Winter is in full swing in the northern hemisphere, the solstice is around the corner, and as tradition would have it, we begin to reflect on the year that’s concluding while planning for the next trip around the sun. We here at the Email Experience Council (EEC) are excited to see all of you in New Orleans at the next Email Evolution Conference; last year’s gathering was a rousing success, our biggest ever, and we’re eager to do it again. However, before we focus on 2017 it’s time to take stock of 2016 and all the marvelous things that we’ve collectively achieved.
Email Evolution Conference 2016
This was the biggest and best conference we’ve ever hosted. We had more than 500+ attendees gather in New Orleans to discuss the many flavors of digital marketing but especially email. We heard from Kara Swisher of Re/Code on the future of technology. Kelly McEvers ripped us from our cozy marketing reality and forced us to look at the world and people living in challenging circumstances while pondering the fact that sometimes your checklist will go out the window. Patrick Scissons took us inside the making of a powerful ad that uses intense creativity to drive social awareness and change. We introduced a new mobile app at the event that fueled conversations, virtual networking during the 3 days we were gathered, and allowed everyone to socially interact their photos, check-ins, and insights. From speed dating to creole cuisine, New Orleans proved to be a perfect backdrop for discussing the world’s most ubiquitous communication channel: email (and for the record, most definitely not dead).
We believe that education isn’t something you engage in during your formative years, it’s a lifelong pursuit, and according to some studies contributes to a long life. Over the course of 2016 we delivered content and education in numerous digestible formats. We hosted 14 webinars on all sorts of topics ranging from CASL preparedness to Global Email Marketing compliance. Our members opened their doors and hosted 7 local meetups bringing together diverse groups of attendees, some seasoned pros, some newly minted EEC’ers and others deciding if they should get in on the action. Our new Events & Education chairs have been cementing the formula for hosting a meetup and turning the gatherings into raging successes that help the conversations continue long after the last beignet has been eaten and the final sazerac downed in New Orleans.
Honors & Awards
An organization such as the EEC isn’t anomalous, nor is it an island; the EEC is one of several email focused collectives that strives to improve a relied upon channel through education and enhancing digital messaging by highlighting creativity. The progenitors of these creative approaches are titans and heroes in our field and we honor them by highlighting achievements worthy of praise. We feel honored that the titans of email have chosen to focus their energies and creative juices on our decade old organization. At the event, the EEC honored two stand-outs in the field! The 2016 eec Stefan Pollard Email Marketer of the Year winner was Jeanne Jones Director of Customer Communications, Alaska Airlines and the 2016 eec Email Marketer Thought Leader of the Year Award was David Baker, Co-Founder and COO of Cordial.io. The Email Experience Council accepted nominations for individuals who represent the best and brightest in the email marketing industry. The eec honors an individual from the brand-side of email marketing who exemplifies the qualities of Stefan Pollard as well as recognizes an individual who has made an incredible contribution from the vendor-side of the business. We also recognized the groundbreaking team efforts required to bring forward shockingly creative email marketing campaigns. Seven companies were selected for best use of: humor, integration, acquisition, innovation with data, triggers, make-overs and video. Stay tuned for our 2017 Awards season starting with a webinar on January 12, 2017.
Looking forward to the future
Next year’s conference is deep in the planning stages. We’ll be announcing some of our keynotes soon. Our sessions are coming together very quickly, brands are lining up to tell you about their experiences, and experts will be on hand to talk turkey, or muffalettas as the case may be. Although the conference is a central focus for us, it isn’t the only one. This organization is a continuity of events and efforts that happen all year long. From unique guides and webinars to engaging meetups; the work of our industry is what happens before and after the conference and if you want to get more involved with our committees and initiatives we welcome your interest and enthusiasm. Get involved, give back, learn, grow and help educate the next generation of messaging experts; this is one of our core missions.
Dennis and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you reading this blog post for your dedication, time, commitment and energy you’ve invested over the years into the EEC. We’re especially appreciative of our MAC Board members for spearheading these initiatives, bringing comradery and knowledge-sharing to our community, setting industry standards and celebrating innovation across our industry. At the same time, we want to recognize the unsung heroes of our organization that have kept the engine going at full steam. The DMA/EEC staff that you’ve possibly met, or have seen running at times frantically to and from, have been doing an amazing job of putting together our events, supporting the MAC and ensuring that we don’t lose sight of what’s important: all of you, our members, colleagues, friends and extended family. Let’s take a moment to say ‘Thank You’ to these talented and tireless individuals, without them our ship might’ve sunk a long time ago:
- Tom Benton
- Senny Boone
- Lisa Brown Shosteck
- Jocelyn Argarin
- Rob Candiano
- Paul McDonnnough
- Keith Baker
- Jeremy Ladson
- Gaye Dullaghan
- Heather Tarpley
- Wilson Vargas
We believe that the tribe we’ve gathered here is second to none. We’ve survived this long because of your generous spirit that sees our mission as critical and part of a mutual shared success. We know that member-driven organizations can struggle for support and resources, but we have so many hands so willing to do work that we’re constantly amazed and feel immensely fortunate to be a part of this collective.
From the bottom of our hearts, we want to wish each and every single one of you the warmest of holidays. As much as we love our industry we hope the coming weeks find you squarely focused on what matters: your families and friends, without them you wouldn’t be the excellent and successful individuals you are today. And we’re depending on that excellence to make 2016 pale in comparison to what we will achieve in 2017.
With our warmest and kindest regards for a happy holiday season & new year,
Chief Privacy and Security Officer, Returnpath
VP of Industry Relations, SendGrid