Ann Handley

Jay Baer

President/Founder, Convince & Convert, Author of Youtility

Mack Collier

Gini Dietrich

CEO/Founder, Arment Dietrich, Author of Spin Sucks

Lee Odden

Lee Odden

CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, Author of Optimize

The Midwest's Premier Digital Marketing Event

October 24-25 | Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Coralville, IA

SAVE THE DATE! September 25-26, 2014

We hope to see you at next year’s Social Brand Forum

The Social Brand Forum, a top 10 social media conference, again brings national social media and digital marketing thought leaders to Iowa’s Creative Corridor for two days of impactful keynotes and interactive discussions. Social Brand 2013 is designed to help marketers at organizations small and large build better brands online through social media content, conversations, and community.

Social Brand Forum Sponsors


grosocial zephyr hubspot

verizon dontpanic divvy Vesta Mediacom adamson-color blaze

Media Partners

sme kcrg gazette

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Social Brand Forum is now taking sponsorship requests for 2013. This event attracts business leaders, corporate marketers, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and agency professionals from throughout the Midwest. To learn more about getting your brand in front of this exclusive audience, simply complete the form below.


Social Brand Forum Speakers

Jay Baer

Jay Baer is a hype-free marketing strategist, speaker, and author and President of the social media and content marketing consultancy Convince & Convert. A digital marketing pioneer, Jay has consulted with more than 700 companies since 1994, including Caterpillar, Nike, Visit California, Allstate, Petco, Columbia Sportswear, and 29 of the Fortune 500.

He was named one of America's top 3 social media consultants by Fast Company magazine, and his Convince and Convert blog is ranked as the world's #1 content marketing resource. He's also co-host of the popular weekly Social Pros podcast.

He's the author of the forthcoming new book Youtility: Why Smart Companies are Helping Not Selling and is the co-author of The NOW Revolution a best-selling book about social media's impact on businesses of all sizes and types.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communication firm. She also is the founder of the professional development site for PR and marketing pros, Spin Sucks Pro, and co-author of Marketing In the Round.

Gini is the author of the PR and marketing blog, Spin Sucks, which is a 2012 Cision Top 100 Blog, the 2010 and 2011 Readers Choice Blog of the Year, a Top 42 Content Marketing Blog from Junta42, a top 10 social media blog from Social Media Examiner, and an AdAge Power 150 blog. And she is co-host of Inside PR, a weekly podcast about communications, social media, and where they all meet and intersect.

She delivers numerous keynotes, panel discussions, coaching sessions, and workshops across North America and Europe on the subject of using online technology in communication, marketing, sales, and HR.

One of the top rated communication professionals on the social networks, Gini was recently named the number one PR person, according to Klout and TechCrunch, on the channels, and number one on Twitter, according to TweetLevel. She also can be found writing at Crain's Chicago Business and in various PR and marketing blogs and publications.

Lee Odden

Lee Odden is the author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing. He is also a consultant, speaker, blogger, and the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing and online PR agency.

With over 15 years experience consulting with some of the best known Fortune 1,000 B2B and B2C companies, Lee has been a pioneering voice on the intersection of search, social media and content marketing. Cited by the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist and Forbes, he is an active international speaker on digital marketing and PR topics for conferences and corporate events. He is also editor of Online Marketing Blog, recognized as one of the most popular marketing blogs on the web.

DJ Waldow

DJ Waldow is an email marketing consultant, writer, blogger, speaker, and co-author of The Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing. He is the Digital Marketing Evangelist at Marketo, a marketing automation company based in San Mateo, California. DJ is also the co-host of The Work Talk Show, a weekly podcast on how work gets done. \

DJ can be found on most social networks under the handle "djwaldow" or by searching "DJ Waldow." DJ is an alumnus of the University of Michigan (Go Blue), a knowledge craver, a sponge, and a lover of beer, coffee & people.

