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BMA, Now Part of ANA, Gears Up for Much Bigger Annual Conference

More Than 1,300 Marketers Expected at 'Be More' Show in Chicago

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The Business Marketing Association, which merged with the Association of National Advertisers in October, is gearing up for its largest annual conference yet, which is expected to attract more than 1,300 b-to-b marketers this year -- up 30% over last year.

The "BMA15 -- Be More" conference will be held in Chicago May 27 to 29. Bob Liodice, president-CEO of the ANA, will kick off the conference with opening remarks, and Howard Sherman, global CEO of b-to-b agency Doremus, will take over as chairman of the BMA for the 2015-2016 term. Mr. Sherman will succeed BMA conference chairman Steve Liguori, CEO of Liguori Innovation and former executive director-global innovation and new models at GE.

"The ANA has many b-to-b marketer members who haven't traditionally been active in the BMA, and vice versa," said Gary Slack, BMA conference chairman and CEO at b-to-b agency Slack and Co., Chicago. He noted that of the ANA's approximate 650 member companies, about 150 are purely b-to-b, although many others have b-to-b lines of business.

"We think the main impact of the ANA connection with the BMA will be a larger turnout and more senior marketers from larger enterprise companies," Mr. Slack said.

This year's conference will feature presentations from more than 60 b-to-b marketers, including 10 case studies from companies including CDW, Dow Agrosciences, Gates Corp., GE, HP and Motorola Solutions.

Speakers include Neal Campbell, CMO of CDW; Eduardo Conrado, senior VP-chief innovation officer of Motorola Solutions; Jesse Singh, senior VP-marketing at 3M; and Russell Stokes, president-CEO of GE Transportation.

Mr. Conrado, who was recently promoted from senior VP-marketing and IT, will share the stage with Motorola Solutions colleagues Greg Meyers, corporate VP-CIO, and Paul Steinberg, CTO, to talk about the role of technology in driving innovation at b-to-b companies.

Other featured events at the conference will be a panel discussion on cloud computing, including speakers from Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce.com, and a panel on client-agency relationships.

The BMA's annual B2 Awards, which recognize excellence in B2B marketing communications, will be held May 26 in Chicago, the evening before the conference begins.

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