An in-progress agenda is posted below. The first day of the conference will consist of optional workshops for those who would like to get everything they can from the conference. The second day of the conference will contain the major keynotes and breakouts. This agenda is updated regularly, so check back often!


Day 1

WORKSHOP DAY (Optional day) | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 9A-3P

Join us the day before the main conference day for small-group workshops—in-depth digital marketing classes led by our Interact18 keynotes, breakout speakers and other industry experts. Each objective-based workshop will feature three unique sessions throughout the day, focusing on different elements and tactics that tie back to the bigger objective you choose. You’ll leave equipped with insights, actionable advice and guidance to update your digital marketing campaigns as early as the next day.

Choose one small-group digital marketing workshop track from the following options. Each track is limited to 30 participants:

  • Strategy
  • UX
  • Content
  • Analytics
Strategy Track

Imperatives: Define, Explore, Shape

For marketing and company executives, marketing decision makers, practitioners and digital strategists
In this workshop you will learn how to create a digital strategy, from the building blocks of a successful strategy to implementation. We will get hands on with specific examples from your organization and answer digital strategy questions. You will leave with an actionable roadmap on how to use strategy (correctly) to reach your business goals.
  • Mary Garrick, Vice President of Brand Communications at Upward Brand Interactions
  • Angi Saunders, Director Strategy at Upward Brand Interactions
  • Mallory Pickard, Senior Digital Strategist at Upward Brand Interactions
User Experience Track

UX Breakouts

For web designers, web developers, graphic designers, graphic artists, UX developers, or anyone who wants insights into the end-user’s interaction with their organization
Do you have a deep understanding into what your users need? Learn more about what your customers want and how to shape your customers’ experiences across all digital touchpoints to increase revenues, increase customer satisfaction and create company advocates by rethinking and improving the digital experience.

Bias, Uncovered

Crystal Yan, Product and UX Consultant at United States Digital Service
In this interactive workshop, you’ll be challenged to uncover your own cognitive biases and explore how understanding them can help us design for the behaviors we encounter every day. You’ll learn about three particular cognitive biases, their applications in the real world, and through interactive activities and a case study, you’ll learn how to apply what you learned to your work.

Creating a Growth Culture with Disruption and Design Thinking

Adam Deardurff, Principal Consultant at Cardinal Solutions
In an era quick to create think tanks and innovation labs, how are we stimulating a growth mindset within our company? It is easy for us all to get excited about the Airbnbs and Ubers, while missing some of the opportunity for evolution and positive change with our immediate teams. In this workshop you will: learn about the historic, rapid change we are seeing in business and company culture; understand areas of opportunity and strategic ways to address them; actively participate in exercises that can help stimulate growth in those areas; be able to lead conversations and guide your team to evolve your product, marketing or business.

Object Oriented UX Planning & Usability Testing Techniques

Crystal Olig, Director of Digital & Media Channels at Lessing-Flynn
In this workshop, you will learn critical aspects of creating a great user experience through testing, prototyping and object-oriented thinking. We’ll review common types of tests, why they are used, and real-life examples, as well as the tools and software you will need. Then we will break into groups where participants will complete a challenge to create a new experience live in the workshop, using object-oriented UX techniques.
Content Creation and Management Track

Content Creation and Management Breakouts

For social media, content, email, product, and digital marketers and strategists or anyone who would like to better utilize the power of a successful content program to improve customer engagement
In this fast-paced workshop day, get hands-on practice creating and managing a content strategy that will draw and engage your audience. Learn to make the most of your content across different customer contexts. And take part in inspiring discussions that will give you ideas and motivation to deliver the most effective content to your audience.

Saying NO to Boring Business Content

Amy Harrison, Sales Copywriter, Consultant and Speaker in Brighton, United Kingdom

How To Give New Customers the Onboarding Love They Need

Lisa Pierson, Conversion Copywriter and Speaker in Vancouver, CA
Are you failing your customers right from the start? You’ll get an inside look, through the eyes of a conversion copywriter, at how a company fails in onboarding a new user. You’ll also see how businesses can do a better job of retaining new customers and increasing profitability with customer-focused copywriting. Participants will get the opportunity to work on a welcome email for their business to ensure they are making the best first impression.

Write Emails People Actually Read: Email Marketing Done Right

Val Geisler, Email Marketing Conversion Copywriter and Strategist
Does anyone actually *need* more email? (Rhetorical question) Look, you and I both know that inboxes are getting more and more crowded by the minute. And yet, email marketing is still the highest converting form of digital marketing around. Higher than social. Higher than paid campaigns. Certainly higher than doing nothing at all. You might already have an email list for your business, or maybe you've been too overwhelmed to get one up and running. No matter where you are in your journey to the inbox, this workshop is sure to have something for you. We're going to cover: the zero effort way to create email content; what kind of subject lines you should actually use; how to style your emails so they are read; what to actually email people; and the don'ts of email marketing that will land you in the spam folder fast Bring your toughest email problems and we'll work through them together.
Analytics and ROI Track

Analytics and ROI Breakouts

For anyone who wants more insight into how their website is working, what marketing channels are most effective, and need data about how to improve the website or make strategy decisions based on the data
How do visitors interact with your website? What can we learn about their behavior? But most importantly, why does it matter? Put the data you collect from your digital marketing programs and campaigns to work! Learn more about using analytics and proving ROI.

