This summit wants to bring Baltimore's marketing and tech communities together - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Apr. 6, 2015 12:52 pm

This summit wants to bring Baltimore’s marketing and tech communities together

Driving Digital, set for April 17, cements a new partnership between Betamore and the American Marketing Association's Baltimore chapter.

Betamore in 2013.

(Courtesy photo)

On April 17, a daylong event at Betamore’s Federal Hill campus is designed to put Baltimore’s marketing and technology folks in the same conversation.

The organizers say they’ll be doing their job if the relationships that develop last beyond that day.

Driving Digital, which Betamore is presenting with the Baltimore chapter of the American Marketing Association, is envisioned as a summit for people looking to improve their marketing strategy, whether they’re from a startup, a small business or even a big corporation.

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A morning session will feature talks on digital marketing from Baltimore Ravens Media Vice President Michelle Andres and MissionTix CEO (and Betamore cofounder) Greg Cangialosi and Will Davis, CMTO of Right Source Marketing.

The afternoon session will feature about 10 workshops that gather small groups of like-minded people — whether by industry or profession — with experts. Organizers believe the intimate structure will provide a way for the instructors to help participants work through specific problems, and be a resource on issues like user conversion and email marketing, rather than simply a lecture.

“They’ve all identified a topic that they’re most passionate about, but they’re capable of answering questions on a variety of things,” Betamore Director of Education Michele Farquharson said of the instructors.

The audience won’t only be professionals. Students identified by AMA Baltimore will be the participants in one of the workshops. Kara Redman and Tom Kraak, cofounders of brand development firm Backroom, will offer a session that looks at digital marketing as a profession, but also the resources and community that already exists in Baltimore.

“It gives us the opportunity for us to say what we already say to our friends, which is quit your job, and do something you really love — because Baltimore is a great place to do that,” said Redman, who along with Kraak previously worked at R2integrated before starting Backroom. “Talking with students is going to be a big opportunity to plant that seed early.”

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For the cofounders, community is a huge factor behind Baltimore’s entrepreneurial strength. Telling college students about it may even help keep them around town.

Redman and Kraak’s specific focus on Baltimore is at the heart of the event, from the participants to the theme. As AMA Baltimore’s Dov Hoffman — who is organizing the college students — put it, Redman and Kraak’s session looks to provide students with a look at “what lies out there for them as they get their feet off the ground.”

With tech and entrepreneurship occupying an increasingly bigger picture of that broader view, Backroom’s piece of the day goes a long way toward explaining the event’s larger aims.

Beyond the day’s activities, the event also serves as the first public evidence of a formal partnership between Betamore and AMA Baltimore. Along with combining tech and marketing audiences that already have some shared membership, the two organizations are looking to host events like the summit, and will likely join forces on educational programming.

“Betamore is industry agnostic,” said Jen Meyer, who left the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore to become Betamore’s Executive Director in December. “We want to actually train and develop folks on a continuum … looking at business, looking at design and looking at technology. We feel like they all marry together quite well, no matter what company or what industry or organization you’re in.”

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