Gay Market Conference - New York - 2010

Together with David Paisley and Tom Roth of Community Marketing, we put together our first full-day conference on marketing to the gay & lesbian community in 2010.  With over 100 attendees, this first event appears to have been a success (we'll know more once we get those feedback surveys in!)... the tone was set from the very beginning with Jarrett Barrios, President of GLAAD (www.glaad.org), delivering the opening remarks, speaking passionately on LGBT representation in media and advertising today.  One can get a sense of the passion from his now-famous quote "I'm not yelling... I'm Cuban!"

From that point forward, the conference moved into high gear, with presentations on the latest research findings done by Community Marketing and a case study presentation by Scott Seitz of SPI Marketing about Ru Paul's Drag Race.  After also hearing presentations by Richard Oceguera of NGLCC-NY (www.NGLCC.org) and other local representatives from OutProfessionals, NYCLGBTCC and the NYC Center, lunch was then served with a luncheon keynote presentation by Patricia Evert of the Gill Foundation.

To make sure everyone stayed awake after lunch, I went on to do my presentation on social media marketing, with the intent and goal of keeping everyone engaged for a good 90 minutes of Facebook, Twitter and blogging advice.

Our two afternoon panels went quite well, with the Media Panel featuring Jessica McCarthy of Logo, Troy Masters of Gay City News, Nick Vivion of UnicornBooty.com, Jeremy Bellman of L7G and Serge Gojkovich of GayConsultants.com.  This was a lively panel where we heard quite a wide array of presentations and Q & A regarding making outreach to gays & lesbians wherever they may be... online, in print, on television, on their cell phones, and promotionally through contests and sweepstakes.  The liveliness of this panel was provided by everyone putting in their 2-cents, with Nick Vivion being quite animated on the exciting opportunities available online today, and Bellman and Gojkovich bouncing back and forth regarding various aspects of iPhone and SMS marketing available on cell phones today.  They even got Masters to make quite the statement that "user generated content is all crap", at which point the panel and the audience jumped in together to present some decent counterpoints that kept everyone both informed and entertained!

Next we heard from Michael Hendrix of the Precise Agency, Scott Barretto of StraightOUT Media, Michael Murphy of Fleishman-Hillard/Out Front and Steve Deitsch of Reverberate.  Moderated by the skillful David Kliman, these folks hashed out how they each went about advertising and promoting a local GLBT event to their respective communities.

Companies in attendance ranged from hotels to online communities, from local destinations to corporate representatives from Prudential, Wells Fargo, WNBA, KLM Airlines and much more.



After some entertaining wrap-up with "show and tell" video ads by Tom Roth and David Paisley, the event ended with a nice, open-bar reception hosted by the Netherlands Board of Tourism, celebrating Queens Day!  The venue at the Westin in Times Square was perfect and the event went incredibly well... perhaps we'll just have to do a 2-day event in 2011!

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