Next year’s Nedbank IMC Conference is under new management, with 20 speakers lined up in shorter style talks. Organiser Dale Hefer explains why the event is must-attend for marketers and those interested in marketing.
Q: The aim of the conference? What would you, as the organiser, like attendees to leave with?
A: I want delegates to have practical learnings. Insights that they can implement as opposed to lofty theories. Hence my theme of marketing getting naked. Our speakers will not be delivering veiled sales pitches but practical presentations. Each speaker will be summarising with two ‘so what?’ comments regarding what they have presented. Leading strategist Mosidi Seretlo will be summing up the day with key bottom line takeouts.
Q: Your thinking behind the short style presentations, why was this done?
A: I got so excited about all the things happening in the industry that need to be talked about, that I was determined to include as much as I could. I also cannot bear death by powerpoint or speakers flogging their own services. With twenty remarkable speakers getting naked in one day there will simply be no opportunity for seat fidgeting and clock watching amongst delegates. It will be go go go.
Q: The changes/differences from the last IMC Conference?
A: As the new owner of the conference, my first change is that I no longer allow speakers to pay for speaking slots. Complete objectivity is my mission. I am also sticking to one stream as opposed to the breakaways of the last conference, which resulted in frustration as delegates could not see all the presentations they wanted to. Needless to say the AV and catering issues of the last conference will not feature. The pace will also be a lot more upbeat – with our MC, Pepe Marais, making sure that speakers do not exceed their time limits.
Q: Why pick the theme ‘Marketing gets Naked’ and what does it truly mean?
Does digital actually deliver better than telesales and e-mail marketing? I have taken R50 000 of my telesales commission budget and handed it over to a digital campaign. Which will deliver more? This is one of the presentations that will be shared on the day and it sums up what I mean with the naked them. I want to move away from the buzzwords and show delivery. Strip things down to the bottom line. I want marketing to go blah less for a day. Interestingly, when I bought this conference I decided that the obvious thing to do is to market a conference using the tools of the marketing industry… remarkably this has never really been done. It has been interesting to see what has actually worked and what hasn’t. But more about that on the day. Let’s just say, traditional marketing is far from dead.
Q: What level of marketer is the conference aimed at?
A: This thought leadership is relevant to all marketing disciplines across all delegations. Currently our target market includes senior marketers across all industries. Approximately 70% client and 30% agencies.
Q: How are tickets sales going versus the numbers you are aiming for?
A: I am half way there! I want at least 500 bums on seats.