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October 04, 2016 | by Norma Salcido

Creating Meaningful Connections at Exchange 2016

We recently convened industry leaders, influencers, and partners for MediaAlpha’s Exchange 2016 Summit, in Nashville, TN. This year’s summit coincided with a refresh of the MediaAlpha brand, so we designed this year’s themes to align with our new positioning. Our new branding reinforces our position as an industry innovator that has established a strong track record for identifying what’s next and developing solutions that help keep our partners one step ahead.

So Exchange 2016 was designed around two primary themes:

  • Innovation. The need for innovation is constant, yet many organizations and individuals struggle to create sustainable innovation. We focused on inspiring innovation with practical insights and solutions that attendees could begin using immediately
  • Data. We believe that ‘What’s Next’ in vertical search media is deeper and more innovative applications of data to inform better and more predictive decisions. Several sessions were devoted to inspire attendees to learn and discover new and evolving uses of data

Here is a recap of some of the top moments and highlights from this year’s summit:

  • Disruptive Innovation: Two speakers – Vanderbilt Professor David Owens and former Esurance CMO John Swigart – provided attendees with a combination of strategic perspectives on how to think about fostering better innovation as well as pragmatic ideas for innovation in our industry.

Professor Owens entertained the audience with multiple examples of how creativity can be stifled, and offered useful frameworks for how to identify and overcome hurdles to innovation and creativity. Afterward, John Swigart offered a compelling perspective for why online shoppers should be considered a marketer’s second most valuable asset and how to unlock the significant economic potential of this asset.

  • Capitalizing on Data: Author Ben Blatt began with an expansive view of different ways data is impacting our lives. This was followed by panel of industry experts who offered diverse perspectives on challenges and best practices for managing and capitalizing on data.
  • Executive Networking: A primary objective of our Exchange Summit is to bring together industry leaders in a comfortable ‘commercial free’ environment to build relationships and exchange ideas. This year’s event created multiple opportunities for attendees to engage with peers and build new relationships in a relaxed and intimate setting. We received overwhelming feedback from attendees that the Exchange Summit offers some of the best and most valuable networking in the industry.
  • Group Breakout Sessions: Attendees loved the group breakout session that enabled small groups of liked-minded professionals to sit around the table and engage on critical topics of the day. This year’s breakout sessions focused on several hot topics, building further on the themes of data and innovation:
    • Challenges and Best Practices with Calls
    • Getting the Most Out of Your Hidden Assets
    • Cracking the Code on Mobile and Social
    • The Emerging Role of Technology and the Platform Marketer
    • Innovative Data Solutions for Digital Marketers
  • Michael Foster Runfest. MediaAlpha’s own Michael Foster led the 1st Annual Michael Foster Runfest. Despite brisk morning temperatures, a dedicated collections of runners gathered at 6am for a guided group run through the surrounding neighborhoods, including Vanderbilt University and Centennial Park. Great job runners!
  • Partner Celebration at The Cordelle. We concluded Exchange 2016 with a partner celebration at a local venue called The Cordelle. Guests were treated to the musical talents of local band The Contenders, whiskey tasting on the patio, lots of good company and some delicious food to conclude a memorable Summit. The revelry and networking continued into the night in Downtown Nashville.

A complete photo album of the event is viewable here.

Thank you to our hard working team that produced an incredible event and to everyone who attended Exchange 2016 Summit. We look forward to seeing you at Exchange 2017!

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