ProductCamp St. Louis 2015

ProductCamp St. Louis 2017 will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Webster University. It is free to attend. Register for ProductCamp St. Louis 2017 now!

This is a page with archived information about ProductCamp St. Louis 2015.

On this page…

Overview and Recap

ProductCamp St. Louis 2015 was our 4th annual event and was held Saturday, March 28, 2015 at CIC St. Louis, located at 4240 Duncan Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110. We had over 400 registrants and over 275 attendees.

Blog posts

ProductCamp 2015 – Consumer Insight, Product Launches and Outsourced Manufacturing — a blog post by Dan Diveley.

ProductCamp St. Louis 2015 Recap — a blog post by Nicole Nelson on the UMSL Digital Mindshare blog

Twitter

You can see Tweets posted with the #pcstl hashtag, though here are some of our favorites:

Photos

The ProductCamp St. Louis page on Facebook has several albums of pictures from ProductCamp St. Louis 2015.

Videos

This playlist of 23 videos includes interviews with ProductCamp St. Louis organizers, volunteers, session facilitators and attendees. Interviews were hosted by Laura Wiley & recorded by Kevin Harvell of http://STLTechMedia.com. (Video embedded below.)

This video summary is courtesy of Paul Heirendt. (Video embedded below.)

Schedule

8:00am Doors open; check-in, coffee, voting on sessions for the day. Plan on arriving by 8:30am
9:00am Voting ends
9:15-9:45am Opening session — ground rules, sponsor introductions, unveiling of agenda
9:45-10:00am  Break
10:00-10:50am 1st Session Havana:

Venture Café:

Chuck Berry:

Room 148:

Downstairs North:

Husch Blackwell:

10:50-11:10am  Break (20 minutes)
11:10am-12:00pm 2nd Session
Havana:

Venture Café:

Chuck Berry:

Room 148:

Downstairs North:

Husch Blackwell:

12:00-1:00pm Lunch (free for all participants, courtesy of our sponsors)
1:00-1:50pm 3rd Session
Havana:

Venture Café:

Chuck Berry:

Room 148:

Downstairs North:

Husch Blackwell:

1:50-2:10pm  Break (20 minutes)
2:10-3:00pm 4th Session
Havana:

Venture Café:

Chuck Berry:

Room 148:

Downstairs North:

Husch Blackwell:

3:00-3:10pm  Break (10 minutes)
3:10-4:00pm 5th Session
Havana:

Venture Café:

Chuck Berry:

Room 148:

Downstairs North:

Husch Blackwell:

4:15pm  Happy Hour (off-site at Humphrey’s (4200 Laclede)

Proposed Session Topics

This is the final list of proposed session topics for ProductCamp 2015. Participants will vote on these topics at the beginning of ProductCamp and the most popular sessions will be chosen for the schedule.

Session ID#:1 Make Good Products Great with Data and Analytics
Description: Using data and analytics to supercharge your products is important for all product managers. There are tons of ways to utilize analytics as a product manager whether it is: incorporating analytics into your product to provide more customer value; incorporating into business case or financial reporting to provide more value; utilizing to better understand the voice of the customer; or more effectively pricing your product to name a few. This session will be geared at having people share tools, methods and how best to utilize data and analytics into product your products.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Product Strategy
Submitted by: Dave Mathias. Dave Mathias has been a product professional for over 8 years primarily in software space and currently manages a Information Security Product Management and Analytics team at U.S. Bank. Dave is the current president of the Minnesota Product Development and Management Association and is the author of WorkLearnPlay.com which is geared at helping information workers to supercharge their success. Dave is on Twitter as @DaveMathias.

Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/mathias612/make-good-products-great-with-data-and-analytics
Contact: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davemathias1

Session ID#:2 Accelerate your business results using Change Management Principles
Description: Businesses face resistance every day and it stifles creativity, innovation, and progress so objectives are not fully achieved or not at all. Leaders must understand why people have issues toward change, the change process, and how to combat the resistance to push past sluggish attitudes and achieve faster success. This session will also highlight some popular change management tools that will ensure higher levels of performance.
Session Format: Presentation
Category: Business Performance
Submitted by: Kim Rochetti. Ms. Rochetti is a respected and accomplished Performance Excellence and Strategy Deployment Leader with extensive Lean Six Sigma, Strategy Deployment, and Project and Change Management expertise in many industries. Known as an effective and credible leader able to build and motivate high performance teams that deliver optimal results. A Master Black Belt recognized by executive management for internal consulting skills and abilities to achieve bottom line results.
Kim is on Twitter as @krochetti.

