoming part of our incredible SIG Ninja Volunteer community in 2015 – we’d love to hear from you!  Drop us a line via with your SIG community interests and brief description of your marketing claim to fame.

P.S.S. Elf dancing not specifically required for volunteers, but highly encouraged.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - Higher Education SIG: Think Tank

High Education SIG
Think Tank
Thursday, November 20, 2014 from 5:30 – 7:30 AM CST

i.c. stars
415 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60654

What would help you be a more strategic and productive marketer for your institution? Join other higher education marketers for a “think tank” where we’ll brainstorm topics and ideas to discuss during the next year to enrich our professional lives. At the end of the 90 minutes, you will have helped develop:
(1) an overarching theme,
(2) discussion topics,
(3) prospective speakers, and
(4) next steps for promotions.
We will begin by providing everyone with a starter list of topics. Participants will be divided into groups and each group will be assigned one general subject area to be funneled into a specific topic with talking points. At the end of the session, we will have defined 4 major topics with talking points for the 2015 programming year.
Every perspective and experience is important to re-energizing our higher education special interest group. We hope you will join us.

Potential Topics:

  • How can cause marketing advance your institutions reputation?
  • Social media as a recruitment tool
  • From school rankings to student outcomes, what is most compelling?
  • Using your brand as a recruitment tool
  • How do you develop your school’s value proposition
  • Mobilizing the university to support your marketing efforts
  • Webcentric – What’s the outlook for web communication?

Event Agenda:

5:30 to 6:00 — Networking

6:00 to 6:30 — Open Discussion

  • 30 sec introductions
  • Review and refine topics list down to 4 major topics  (moderated by Chicago AMA)
  • Break out groups instructions and deliverables
6:30 to 7:00 — Break-Out into 4 groups
  • Each group narrows discussion topic and defines talking points
  • List 3-4 possible speakers
  • Outline/assign next steps: promotion, confirm speaker
7:00 to 7:20 — Regroup
  • Each group presents their topic details
  • Outline full year agenda & speaker suggestions
  • Discuss and finesse agenda & speaker suggestions
  • Extract overarching theme
7:20 to 7:30 — Wrap-up and Adjourn
SIG events and activities are open to Chicago AMA members and non-members.

To join a SIG and stay informed about upcoming SIG activities email sigs@chicagoama.org for additional information.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - Non-Profit SIG: Marketing Think Tank

Non-Profit SIG
Marketing Think Tank
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 from 8:00 – 10:00 AM CST

The Chicago Community Trust
225 N Michigan Ave, #2200
Chicago, IL 60601

What do YOU want to see on the Chicago AMA Non-Profit SIG’s 2015 program line-up? Join your fellow seasoned marketers and roll up your sleeves with thought leaders in the nonprofit sector for a lively discussion to identify the next hot buttons we need to address. At the end of this dynamic collaborative process, you will have helped develop:

(1) an overarching theme,

(2) discussion topics,

(3) prospective speakers, and

(4) next steps for promotions.

In the spirit of global think tanks, this is your opportunity to participate in charting a path that supports progressive dialog and the creation of new innovative strategies for the sector.

We will begin by providing everyone with a starter list of topics. Participants will be divided into groups and each group will be assigned one general subject area to be funneled into a specific topic with talking points. At the end of the session, we will have defined 4 major topics with talking points for the 2015 programming year.

Chicago AMA Non-Profit SIG Prelimary Topics:

  • Content marketing tools and social media
  • Mobile & responsive website design
  • Personalizing donor communications
  • Big Data for fundraisers
  • Different types of gifts – from bequests to monthly giving
  • Direct Mail & acquiring new donors
  • Bring media back to social media – producing videos, photos & infographics
  • Strategic Planning & engaging your stakeholders
  • Why can’t we be friends?  Successful Executive Director & Development Director relationships
  • #GivingTuesday on December 3rd

Event Agenda:

8:00-8:30 Breakfast & Networking

8:30-9:00 Open Discussion

  • 30 sec introductions
  • Review and refine topics list down to 4 major topics (moderated by Chicago AMA)
  • Break out groups instructions and deliverables
9:00-9:30 Break-Out into 4 groups
  • Each group narrows discussion topic and defines talking points
  • List 3-4 possible speakers
  • Outline/assign next steps: promotion, confirm speaker
 9:30-9:55 Regroup
  • Each group presents their topic details
  • Outline full year agenda & speaker suggestions
  • Discuss and finesse agenda & speaker suggestions
  • Extract overarching theme
9:55 – 10:00am Wrap-up and Adjourn

SIG events and activities are open to Chicago AMA members and non-members.

