&then2015, also known as #andthen2015 or simply the DMA Annual Conference, is in the books. The Boston event concluded with an emotional keynote from John Legend that wrapped up about 4:15 this past Tuesday, October 6. I would venture to guess that the event succeeded beyond anybody’s wildest hopes and dreams.
A huge format change had staff scrambling up to the last minute to get relevant information online. As a presenter, I was a bit worried about who might show up or if nobody would. But they came, and they were engaged, by a curriculum that somehow weeded out the self-serving promotional sessions of prior years as well as cutting a full day off the program by removing the Hall of Fame Luncheon, report from the DMA President and other excuses to take your client offsite for lunch.
I’ve rarely seen a mature organization give itself such a radical makeover and objectively the possibility of a failed event was pretty high. But these guys pulled it off and it really was the best of maybe 20 DMA conferences that I’ve attended. Special thanks and congratulations to my immediate contacts, Jeremy Ladson and Keith Baker of the programming committee. See you next year, I hope.