Session ID#:4 Is Strategic Pricing Dead?
Description: B2C sellers lament customers’ ready access to competitors’ pricing, apps that locate low prices and showrooming. B2B sellers bemoan reverse auctions, RFPs and the ‘musical chairs’ nature of most procurement departments.

Do these realities portend the death of strategic pricing? Or is it as alive and well as it has always been? Join Dale Furtwengler as he explores the world of strategic pricing to answer these and other questions regarding pricing.

Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Go-to-Market
Submitted by: Dale Furtwengler. Dale Furtwengler is the author of the internationally-acclaimed Pricing for Profit and, more recently, Become a MAVERICK: Grow your business using the unconventional strategies of world-class companies. Dale has been a regular presenter at St. Louis ProductCamp. Dale is on Twitter as @DaleFurtwengler.

Session ID#:5 Free yourself of fear, anxiety and frustration.
Description: This session deals with the three greatest obstacles to business, professional and personal success we face. In this session you’ll discover:

How you can assure success in every venture.
How your definition of success impacts your confidence.
What role talent plays in success and happiness.
How to compete confidently.
The subconscious mind’s power to bolster confidence.

Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Personal development
Submitted by: Dale Furtwengler. Dale Furtwengler is the author of Lead a Life of CONFIDENCE: Free yourself of fear, anxiety and frustration. The impetus for this book was the fact that people regularly told Dale that they wanted his life. When he challenged those statements he discovered that what they really wanted was a life free of fear, anxiety and frustration. Discover how you too can have a life others desire. Dale is on Twitter as @DaleFurtwengler.

Session ID#:6 Intellectual Property Bits for All
Description: I will talk about the priorities for intellectual property protection and perhaps more importantly the reasons that you should care. Have you watched Shark Tank? In its own entertaining way, Shark Tank really shows how investors think about intellectual property protection and the reasons that it is important to them in making their decisions on whether or not to invest in a company. The sharks know that absent patent protection, reverse engineering is entirely legal, and they know that building a brand takes a lot of effort. With the new first to file rules at the USPTO, it is truly a race file your patent application, and if you expect that someone may want to copy from your creative work, it is in your best interest to register a copyright IMMEDIATELY.
Session Format: Presentation
Category: Startup / Entrepreneur specific including social enterprises
Submitted by: Dennis Donahue. Dennis Donahue is an experienced, highly effective intellectual (IP) property attorney, manager, and business advisor, practicing in all areas of IP law, both in a corporate law department and law firms. Dennis works closely with his clients to help them prioritize their IP needs while reducing their IP risks. He counsels clients on business strategies in the protection and enforcement of all IP matters. Dennis had been an aerospace engineer and graduated from SLU Law School in 1996. Dennis is on Twitter as @dennisdonahueip.

Slides: http://cvlfirm.com/intellectual-property
Contact: [email protected]

Session ID#:7 How to Make $Half-Million on Kickstarter in a Few Days: A Cautionary Tale
Description: My team conducted the most successful Kickstarter in St. Louis history. I would like to discuss why Kickstarter is awesome, yet there is no silver bullet, and it is NOT for every idea.
Session Format: Ask the Expert
Category: Go-to-Market
Submitted by: Michael Werner. Michael Werner is a serial entrepreneur that has enjoyed his successes, but has learned more from his failures and wants to share them with others. He is an original manager of TechArtista CWE, a St. Louis coworking space. His current project, SYNEK (a countertop beer dispenser founded in St. Louis), is primed for a summertime launch with thousands of preorders worldwide to accompany thousands of brewery partnerships already established. Michael is on Twitter as @MJWerner8211.

Session ID#:8 Ask Me Anything: UX Edition
Description: What is UX, anyway? How is it practiced in St. Louis? Why should my organization or I care? And where *should* I put the submit button on my web forms?!

Get your answers to these and any other burning UX questions you have in this Reddit-style (but live!) AMA session with UX expert Danielle Cooley.