Marcus Sheridan

In 2001 and fresh out of college, Marcus Sheridan stumbled across his first business with two friends and began installing swimming pools out of the back of a beat-up pickup truck. 9 years later, and with the help of incredible innovations through inbound and content marketing, Sheridan's company overcame the collapse of the housing market and became one of the largest pool installers in the US and currently has the most visited swimming pool web site in the world -

With such success, in late 2009, Sheridan started his sales/marketing/and personal development blog - Sales Lion, and has since grown The The Sales Lion brand to be synonymous with inbound and content marketing excellence. In fact, in 2013, the New York Times ran a huge story on Marcus and referred to him as a "Web Marketing Guru."

Today, when Sheridan is not giving riveting and passion-filled keynotes around the globe or consulting with businesses and brands, he generally finds himself on an adventure with his wife and 4 children.

Tim Hayden

Tim Hayden is Principal of TTH-Strategy, a mobile strategy consultancy that helps businesses assemble technology and communications initiatives that lead to efficiency and profitability. He has been a founder of new ventures and a catalyst for change in many of the world's largest brands for more than 20 years, including AMD, Bacardi, Dell, Edelman Digital, Hilton Worldwide, Humana, IBM, Kraft Foods, Ogilvy and Quaker. Tim is the author of The Mobile Commerce Revolution (March 2014), and lives in Austin, Texas.

Laura Fitton

Laura Fitton, HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Evangelist, previously co-authored Twitter for Dummies and founded Laura is credited with convincing Guy Kawasaki and thousands of tech execs that Twitter would have real business value. She founded the first Twitter for Business consultancy, Pistachio Consulting, in 2008 and has been speaking professionally about the business use of Twitter since 2007.

As an Inbound Marketing Evangelist, she's excited about showing companies how to grow by helping people buy instead of cramming marketing messages down their throats.

She is a warm and engaging keynoter, has lectured at HBS and MIT-Sloan, and has been quoted in dozens of national publications including BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal. She also raised $25,000 for Charity:Water in December 2008 in the first ever "donate by tweeting" charity campaign,@Wellwishes. Laura lives in the Boston area with her two daughters and two dogs.

Tim Washer

Tim Washer is a Webby-nominated producer, event emcee and social media keynote speaker. He served a vice president of IPG's NFO Interactive division, and as head of social video for IBM where he helped to launch the Smarter Planet campaign. Tim's credits include Letterman, Conan, SNL and The Onion Sports Network. His work has been covered by Advertising Age, ADWEEK, NPR and The New York Times. He's presented at SXSW, WSJ Digital Download and Harvard Business School. He holds an MBA from the University of Texas, where he majored in PowerPoint.

Monica Vernon

Monica Vernon founded Vernon Research Group in 1987 and serves as President and CEO of the company. Vernon Research works for clients nationwide and conducts studies domestically and throughout the globe for firms in many industry sectors, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare, building materials, financial services, retail, education, communications, agribusiness, government, political and not-for-profit. The firm's study experience is in product development, brand/advertising studies, customer satisfaction, competitive analyses, product-to-market, citizen, and employee studies. Vernon Research is known for utilizing advanced analysis to uncover richer insights and also for producing actionable recommendations from research findings and conclusions.

Vernon has also been an active member of the Cedar Rapids City Council for more than five years. She serves as Mayor Pro Tem and represents District 2. She is the council's Community Development committee chair.

Monica served as chair of the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the City Planning Commission and is a past president of the Junior League of Cedar Rapids and has served over 20 other boards during the past 25 years.

Monica received her BA and MBA degrees from The University of Iowa. She is married to Bill Vernon and they have three adult daughters.

Your Host for Social Brand Forum 2013

Nick Westergaard is a brand strategist, speaker, and writer. He is the founder of Brand Driven Digital, where he helps build better brands online. In addition to his agency work, he teaches social media marketing at the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business, is a monthly columnist for The Gazette, and is the co-host of The Work Talk Show podcast.

