A recap of 2013 emerge

photo 3 In early May, Consolidated Graphics took to Las Vegas to host their annual emerge event. Those in attendance made the nearly 1.5 mile trek to the MGM Grand Business Center to participate in a slew of breakouts covering a wide array of topics to appeal to each creative, tech guru and marketing geek in attendance. (Weren’t able to attend? Don’t worry, all breakout PowerPoint presentations can be found here. Keynotes to be added at later date.)

Guests were invited to visit the emerge experience business expo where you could speak one on one with industry experts about direct mail, packaging, digital, technology and retail branding solutions. They even had the retail branding solutions doing a live demo of a Ford Mustang being wrapped. And we can’t forget the 32+ sponsors ready to answer any of of your questions.

photo 1Throughout the week, guests were able to mingle with industry celebrities such as Daniel Dejan from Sappi, had the opportunity to score a freshly rolled cigar, and even had the chance to snap a picture with Vegas show girls or Elvis! The annual encore awards took place over lunch and the entertainment featured a pair of vertical rope acrobatics that stunned the audience as they enjoyed their entrees.

The selection of keynote speakers was fantastic this year. Nike’s Director of Global Brand Culture, Mark Pilkenton, took the stage first and really captured the essence of story telling as he walked attendees through Nike’s story. Did you know one of their first shoes featured a cleat that was inspired by a waffle iron? Telling your brand’s story is the ultimate way to not only demonstrate the values of your company, but honor its past and educate on its future. Mark’s presentation was a very inspiring and entertaining way to kick off the week!

The second keynote was given by the Managing Director of Marketing and Product Development from United Airlines, Mark Krolick. Mark did an incredible job of outlining some of the challenges faced when working to consolidate United’s customer loyalty program after the Continental merger. With new customer relationship management processes in place – Mark and his team were able to take loyalty to the next step with streamlined segmentation, predictive modeling and consumer research. Over his time at United, Mark has built a strong brand and loyalty program with an analytical foundation that has aided in earning United the title “Marketer of the Year” in 2012 from the Direct Marketing Association.

MGM Resorts International’s Senior Vice President of Brand Strategy and Advertising, Scott Voeller, took the stage and presented on the evolution of their M Life loyalty program. Scott and his team took the rewards program to the next level by integrating rewards that meant something to the member earning them. Being fascinated with multi-channel marketing and their efforts to make M Life be a program that truly speaks to the individual, I was more intrigued with his reference to TED Talks Simon Sinek’s Starting With Why. It’s an incredibly inspiring presentation that outlines by simply starting with why someone should be interested in your product or service – you create a more meaningful relationship because people don’t buy what you sell. They buy why you do it.

Being a creative at heart, the final keynote with Brian Shembeda and Avery Gross from Leo Burnett was my favorite of the keynotes as they walked through projects they (may or may not) have tackled to help make their clients stand out. Thinking outside the box (or getting rid of the box entirely) is the ultimate way to leave a lasting impression with those who stumble across your brand message. Whether that be literally growing lettuce on a billboard to convey “Fresh Salads”, surveying your surroundings to see how the environment can help convey your message, or even “breaking the rules” and being the first to utilize the pole of a billboard sign to extend your message.

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Consolidated Graphics did another excellent job of hosting an event that did not disappoint. I haven’t even began to describe the breakouts, but I assure you – they were nothing less than inspirational. A big thank you to ALL Consolidated Graphics for putting on a spectacular event, and to our own very special guests for attending with Metropolitan.

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