Session Format: Ask the Expert
Category: Requirements Definitions
Submitted by: Danielle Cooley. Danielle Cooley knows the things we use should make life easier, not harder. Her research and designs have been applied to Web sites and applications, software, touchscreen kiosks, mobile tools, speech recognition and touchtone telephone systems, credit card statements, and promotional brochures in such industries as financial services, pharmaceuticals, food service, healthcare, car rental, and consumer products. Danielle has a MS in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University. Danielle is on Twitter as @dgcooley.

Session ID#:9 Between Two ferns Form Tags
Description: Forms. They’re everywhere, and they’re horrible. But they don’t have to be. Paging vs. scrolling. Label placement. Required fields. Action buttons. Secondary actions. In this session, we’ll take a look at all of these and how to create forms that help your end users (and therefore the business) achieve their goals.
Session Format: Presentation
Category: Product Strategy
Submitted by: Danielle Cooley. Danielle Cooley knows the things we use should make life easier, not harder. Her research and designs have been applied to Web sites and applications, software, touchscreen kiosks, mobile tools, speech recognition and touchtone telephone systems, credit card statements, and promotional brochures in such industries as financial services, pharmaceuticals, food service, healthcare, car rental, and consumer products. Danielle has a MS in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University. Danielle is on Twitter as @dgcooley.

Session ID#:10 Card Sorting for Product Managers
Description: How would your customers organize your Web site’s content and features?
Do those customers agree amongst themselves?
Do they agree with what your project team thinks the structure should be?If the customer can’t find it, the information isn’t really there. Creating a solid information architecture helps ensure your customers can find the information they are looking for – information that helps them decide your product is one worth buying.Come learn how card sorting helps you get answers to these questions and the process for conducting one. And bring a laptop and do one yourself before we leave the session!
Session Format: Workshop
Category: Product Strategy
Submitted by: Danielle Cooley. Danielle Cooley knows the things we use should make life easier, not harder. Her research and designs have been applied to Web sites and applications, software, touchscreen kiosks, mobile tools, speech recognition and touchtone telephone systems, credit card statements, and promotional brochures in such industries as financial services, pharmaceuticals, food service, healthcare, car rental, and consumer products. Danielle has a MS in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University. Danielle is on Twitter as @dgcooley.

Session ID#:11 An Open Innovation Framework
Description: One of the most common problems in innovation is synthesizing all of the data, insights, hunches, and other inputs into something that can be rapidly assessed and improved. The Idea Ecosystem is a Creative Commons licensed framework to do that. I’ve used it for apps, biotech, and even traditional businesses. In this session, I’ll show you how to use it at no cost, while you can help me understand how to improve it.
Session Format: Roundtable Breakout
Category: Product Strategy
Submitted by: Dan Reus. Dan Reus is founder and chief Instigator of Openly Disruptive, a public think tank that facilitates the growth of innovation ecosystems. Reus started Openly Disruptive after 15 years of experience as a creative strategist helping Fortune 500 firms, nonprofits and startups create innovative products and marketing programs. Reus believes strongly, “The future will be what we make it.” Dan is on Twitter as @DanReus.

Session ID#:12 16 Minute Company
Description: Start a company in sixteen minutes or less.

In this session we’ll take things back to the basics of entrepreneurship, focusing on the essential building blocks that are at the root of every company ever created.

You’ll work both by yourself and with your group partners (don’t worry; you’ll meet them at Product Camp!) to identify a problem and come up with a solution – all within twelve minutes.

Know you want to be an entrepreneur or, if you’re already one, looking for that next thing to start working on? If so, this session’s right up your alley.

Session Format: Workshop
Category: Startup / Entrepreneur specific including social enterprises
Submitted by: Tyler Sondag. Tyler Sondag’s a St. Louis transplant who currently works as the Marketing Strategist for Saint Louis University’s Center for Entrepreneurship. He’s a co-founder of Invisible Girlfriend/Invisible Boyfriend and an avid fan of original ideas, college students, and Benjamin Franklin. Tyler is on Twitter as @mrsondag.

Session ID#:13 Looking for Interns or New Employees? How to Find and Talk to College Students
Description: Looking to get some college talent into your company? Career fairs and email blasts are nice, but do you get the interest and/or response you’re looking for? Not always.