To join a SIG and stay informed about upcoming SIG activities email sigs@chicagoama.org for additional information.

 

Monday, November 3, 2014 - Market Research SIG: The Millennials Generation: What’s their Impact on Marketing?

Market Research SIG
The Millennials Generation: What’s their Impact on Marketing?
Monday, November 3, 2014 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM CST

National Qualitative Centers
625 N. Michigan Ave, 14th Floot
Chicago, IL 60611

In this interactive event, participants will work in teams to develop implications relevant to the challenges the Millennial generation poses to their particular marketing organization.

Millennials are the second largest demographic segment in the U.S. (nearly tied or surpassing Baby Boomers in size, depending on the source). Their attitudes and behaviors differ significantly from prior generations.  As Millennials come of age, their influence will be evident in all aspects of society.  As marketing organizations respond to their needs, the consumer landscape will be forever changed.

Curt Fedder will moderate the event. Participants will learn about the key challenges and issues facing Millennials as they come of age, understand how Millennial’s changing behavioral patterns affect marketing activities, and  develop implications for participants’ respective marketing organizations.

Key Event Takeaways and Learning’s:

  1. Learn about the key challenges and issues facing Millennials as they come of age.
  2. Understand how Millennial’s changing behavioral patterns affect marketing activities.
  3. Develop implications for participants’ respective marketing organizations.

Speaker:

Curt Fedder is currently Managing Partner of Life Stage Research Insights which specializes in discovering consumer motivations through the analysis of consumer Life Stages: Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Seniors. He has held research positions across a variety of industries with major brand organizations such as BP, Kraft Foods, Nextel, Alberto-Culver and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is published in Journal of Advertising Research and Marketing News and is a frequent industry conference speaker.

Thursday, October 16, 2014 - Non-Profit SIG - Donor Relationships: What is your Long-Term Gifting Strategy?

Non-Profit Marketing SIG
Donor relationships: What is your long-term gifting strategy?
Thursday, October 16, 2014 from 8:00 – 10:00 AM CST

The Chicago Community Trust
225 N Michigan Avenue #2200
Chicago, IL 60601

Did you know that 81% of all charitable donations come from individuals? How are you factoring in major gifts to your integrated development and marketing strategy for this fiscal year?

Join Chicago AMA’s Non-Profit SIG 8 am October 16 at Chicago Community Trust for an informative breakfast meeting to discover strategies for growing your gifts program.

Attendees will hear from a foundation and a non-profit in Chicago who successfully cultivated and grew their major gifts program. Learn how to narrow your prospect list, cultivate key materials to aid in your asking efforts and how to steward your donors after their gift.

Event Agenda:
Light breakfast included
8:00 am – 8:30 am: Registration and Networking
8:30 am – 9:30 am: Presentations
9:30 am – 9:50 am: Q&A
9:50 am – 10 am: Wrap-up

Speakers:
Julie Hoffmann is Managing Director and Head of Advancement for A Better Chicago where she leads the organization’s advancement efforts. Previously, Julie was the director of development and communications for The Cara Program, one of Chicago’s leading workforce development programs. In this role, Julie significantly grew Cara’s private funding and built the organization’s development office. She also played a lead role in developing Cara’s strategic plan as a member of the senior management team. Earlier in her career, Julie served as a consultant for Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance and as a community health volunteer in Peru through the United States Peace Corps. Julie has a BA in sociology and Spanish from Vanderbilt University and an MBA in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Tuesday, Sept 30, 2014 - SIG Pop-Up Series: Marketer’s Toolbox: Expanding Your Network

Chicago AMA’s SIG Pop-Up Series: Marketer’s Toolbox: Expanding Your Network

How to Get Out of Your Own Sandbox to Launch or Accelerate Your Career
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM CST

i.c. stars
415 North Dearborn Street
Third Floor
Chicago, IL 60654

Looking to expand your network to launch or accelerate your career? Wondering how to find your best networking circles and what makes for a standout networking card? These are the questions that the Chicago AMA Special Interest Group (SIGs) will be tackling at our first Pop-Up program of the season.

