As much as you know I want this post to be about my beloved Cubbies winning the world series, it will not be. I mean it is amazing. I have been a lifelong fan, of which my Cubbie heritage has been passed down three generations. I went to my first ballgame when I was 7 years old with my Grandmother who is still the most die hard fan I know. But no friends, this post will not be filled with my overwhelming emotion that is being a Cubs fan and the win that we got last night.
Me passing the torch to the next generation.
This post is about the DAM beautiful people. The DAM Stars and Starlets that will be headed to join in a few weeks.
I am rather disappointed that I won’t be coming to #DAMLA16 this year. The stars, for me, did not align and I am having to be in exotic Delaware most of the week, then fly home to celebrate my son’s 8th birthday.
In lieu of my presence, I know, you’re all broken up about it, I figured I would give you my thoughts of the ‘must see’ sessions as well as the players in the space that you must have a drink, coffee or lunch with.
We all know that Henry Stewart does an amazing job of bringing DAM Superstars from all over the world, across industries to each of our events. DAMLA is no exception. Here’s a sneak at the agenda for those that haven’t seen it yet.
For the event in a few weeks there are actually two tracks to start you day off. While you know that I’m a huge fan of David Lipsey (if you have not personally met this man, you must), I think that I would opt to meet more DAMLadies, Jennifer Candalerio who is head of IT for Droga5. She seems super rad and honestly, the more ladies in IT and DAM I can get to know the better.
Now I see that there are two tracks, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stay in one throughout the day. It’s even better if you bring (or make) a friend and you guys can tag team the sessions.
From there, you MUST see Theresa Regli (one of my favorite DAMLadies). She’s from The Real Story Group. If you don’t know what they are or do, they are basically the voice in objectively looking at DAM and WCM vendors. I love that they look at the landscape and see it from a business perspective not just an IT (which other vendors tend lean towards). She is an amazing storyteller and I think that if she ever stops being in the vendor evaluation space she would make for a great book writer/storyteller. This year she speaks about the orchestration of music and computing. Also make sure to introduce yourself, she’s super rad.
Since you’ll be mid-track after you meet and see Theresa, I would just keep going and see the insights from Coca-Cola’s global group director Nick Felder. Not many of us are in super sexy fields like film, music or creative production, but I still think there are lessons to be learned and sometimes being in those sessions and wake up that creative part of your brain for your own brand!
From there, go stretch your legs with a new buddy you made at the last session (if you didn’t make one, c’mon and make one!) and grab snack while you visit the exhibits.
If you have a fear of talking to random people and small talk, that’s OK! Remember these are your people! They love how amazing and nerdy and geeky we all are about DAM. In September when we all got together for DAMCHI16 I was the lucky recipient of a DAMHero shirt from our friends at Widen. I love it. Even got a sticker for my laptop. It’s nothing short of a conversation starter. Just remember these people want to help you, not intimidate you. No judging the picture below, I was at Muay Thai.
Then its onto the last session before lunch. But since you grabbed a snack with your new BFF, you’re good to go!
So, again I would be torn. Theresa as we said, is a great expert and presenter so I would be torn to go to her session about How to Select (or replace) a DAM system. If this isn’t your speed, or relevant, then I would opt for Holly Boerner and Anne Samoyedny‘s (more DAMLadies!) session about the Power of the big G that we all know and love. Governance. As someone that has rolled out a DAM globally, that is such a huge part of the project and a DAM overall. It’s like the rules of the road. They are basic, but man if you don’t know them, you might just think those stop signs that are outlined in white are optional (this is where you double check-Google stop signs to see if any of them are not outlined in white).
The next session is hard, three to choose from! It seems like MAMs and DAMs and their ecosystems are big topics lately so I personally would probably pop into that to hear Bob Carlson from GoPro talk about leveraging MAM and DAM. Plus it’s GoPro…right? Now don’t be shocked when you see DAMLady favorite Christina Aguilera is here again. She’s fantastic and comes from Studio Technology at Walt Disney Studios. Now don’t be surprised if it’s this Christina not this Christina. Fun fact! They both have career history with Disney! This one was part of the Mickey Mouse club in the 90s. (Hint: she’s the one in the jamming floral jean jacket).
Bonus points if you know the other current pop celebrities that got their start on The Mickey Mouse Club. Answers at the end of this blog.
Then it’s off to lunch for you and your new buddy! I suggest you eat something other than hot dogs, popcorn and candy but it’s your conference go indulge.
Now that you are full of food (and hopefully not just dessert), you can go learn more!
The sessions look good enough to eat, but when you are talking about deep-fried and bacon wrapped, I might just turn up to see if Debbie Vengco from the LA County Fair brought goodies with. She’s talking about creative operations and making marketing workflows better. Not your jam? Well the Seven-Year Itch is real my friends. Not just because you get bored with what you have but literally the marketplace and technology is moving so fast that you really should reevaluate every 5-7 years.
How could you possibly need another snack? Well friends, if you missed hanging out with our friends at the exhibits now is your time. Maybe you started a conversation with one of our amazing vendors and never got to meet others. Maybe you had to take a call from your boss and missed all of it! Well NOW IS YOUR CHANCE! Grab a snack and stretch your legs!
Last session of the day (prior to adult beverages!) I love round tables. So much that I was one of the leaders for the round table at DAMCHI16. I think they provide a more intimate dialogue with those with our own passion that you may not have meet yet at the conference. Plus, do you really only want to go home with one buddy? I didn’t think so. I love the Beyond DAM round table because that’s what I did. I love thinking about what we can do, be and what the future of DAM is. We had some amazing conversations and insight into what we want it to be.
You did it!! I’m so proud of you. Your brain must be very full at this time. So collect all your belongings, check your work email (or not) and then head for an adult refreshment to meet (yes I’m going to say it) another buddy!
As promised, below is the blown out picture of some pretty well known celebrities below that got their humble start on Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club.