Applied Analytics

Jordan Link, Lead Data Analyst, IGS Energy

Analytics Tips and Tricks!

Bill Sterzenbach, Partner at Upward Brand Interactions

Google Data Studio 101

Bryan Gordon, Associate Director of Brand Communications at Upward Brand Interactions
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Session 1

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Session 2

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM


1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Session 3

Day 2


8:30 AM - 9:00 AM


9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Opening + Morning Keynote: Are You Ready For Next?

John Fimiani, Interact Conference Founder, Co-Founder + Brand/Strategy Director at Upward Brand Interactions
10:10 AM - 11:00 AM

Keynote: The Copywriting Snapshot - Making Prospects See, Believe and Buy

Amy Harrison, Sales Copywriter, Consultant and Speaker in Brighton, United Kingdom
Copywriting is the language of persuasion and people have been writing to persuade for thousands of years. So why is it still so hard to apply to our marketing? Is it a mysterious art available only to a privileged few? No. It is a language you can learn it and you don’t have to study it for years to benefit. This talk is not about trick words, it’s about a roadmap to help you zero in on what motivates your prospect. The Copywriting Snapshot is a simple but powerful plan to vividly plot your prospects pain, desire and the four beliefs and barriers that stop them buying (even if you know they would love what you do). Once you understand these you’ll know how to write more compelling headlines, bullet points, sales copy and calls-to-action.
11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

Breakout and Perspectives Sessions

Choose from multiple breakout sessions or perspective sessions to attend during this hour. Perspectives sessions feature digital marketing leaders from around the region. They will share practical insights taken straight from their businesses.

BREAKOUT: Shaping Signals: Preparing for the Future through Speculative Design

Phil Balagtas, Experience Design Director, McKinsey & Company, San Francisco
In this session, participants will learn: How speculative design can be used to address important social, cultural ethical issues about the future; How speculative design can be used practically in any business setting; How to use speculative design as a tool for enhancing and expanding your lens in design thinking; See striking and confrontational projects that address real issues that need to be addressed in today’s world

BREAKOUT: A Playbook for Powerful Marketing Through Relentless Planning

Alexa Hubley, Customer Marketing Strategist at Unbounce
Powerful marketing is a take-no-prisoners game of relentless planning. Learn a strategic model for doing marketing that is data-driven, measurable…and wins results. In this talk you’ll get: a step-by-step guide of a new rigorous campaign planning model; all the planning resources you need to win results, fast; and real tactics from a real marketing case study you can apply right away

PERSPECTIVES: The Culture of a Website Redesign

Brandon Coppernoll, Director of Digital Marketing, Ball State University
Large organizations have a big challenge when it comes to redesigning their website. You have goals for your website. Your customers and audience have needs. And so do your stakeholders. This discussion goes beyond design and information architecture and provides a real-life example of how an agile, iterative approach to large websites can reach those goals but also build advocates out of even the most skeptical internal stakeholders.

PERSPECTIVES: Marketers are from Mars, Technologists are from Venus

Melissa Bailey-Harris, Assistant Vice President, Strategic Marketing Communications, The Ohio State University
In today's day and age, marketing and technology are becoming increasingly intertwined. But marketers and technologists often speak a different language and even have competing priorities. In this session, you'll learn how to get on the same page with your technology team and maximize digital marketing success. Discover the building blocks to developing a strong partnership that cultivates marketing effectiveness and accelerates innovation.

PERSPECTIVES EXPERT PANEL: The State of Digital Marketing From the Perspective of Hands-On Marketers

Whether you are a seasoned professional or simply interested in how cutting edge marketing strategy and tactics can help you achieve your overall goals, you will leave this panel with greater clarity and understanding of the dynamic digital field. Find out how these key players keep their business thriving in the digital space and glean their insights of e-commerce, social media strategy, rebranding and more.
  • Panel Facilitator: Eric Svenson, Vice President of Marketing at Newsy
  • Cara Benjey, Brand Marketing at Veritiv
  • Greg Weyman, VP of Marketing & Ecommerce for Basco Shower Enclosures
12:00 PM - 1:10 PM

Luncheon Keynote: Master Customer Marketing By Watching Romantic Comedies

Alexa Hubley, Speaker and Customer Marketing Strategist at Unbounce
Romantic Comedies provide real lessons in building empathy and trust, like why using hyper-personalized marketing inspires customers to fall (truly, madly, deeply!) in love with your product. And the results back it up. In a recent campaign targeted at moving monthly customers to annual plans, we earned Unbounce $700k in annual recurring revenue and saw 4x increase in annual subscriptions…in just 6 months. During this session you’ll get:
  • A framework for romancing customers through hyper-personalized marketing
  • Lessons from a real customer marketing case study you can apply right away
  • A how-to guide on creating intimate relationships with customers, even at scale
1:20 PM - 2:10 PM

Breakout and Perspectives Sessions

Choose from multiple breakout sessions or perspective sessions to attend during this hour. Perspectives sessions feature digital marketing leaders from around the region. They will share practical insights taken straight from their businesses.

