Conference Agenda 2024

BrandSmart will deliver a powerful showcase of mainstage presentations featuring brand innovators, thought leaders, disruptors, and transformers discussing the cornerstones of brand resilience for The Future of Brand in an Experience-drive Economy.

The below agenda is subject to change.

Registration, Exhibits, and Networking
  • 9:00 - 9:25

Registration, Exhibits, and Networking

Registration opens at 9:00. Get checked in, then enjoy meeting fellow marketers and visit exhibitor booths for exciting giveaways and tools.

Welcome from AMA Chicago
  • 9:25 – 9:30

Welcome from AMA Chicago

A welcome to kickoff our highly anticipated marketing conference, where innovation meets strategy and creativity knows no bounds! Immerse yourself in a dynamic environment filled with marketing industry experts, thought leaders, and cutting-edge insights. Get ready to explore the latest marketing conversations, make fast connections while networking, and elevate your marketing game to new heights.

Chris McGuire

Chris McGuire

AMA Chicago
  • President
Leslie Marshall

Leslie Marshall

Emcee
  • BrandSmart 2024
SESSION 1: Staying Grounded While Launching an Out-of-this-World Brand
  • 9:30 – 9:55
  • Sheila Hamilton - Marketing and Menu Lead - New Business Ventures at McDonald’s

SESSION 1: Staying Grounded While Launching an Out-of-this-World Brand

CosMc’s is a new small-format, beverage-led concept from the McDonald’s universe that landed on earth in December 2023. Hear how the team leveraged design thinking and technology to move from concept to execution at lightspeed – extending the McDonald’s brand and connecting with customers in an unexpected way.

SESSION 2: Embracing A.I. and Maintaining the Human Touch
  • 10:00 – 10:25
  • Jennifer Polk – Chief Marketing and Digital Experience Officer at Feeding America

SESSION 2: Embracing A.I. and Maintaining the Human Touch

An insightful session to unravel the nuances of bias in AI for marketers. Discover the potential risks lurking beneath the surface and gain practical insights into recognizing and addressing bias to prevent replicating and perpetuating it. We'll explore the crucial steps marketers should take to navigate the complex landscape of AI, all while maintaining that irreplaceable human touch. Let's venture into the intersection of technology and empathy to ensure your marketing efforts are not just intelligent, but also genuinely inclusive. Over half of marketing leaders (62% of those surveyed), say their company has already invested in AI. 68% expect growth from AI once it’s fully integrated into their operations. There’ is absolutely a lot for marketers to gain from using AI and using it effectively.

Refreshment Break & Exhibits
  • 10:30 – 11:00
  • All Conference

Refreshment Break & Exhibits

Recharge with a refreshing break – an opportunity to mingle, grab a snack, and rejuvenate for the exciting sessions ahead!

SESSION 3: Sports Mega Power Panel
  • 11:00 – 11:50
  • Multiple Speakers

SESSION 3: Sports Mega Power Panel

This Sports powerhouse lineup promises a dynamic exchange of insights, diverse perspectives, and a wealth of expertise that will leave you inspired and informed. Join us as these influential voices share their journeys, tackle burning questions, and collectively illuminate the path to success.

Lisa Nucci

Lisa Nucci

CMO
  • Choose Chicago
Dan Moriarty

Dan Moriarty

CMO
  • Chicago Fire FC
      Networking Luncheon
      • 12:00 – 1:15

      Networking Luncheon

      Enjoy a vibrant atmosphere filled with like-minded marketers and professionals eager to connect, share experiences, and build community.

      Bennie Johnson

      Bennie Johnson

      CEO
      • American Marketing Association
            SESSION 4: Innovation as Creativity
            • 1:30 – 1:55
            • Meghan Hurley - Vice President of Global Brand Marketing at Claire’s

            SESSION 4: Innovation as Creativity

            Discover Claire's creative journey from a familiar mall retailer to a global icon. This session spotlights the brand's transformative innovation driven by imagination and bold ideas. Join us for an energizing exploration of how nurturing creativity has fueled Claire's growth, offering practical insights and inspiring stories for marketing professionals eager to spark innovation in their own brands. Witness the evolution of a nostalgic brand into a worldwide sensation.

            SESSION 5: Ask Me Anything Panel of Experts
            • 2:00 – 2:25
            • Multiple Speakers

            SESSION 5: Ask Me Anything Panel of Experts

            A unique interactive session with a panel of experts to take on key marketing questions! Join us for a candid and insightful discussion as our panel of industry leaders and remarkable professionals, share their knowledge and expertise. This is the chance to engage directly with the experts and gain invaluable insights.

            Shannon Lee

            Shannon Lee

            Senior VP of Creative
            • StudioNorth
            Pepper Miller

            Pepper Miller

            President
            • The Huner-Miller Group
            Lindsay Gash

            Lindsay Gash

            Agency Lead - AR
            • Meta
              SESSION 6: Branding in the Narrative Economy: The Psychology of Consumer Experiences
              • 2:30 – 2:55
              • Kristian A. Alomá, Ph.D. – Founder & CEO at Threadline

              SESSION 6: Branding in the Narrative Economy: The Psychology of Consumer Experiences

              Join Kristian A Alomá, PhD, as he delves into the evolving psychology of consumer-brand relationships. Drawing on extensive research and two decades of expertise, this session offers an enlightening journey into consumer mindsets. Kristian will reveal how these relationships have transformed in the last decade and present actionable strategies for marketers. Expect research-driven insights and a practical framework for enhancing brand connections in today's dynamic world.

              Exhibits, Networking & Refreshment Break
              • 3:00 – 3:30

              Exhibits, Networking & Refreshment Break

              SESSION 7: Panel Case Study on AI
              • 3:30 – 3:55

              SESSION 7: Panel Case Study on AI

              A real-world discussion showcasing tangible results and practical business.Join to learn how to examine brand success stories but also to find valuable learning experiences for the future, illustrating how challenges were overcome and objectives still achieved.

              Joe Grigsby

              Panel Moderator
                      Architecting Your Future
                      • 4:00 – 4:30
                      • Jennifer Wesley – Managing Director, Talent Strategy and Development at Google

                      Architecting Your Future

                      In the midst of social, technological and industry shifts, we must approach our career development and planning with ambidexterity, agility and keen acumen. In this session, we will explore how to architect a fulfilling, meaningful, and generative career and craft an aspirational north star to help you navigate toward your future self.

                      What BrandSmart Attendees Say

                      The speakers and topics were great! Great job with the content!

                      Liked the outline, the rhythm, the host. Dynamic event with short, concise talks.

                      Loved that networking breaks had fun food stations. Whoever thought of that was brilliant.