In this session we’ll walk through a few tips, hints, and tricks of the trade when working anywhere in the college student realm. No matter your goals, we’ll discuss how to find students, talk to them, and sell them on your pitch.

Session Format: Ask the Expert
Category: Marketing Execution
Submitted by: Tyler Sondag. Tyler Sondag’s a St. Louis transplant who currently works as the Marketing Strategist for Saint Louis University’s Center for Entrepreneurship. He’s a co-founder of Invisible Girlfriend/Invisible Boyfriend and an avid fan of original ideas, college students, and Benjamin Franklin. Tyler is on Twitter as @MrSondag.

Session ID#:14 Do more, performance better, and use minimal resources with Lean Six Sigma tools
Description: Lean Six Sigma is about eliminating waste and defects. This translates to much faster product flow, lower costs, defect reduction, and happier customers. With customer requirements increasing at exponential rates, no business has the option not to deliver high quality, on time, and a competitive price. Use these tools to enhance your processes and deliver on your promises every time.
Session Format: Presentation
Category: Product and Process Excellence
Submitted by: Kim Rochetti. A respected and accomplished Performance Excellence and Strategy Deployment Leader with extensive Lean Six Sigma, Strategy Deployment, and Project and Change Management expertise in multiple industries. An effective and credible leader able to build and motivate high performance teams that deliver optimal results. A Master Black Belt recognized by executive management for internal consulting skills and abilities to achieve bottom line results that were nearly double that of the previous year. Kim is on Twitter as @kimrochetti.

Session ID#:15 Building a Brand: Taglines, Touch points and Logos
Description: You have a great idea, product or service, but how do you stand out from the competition? What makes you memorable? What will make your ideal client think of YOU the next time they need your solutions?At any business level, your success begins with branding. No, this isn’t about branding irons and a hot fire; it’s about your logo and tagline. These critical identifiers are your key to touch point recognition and communication. Wherever you go—online or offline—your brand should make its mental mark.Discover what makes a powerful brand and how to apply yours to your touch points. We’ll also test your knowledge with ‘name that brand’.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Go-to-Market
Submitted by: Joyce Mellow. Kristen Edens of Kris the Scribbler, provides copywriting & content services for business. She’ll identify the target markets and their pain-points then write the copy needed for top results. Joyce Mellow of Mellow Graphic Design, provides branding and graphic design services. She’ll tap into the essence of your business to create powerful branding and visual communication that is uniquely you. Join Kris and Joyce as they combine their expertise to pinpoint the basics for an excellent brand. Joyce is on Twitter as @joycemellow.

Session ID#:16 Social Media Marketing: Building Blocks for a Successful Strategy
Description: Does your Social Media activity have a clear strategy? Do you have a content calendar? Do your campaigns and calls to action tie to your overall business objectives? If not, this is the session for you! Utilizing a town hall format Kelly will present a few key elements successful social media marketing must have to connect, cultivate and convert to create bottom line results. From there she will open the discussion for questions and collaboration. Attendees will be encouraged to share their building blocks and cornerstones of social media marketing.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Marketing Execution
Submitted by: Kelly Alcorn. Kelly Alcorn, a national trainer, traveled the U.S. presenting seminars on Social Media and quickly discovered businesses were lost on how to harness the power of Social Media to increase sales and meet other business objectives. She has been able to simplify social media for business owners and create a blueprint for social media success. Kelly is on Twitter as @activatesocmed.

Session ID#:17 Data Viz Do’s and Don’ts to Communicate More Effectively
Description: How you present your data is just as important as the data itself. This session will go over the do’s and don’ts of data viz and go through real life examples of the good, the bad and the ugly.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Marketing Execution
Submitted by: Dave Mathias. Dave Mathias is a product leader that has worked in a variety of large and small companies. Currently Dave manages a product management and analytics team at a large bank. Follow Dave @DaveMathias or WorkLearnPlay.com. Dave is on Twitter as @DaveMathias.

Session ID#:18 Don’t Give Equity To Your Friend! 5 Common Startup Mistakes That Always End Poorly
Description: Lawyer/Entrepreneur Kirk Bowman dissects the 5 most common dumpster fires created by startups, including; bad equity grants, improper use of contract labor, not understanding the basics of a cap table, and misunderstanding your 1.0
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Startup / Entrepreneur specific including social enterprises
Submitted by: Kirk Bowman. A life-long entrepreneur, Kirk loves applying the mental rigor he honed as an attorney to creating innovative businesses that shift perspectives and evolve behavior. As founder of Zipline, Kirk is exploring how people relate to money and how technology can support an evolution to financial systems that are more social, more connected, and more human. A master storyteller, Kirk is a compelling voice when evangelizing for his belief that we can create a better human experience.
Kirk is on Twitter as @kirk_bowman.