BREAKOUT: Even Moonshots Need a Place to Land

Nathan Vega, Vice President, Business and Product Development at Columbus Collaboratory
During this session, the audience will learn about the tools and process for taking emergent technologies to market. The session will cover how Marketers and Product Managers can leverage Design Thinking, storytelling, use case development, and partner ecosystems to build sophisticated technology offerings and go-to-market strategy. The speaker’s background includes productizing Watson in the cloud, developing advanced analytics consulting offerings, and bringing analytics based cybersecurity products to market. Join to learn more about bridging the gap from IP to revenue.

BREAKOUT: How to Capitalize on Alexa and Google Assistant in Business

Stuart Crane, Founder/CEO, Voice Metrics
Voice technologies are taking off – from Amazon Alexa to Google Assistant, these platforms are the fastest-growing segments of computing – and will affect how businesses connect with consumers and users. Stuart Crane, an expert in the voice space, will take this somewhat complex subject and make it simple to understand, while giving you tips and techniques to get started in this exciting area of Voice.

PERSPECTIVES: The Story of a Persona that Drove Measurable Results

Mary Garrick, VP of Brand Communications, Upward Brand Interactions
We’ve heard for years about the value of personas in your marketing strategy, but are they worth the extra time and effort? And will they deliver ROI? During this talk, Mary will take you through a real-world example of how her team leveraged a persona-driven content strategy that delivered measurable results for a client. You’ll leave with inspiration on how to adapt this approach to your team’s specific digital marketing landscape.

PERSPECTIVES: Sell Smarter and Win Bigger

Russ Schultz, Senior Manager-Digital and Phillip Keefe, Product Strategy and R&D at Claritas
As digital personalized engagement is becoming paramount, understanding consumer uniqueness will help you target smarter and win bigger. Come learn how you can apply some of the same techniques used by large brands to win in a complex marketing landscape. Let us introduce you to your next customer and the next.

PERSPECTIVES: Igniting Digital Transformation Across the Enterprise

Morgan Griffith, Vice President of Digital Strategy, Mercy Health
Learn how Ohio’s largest health care system is putting consumers and patients at the center of their digital marketing efforts and leveraging omni-channel data-driven strategies to acquire, convert, and engage consumers and connect the customer journey with innovative digital technologies.

PERSPECTIVES: Getting Blood from a Turnip (AKA... Making MORE Money from the Channel)

Sherri Swabb, Director of Marketing, Yaskawa Motoman
This interactive session will discuss the strategy, multi-touch campaign and revenue impact developed with a targeted channel partner to create interest and awareness of a co-branded palletizing automation solution.
2:10 PM - 2:30PM

Afternoon Snack Break & Networking

2:30 PM - 3:20 PM

Keynote: Return On Audience - Rebooting Content Marketing & Customer Experience In A Post-Digital World

Robert Rose, Author, Strategist and Storyteller in Los Angeles | Chief Strategy Officer of the Content Marketing Institute
We’ve all seen the recent headlines: Content Marketing isn’t for everyone. Businesses Struggle with Digital Content. Content Marketing is more expensive or takes too long. Well, the truth is – those headlines are mostly true. But they don’t have to be. Content can be a transformative business strategy, or simply the rut into which we drive to mediocrity. Let’s reboot the whole notion of owned media, reset and peel back the covers of what’s actually going on with successful content marketing approaches in today’s digital enterprise. Let’s take a hard look at the actual business strategy of content and how we might fix content marketing and get to real, demonstrable, and profitable value to our business.
3:30 PM - 4:20 PM

Closing Keynote: Your Brain Is Lying To You: Become A Better Marketer By Overcoming Confirmation Bias

Michael Aagaard, Senior Conversion Optimizer, International Keynote Speaker in Vancouver, Canada
Have you ever resisted or ignored a piece of information because it posed a threat to your worldview? If you answered “yes,” you’re like most other human beings on the planet. In fact, according to the last 40 years of cognitive research, favoring information that confirms your worldview is extremely common human behavior. Unfortunately, being biased towards information that confirms what we already believe often leads to errors in judgment and costly mistakes in marketing. But how can we overcome this? In this session, we'll learn: the facts about confirmation bias and why it is such a dangerous pitfall for marketers; a framework for becoming aware of and overcoming your own confirmation bias; and hands-on techniques for cutting through the clutter and getting information rather than confirmation.

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