Social Brand Forum Agenda


12:00–1:15Registration/Sponsor Tables Open

1:15–1:30Welcome – Nick Westergaard, Brand Driven Digital

1:30–2:30Opening Keynote Sponsored by ExactTarget
Jay Baer, Convince and Convert – “Youtility”

2:30–3:15Laura Fitton, Hubspot – “Social, Context and Delightion: How Inbound Companies Solve for the Customer”

3:15–3:30Break/Birds of a Feather Networking

3:30–4:15Lee Odden, TopRank Online Marketing – “Win More, Suck Less – How to Optimize Your Social, Search, & Content Marketing”

4:15–5:00Special LIVE Episode of the Social Pros Podcast
Hosted by Jay Baer featuring guest Tim Washer

5:00–7:00Networking Reception at Vesta — just a short walk from the Marriott


Breakfast on your own; Complimentary yoga at 6:30 AM

8:00–9:00Registration/Sponsor Tables Open

9:00–9:15Welcome/Updates — Nick Westergaard, Brand Driven Digital

9:15–10:00Morning Keynote Sponsored by Fusionfarm
Gini Dietrich, Arment Dietrich/Spin Sucks – “Spin Sucks”

10:00–10:15Break/Birds of a Feather Networking

10:15–11:00Monica Vernon, Vernon Research Group — “Social Scene Midwest:The State of Social Media Use in the Midwest”

11:00–11:45Tim Washer, Cisco – “Producing Non-Boring Video on a Shoestring Budget”

11:45–1:00Lunch – Sponsor Tables Open

1:00–1:45Tim Hayden, TTH-Strategy – “The Mobile Moment: Achieving Success in a Wireless World”

1:45–2:30DJ Waldow, Marketo– “Why You Need To Graduate From Email Marketing To Marketing Automation”

2:30–2:45Break/Birds of a Feather Networking

2:45–3:45Closing Keynote Sponsored by GroSocial
Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion — “The Power of Content Marketing
to Build Your Brand, Business, and Bottom Line”

3:45–4:15Closing Remarks – Nick Westergaard, Brand Driven Digital

Social Brand Forum Location

The Coralville Marriott Hotel & Convention Center

One of the area's most exciting developments offering 280 oversized guest rooms and six suites. Each luxury room is equipped with high-speed Internet access and a large work desk. Guests can enjoy the on-site walking trails, indoor pool or take advantage of the 24-hour fitness center.

Attendees of the Social Brand Forum can get a special conference rate of $119 per night.

Make your reservation now >

Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

300 E. 9th St.
Coralville, IA 52241
Ph: (319) 688-4000
Ph: (800) 228-9290
Fx: (319) 688-4005

From I-80
Take exit 242. Turn right onto 1st Avenue. Turn left onto E. 9th Street. Arrive at 300 E. 9th Street.
From the Eastern Iowa Airport - Cedar Rapids (CID)
Follow IA-84 (1 m). Merge onto I-380 S and travel for 13.9 miles. Merge onto I-80 E (4 m). Take exit 242 toward
Coralville. Turn right onto 1st Avenue. Left onto E. 9th Street.

Social Brand Forum About

The Social Brand Forum, a top 10 social media conference, again brings national social media and digital marketing thought leaders to Iowa’s Creative Corridor for two days of impactful keynotes and interactive discussions. Social Brand 2013 is designed to help marketers at organizations small and large build better brands online through social media content, conversations, and community.

“This was truly the best conference/forum with the most current, pertinent and comprehensive amount of information on how to connect with our customers in meaningful ways, within today’s business landscape that I have ever been to.”
– Paula Chenchar Hanus, Director of Creative Services, OmniTel Communications

“The Social Brand Forum ROCKED.”
– Lynn Manternach, Ph.D., Brand Arsonist & President, MindFire Communications

With your registration, you receive:

  • – Access to both days of the Social Brand Forum
  • – Jay Baer’s new book, Youtility
  • – Gini Dietrich’s new book, Spin Sucks – first 100 only!
  • – Lee Odden’s book, Optimize – first 100 only!
  • – Promotional swag from our sponsors
  • – Networking lunch
  • – An invitation to Thursday’s reception
  • – You asked, we listened — FREE parking during the event

SAVE THE DATE! September 25-26, 2014

We hope to see you at next year’s Social Brand Forum

Social Brand Forum Contact

For more information about the Social Brand Forum including sponsorships please contact

Nick Westergaard | phone: 319-325-0921 | email: