The University’s first national marketing and advertising conference, held this weekend, invited guest speakers from different marketing backgrounds to teach students about how to change marketing strategies to target contemporary consumers. The conference was hosted by Advertise This, the University’s marketing and advertising club.
The conference invited 22 speakers to lecture nearly 300 people. These speakers, most of whom were alumni, included 3 keynote speakers: Adam Goldstein ’81, CEO and President of Royal Caribbean International, Lorraine Hansen ’87, President of PepsiCo and Michael Goldberg, Partner and Chief Marketing Office of Deutsch, Inc.
Other speakers and panelists hosted seminars, and these speakers included representatives from companies such as Microsoft and Twitter.
Jiweon Kim ’15, co-director of the conference, said the University’s lack of a marketing program has limited the students’ knowledge in marketing and its workings today.
“This is the first time we ever had a real event that was devoted to bringing together a community of people who wanted to talk about marketing and of people who wanted to get into marketing,” Kim said.
Kim explained that each speaker had his or her own specialty. While all shared their experiences on dealing with contemporary consumers, each also talked about a different perspective and piece of it. She said she felt that this sharing of specialties showed students that marketing is not a narrow career field and can be applied to anything.
“The problem on campus is that no one really knows what marketing is,” Dalia Katan ’15, co-director of the conference, said. “They see it as an industry instead of as a skill they can use in any industry. I thought the best thing to do was to create one big showcase to show the extent to which marketing is used across a variety of different companies.”
Students were also given the chance to meet with 22 marketing professionals and have more intimate conversations with them.
“Marketing is a sort of a nebulous subject,” Eric Yang ’17, an attendant, said. “Not a lot of people know exactly what it is, but the conference gave me a really good idea. I think the highlight was having lunch personally with Guy Yalif from Twitter.”
Katan said the conference was a success, noting that the club sold about 280 tickets to University students, alumni and non-University students and nearly 260 attendants and speakers showed up on the weekend of the event.
“I was so amazed at how much teamwork there was involved in getting this program off its feet,” she explained. “One of the goals was to make a statement on campus on marketing, and I think we’ve definitely done that.”
Kim said she was pleasantly surprised by the turnout and the students’ level of interest. Kim added that the conference could not have been possible without the University alumni and their willingness to share their experiences with current students.
“These alums are hidden in a great network, waiting to be tapped into,” she explained. “I could tell they were willing to show that you could use your undergraduate liberal education to do something like this, which you wouldn’t normally think of. It’s definitely something we want to keep doing.”