Circle the Date for MEG

As part of the board of the National Restaurant Association’s Marketing Executives Group (MEG), I get to help plan its two conferences a year. We just finalized the agenda for the upcoming fall conference at the Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas, October 14 through October 16, and it looks great.

For those of you who don’t know, the MEG conference is an NRA study group where a couple of hundred restaurant marketers, presidents and CEO’s come together to learn the latest in marketing trends, strategies and tactics.

The agenda is the result of a board brainstorming session where we lock ourselves in a room until we come up with a conference that we would want to attend. (OK, we don’t really lock ourselves in the room, but you get the picture.) That’s a pretty big challenge when you’re talking about board members from companies like the Corner Bakery, Dairy Queen, Famous Dave’s, McCormick & Schmick’s, BJ’s Restaurants and California Pizza Kitchen, among others.

The best thing about it is that it’s an agenda for restaurant marketers by restaurant marketers with the goal of teaching, inspiring, challenging, and connecting marketers so that we raise the level of marketing in our industry.

From trends to tactics to inspiration, the fall agenda is chock full of good stuff…

  • PepsiCo’s Director of Insights, Julia Oswald, tees up the agenda with “Macro-Factors” and “Consumer Trends” impacting the business in this tough economy.
  • MGM MIRAGE Senior VP Alan Feldman will give a perspective from the economic front lines with strategies to inspire attendees to beat the odds in today’s intense economy.

Keynote Speeches from inside and outside the industry will outline the big picture…

  • TOMS Shoes Founder and “Chief Shoe Giver” Blake Mycoskie will share the inspiration for his new direction for business.
  • El Pollo Loco President & CEO Stephen E. Carley will share their hugely successful “Taste the Fire” campaign, which ignited what reporters have referred to as the Chicken Wars with KFC.
  • Facebook Vice President Kim Garrett will challenge traditional wisdom with her perspective on “Building Communities…Building Sales.”

Restaurant operators will fill in the details with real world solutions…

  • “Harnessing Social Media” will be an “immersion” in new tactics in social media.
  • “Small Budgets, Big Ideas” will provide real world learning from great operators.

The content looks powerful, the networking is always great, and the venue doesn’t look too shabby either. For more information, the link is:

Until next time, let me know your thoughts.