Join us on Tuesday, September 30, at 5:30 p.m. at i.c. stars to exchange perspectives, discover new ideas, and take part in an experience that allows you to grow with your peers. We’ll have three experts share their stories and best tips – be sure to bring your business cards. Space is limited so register today!

Never been to a pop-up? SIG Pop-Ups are unique SIG experiences where we explore a top of mind industry-specific or cross-industry themed topic and engage one another in a simulating discussion with practical learning. We provide the space, panel of experts, pizza & beer and you bring your amazing mind, deepest passion, creative humor and burning questions.

Join the conversation on Twitter before, during and after at #SIGPopUp

SIG events and activities are open to Chicago AMA members and non-members.

To join a SIG and stay informed about upcoming SIG activities email sigs@chicagoama.org for additional information.

Wed., December 2, 2015 - AMA Higher ED Symposium Recap

AMA Higher Ed Symposium Recap

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (CST)

CH Distillery, 564 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL

Join us to discuss key takeaways from the national conference!

The AMA Higher Ed Symposium is the conference for higher ed marketers. This annual event is a must-attend event for anyone in the marketing department in higher ed institutions.

Join the Chicago AMA and Higher Ed SIG Co-Chairs Betsy Butterworth and Dean Petrulakis to discuss key takeaways from this event over drinks and appetizers, and come away from this social gathering with key ideas to implement into your marketing strategies right away.

You’ll also learn what Betsy and Dean have planned for the first half of 2016 for the Higher Ed SIG and discuss topic ideas for the second half of our programming year! We want this group to be valuable to our members, and your input helps us drive our programming topics.

Ticket fee includes hors d’oeuvres and your first drink!

Event Agenda:
5:30 – 6:00 pm: Registration and networking
6:00 – 8:00 pm: Discussion

Thursday, March 31, Mission Drivers - Grab a Cup of Coffee w/Other Nonprofit Marketing Professionals

Join marketing professionals who specialize in the nonprofit sector to share stories, challenges, and build community. Expect a structured conversation where you can be heard and learn from others.

Take-aways:

  1. Discuss shared challenges with other nonprofit marketers
  2. Identify top interests that SIGs can address in meetings tailored for you
  3. Network with like-minded professionals in an intimate setting

ED DUFFYBETH ZEMACHYour hosts will be Beth Zemach from the Association Management Center, and Ed Duffy from Ed Duffy Communications. So grab your favorite coffee beverage and join the conversation!

FREE EVENT!

Wed, April 6 - Social Media Rules! How Can Higher Ed Marketers Reach Prospective Students?

Whether it be Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, SnapChat, or now, Peach, as higher education marketers that’s where our prospective students are spending their time. How do we reach them? How do we optimize our efforts to build engagement and encourage them to take a look at our school and best case – enroll?

Come to the AMA Higher Education SIG’s facilitated discussion on Wednesday, April 6th and meet Michael Mullarkey, CEO of Brickfish. Brickfish is a leading company in creating engagement in the social media world. Share your stories of success with other higher ed colleagues and find out how to enhance your social media presence.

Fee includes hors d’oeuvres and your first drink is on us!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM (CDT)

Troquet River North
111 W. Huron Street
Chicago, Illinois 60654

Event Agenda:
5:30 – 6:00 pm registration and networking
6:00 – 7:30 pm discussion

mullarkeybrickfishMichael Mullarkey is the CEO & Chairman of Brickfish, a social media software company that transforms how brands engage their audiences across all devices, platforms, and digital media. Leveraging patented technology Brickfish has tracked over 1 billion engagements for hundreds of leading brands such as Capital One, Redbox, Microsoft, and NIKE. Thru its Viral Mapping™ and Geo View™ analytical software Brickfish provides consumer insight and targeted solutions. Michael also controls several patents for online marketing platforms, voting campaigns, social sharing, and content distribution.

Mr. Mullarkey founded Workstream Software, a provider of Human Capital Software that provide the management of employees productivity and compensations. As CEO from 2001 through September 2010, Mullarkey was involved in various capacities including chief technology officer and chairman of the board, he raised over $55 million in equity and completed 10+ software acquisitions.

Michael started his career with SONY Electronics within the sales and marketing group, elevating to Senior Vice President of Diversified Markets at SONY USA, managing over $1 billion in sales and he was instrumental in the launch of DirecTV, WEBTV and several new products within the consumer products group.

Interested in sponsoring a SIG? Please contact Michael Long, Executive Director via E-MAIL or 312-280-0449.