Session ID#:19 Video Trinity: The Three Best Ways to Leverage Video for your Success
Description: In a Town Hall format, participants will explore the three types of videos that best leverage success. Using open ended questions and the participants own goals and initiatives, the session culminates with a discussion centered around essential key points for any company planning to use video in their advertising and marketing strategies.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Marketing Execution
Submitted by: John Launius. John Launius, Business Solution Specialist and Government Contract Liaison with Vidzu Media enjoys sharing his twenty years of broadcast media and new media experience.
He has spearheaded video solutions for local, state and federal agencies, as well as government contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and SRA International. His private sector clients include Chrysler Corporation, Washington University in St. Louis, Enterprise, Butler Manufacturing, Mercedes, and Brown Shoe. John is on Twitter as @johnlaun1.

Session ID#:20 Small-Batch Beta Testing: Quality over Quantity
Description: Perfect for small companies or engineering teams, this session will focus on the success we’ve had with “small-batch” beta testing. I will cover test design, execution, results, and how to effectively plan this effort into your Agile process.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Product Development
Submitted by: Karen Cochran. Karen Cochran is a Product Manager for PFU Systems, Inc. Her background in marketing and quality assurance has afforded her perspective from both sides of the product development wall. She graduated from the University of Missouri – St. Louis with a degree in Business Administration.

Session ID#:21 Real Time Regulatory Compliance
Description: Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are updated to become real time electronic worksheets (RTEWs). RTEWs can accept inputs on tablet devices manually and with lanyard worn bar code scanners. These inputs are instantly verified against the specific metrics contained in the SOP. Any metric not meeting compliance with the SOP or regulatory requirements will halt the procedure until resolved. All information is contained on a single platform allowing reviews to be conducted from a single (including off site auditor if desired) workstation.
Session Format: Panel Discussion
Category: Product Development
Submitted by: Roger Summers. Analytical Chemist and regulatory scientist working in pharmaceutical testing and manufacturing for 20+ years. Masters of Science in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from the University of Missouri Saint Louis. Roger is on Twitter as @archanalytic.

Session ID#:22 Master the Art of Counter-Intuitive Thinking
Description: Have you ever noticed that the best solutions are often the opposite of what you expected? Discover how our intuition leads us astray and creates many of the problems we face. Then learn simple techniques for developing the skill of counter-intuitive thinking. These concepts will enhance your success in all aspects of your life, business and personal.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: professional development
Submitted by: Dale Furtwengler. Dale Furtwengler helps people enhance their performance by enabling them to free them of fear, anxiety and frustration. He’s an internationally-acclaimed author, professional speaker and coach. Dale is on Twitter as @DaleFurtwengler.

Session ID#:23 Win/Loss Analysis: Insight into the Minds of B2B Customers/Prospects
Description: How do you get into the mind of B2B customers and prospects to find out what they really think and desire? B2B companies are typically a lot less vocal on social media and you might not be able to observe their behavior … so how do you learn about them? If you’re looking for strategic and tactical insights from your B2B customers and prospects — how they make decisions, what they value, where they’re headed, how they identify vendors, what they think of your offerings and what they think of competitors — the best (and perhaps only) way to get this information is through in-depth interviews in a process called win/loss analysis.

After a brief overview of the win/loss analysis process and examples of some findings, we will have time for Q&A, discussion of best practices, etc.

Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Product Lifecycle Mgmt
Submitted by: Shelly Azar. Shelly Azar, principal of Insight Researchers, has been working in the field of market intelligence, helping clients make better strategic and tactical decisions, since 1996. Her experience both as a corporate practitioner and as a consultant has been with companies large and small, public and private, in the US and abroad … and in a variety of industries. Shelly is on Twitter as @stazar.

Slides: https://www.slideshare.net/shellyazar/win-loss-analysis201503
Contact: http://www.linkedin.com/in/shellyazar

Session ID#:24 Enhance Your Competitive Edge!
Description: To be competitive your business needs to track customer needs, the competitor landscape, industry trends, market opportunities/threats and much more. Are you aware of all the kinds of topics you should track? Do you know the best ways to research them?

This session will provide an overview of what should be tracked; describe insights that can be gained; and give tips on how to get great information. Participants can share competitive challenges they have faced and ways they have met those challenges.

This session has been one of the favorites from past ProductCamp St. Louis events … so it is being offered again this year.

Session Format: Presentation
Category: Opportunity Analysis
Submitted by: Shelly Azar. Shelly Azar, principal of Insight Researchers, has been working in the field of market intelligence, helping clients make better strategic and tactical decisions, since 1996. Her experience both as a corporate practitioner and as a consultant has been with companies large and small, public and private, in the US and abroad … and in a variety of industries. Shelly is on Twitter as @stazar.

Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/shellyazar/product-camp-2014enhancing-competitive-edge20140329
Contact: http://www.linkedin.com/in/shellyazar

Session ID#:25 Sorting Out Product Management and User Experience
Description: In recent years there has been recognition of the importance of user experience in the product development process. Often, job descriptions for user experience roles include elements that are very similar to those for product managers – understand customer needs, conduct research activities, define requirements – and this can lead to confusion and conflict between product management and user experience. In this session, we will discuss how product management and user experience differ and how they need to collaborate effectively throughout the innovation and product development process. (This is a “repeat” of this topic from 2014, when it was awarded one of the Best Session awards.)
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Requirements Definitions
Submitted by: Jeff Lash. Jeff Lash is the Director of the Product Management advisory service at SiriusDecisions, where he conducts research and advises product management teams within B2B companies on how to improve performance and effectiveness. He has 10+ years experience in product management, user experience and product development. Jeff also writes the popular How To Be a Good Product Manager blog (www.goodproductmanager.com) and is on Twitter as @jefflash. Jeff is on Twitter as @jefflash.

Slides: Available upon request; email [email protected]
Contact: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jefflash

Session ID#:26 Meet Your Goals: Principles of the Balanced Scorecard for ALL Businesses
Description: Whether you work for a large company, a nonprofit or even if you’re a one-person consultant—B2C or B2B—the principles of the Balanced Scorecard can help you measure whether you’re on track to meet the strategic goals of your firm or department.

This session will cover the main concepts of the Balanced Scorecard. You’ll learn how you can measure your progress in a variety of ways—not just by looking at financial results. You will be able to see your business activities in a new light.

After presentation of the basic concepts, we can discuss the topic as a group, share best practices and/or you can develop KPIs for your own activities.

Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Management / Strategy
Submitted by: Shelly Azar. Shelly Azar, principal of Insight Researchers, has been working in the field of market intelligence, helping clients make better strategic and tactical decisions, since 1996. Her experience both as a corporate practitioner and as a consultant has been with companies large and small, public and private, in the US and abroad … and in a variety of industries. Shelly is on Twitter as @stazar.

Session ID#:27 Achieving Brand Fanaticism
Description: Brand Fanatics not only purchase your product, but they love the Brand Experience and become your most cost-efficient resource in marketing your product. Companies that “Live the Brand” understand that Brand Management is more than just advertising, public relations or promotion. Mark Vogel will demonstrate how Living the Brand engages your entire organization as Brand Champions focused on satisfied customers and building market share – resulting in turning ordinary customers into true Brand Fanatics.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Product Strategy
Submitted by: Mark Vogel. Mark Vogel founded the Avant Marketing Group in 2004. He brings over 35 years of experience in market planning and implementation, holding executive positions at The Kohler Co., Andersen Windows, Broan/NuTone and Osborn & Barr Communications. Highly skilled in market research, brand development and strategy, his strategic project work includes clients Bayer Crop Science, Solutia, and Aclara Technologies. Mark received his B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana. Mark is on Twitter as @brandinguy.

Session ID#:28 How it’s made
Description: So you’ve got a good product but you don’t know the processes
to manufacture.
Let’s talk about the different methods to make that idea.
Plastics, metals, wood, composites.
There are a lot of different ways to manufacture.
What’s the best way to make it.
For instance Plastics, Injection Molding, Thermo Plastics, Blow molding
Rotational molding. What process works for you. What kind of cost.
Machining, Castings, Stampings, Wire Forming, Packaging
Let’s talk about these processes.
What do say to a manufacturer?
What kind of costs you can expect?
Where do you start and what does the manufacturer need to
understand your idea?
Prototypes, Rapid Prototypes CAD Drawings.
How do you find manufacturer?
Manufacturing Consulting
These are questions we will discuss.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Manufacturing specific
Submitted by: Rich Freese. Work in the Machine Tool industry.
Servicing and selling machines for 35 years.
Visiting different Machine Shops, factories and industries.
Observing how products are made whether plastics, machining, stampings.
Trying to find work for local shops and industries. Rich is on Twitter as @inventionmfg.

Session ID#:29 Think and Talk Like a CFO to Win Funding for Your Product in 2015
Description: Securing funding is tough! Do you know how to loosen the purse strings to get the funding you need? Learn what goes on in the mind of the person standing between your product concept & funding. During this session, we will present case studies & answer “what if” & “how to” questions to help you package your product. Learn how to increase financial attractiveness & get the funding to go to market. What are the key issues to overcome to enable funding?
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Go-to-Market
Submitted by: John E. Oeltjen, CPA. John Oeltjen, CPA has 35+ years of business & consulting experience. He began his career with a “Big 4” accounting firm, serving as lead partner for the St. Louis Regional Middle Market practice. He also spent 12 years in the private sector, as a President, COO & part owner in various businesses. Under his leadership, over 200 new products were introduced. He is currently a Partner & Director of Manufacturing & Distribution Services for Mueller Prost, a leading locally owned CPA & advisory firm. John E. is on Twitter as @johneostl.

Session ID#:30 2015 Strategic Technology Trends: Prepare your Company & Family
Description: Extended Town Hall (40 Minute Presentation and Each year Gartner identifies the trends that will be strategic for most organizations. These trends will have a significant impact on your organization now and over the next three years.

These trends have a high potential for disrupting your business, your department and your personal life. Competitors are taking advantage of these Strategic Technology Trends to undercut competitors, get closer to customers and disrupt the usual way of doing business.

This session will cover Gartner’s 2015 Strategic Technology Trends and provide practical advice on how to be a Victor not a victim.

Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Product Strategy
Submitted by: Dan Glasscock. Dan Glasscock is Director of Strategy and Business Development for Oracle Corporation’s and is responsible for Oracle’s Go-to-Market Strategy for Oracle Private and Hybrid Cloud.

Dan also advises on Oracle Public Cloud, Oracle Database, NoSQL, and Big Data. Dan spent the last 30 years delivering high impact projects and building customer centric IT Organizations for industry leading clients in High Technology, Communications, Financial Services and Electronic Commerce markets. Dan is on Twitter as @DanGlasscock.

Content: http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/top-10-technology-trends/
Contact: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danglasscock

Session ID#:31 Social Listening: What’s your Social IQ?
Description: Got social media? Been there, done that. Now you know just how hard it is to do well. Most companies have gotten beyond the skepticism and objection phase and now openly embrace social. But even if they have a strategy, they’re still working hard without working smart.

In this workshop, we will talk about social listening as the basis of a sound social media strategy, and guide you in structuring your approach. We will offer a high-level overview of social listening as intelligence gathering and why it’s a must for marketers and product managers.

Attendees will walk away with a deeper understanding of the process of uncovering social media intelligence and have their own “Social IQ” worksheet that will help them determine where they are and how they can improve their social intelligence

Session Format: Workshop
Category: Marketing Execution
Submitted by: Elise Connors. Elise Connors is the Online Marketing Manager at TrafficPRM, an inbound marketing agency based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mrs. Connors has nearly a decade of marketing experience working for private and public brands, and offers proven knowledge in online marketing/advertising, social media marketing, and conversion optimization. Elise is on Twitter as @girlnamedelise.

Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/TrafficPRM/social-listening-whats-your-social-iq
Contact: http://traffic-prm.com/social-intelligence/

Session ID#:32 B2B Product Launch — You’re Doing It Wrong
Description: Too many product launches are driven by a checklist of tactical activities rather than a strategic launch plan. Launch success is not just defined by getting the product out the door, and this session will cover best practices in product launch for business-to-business products, services and solutions. Learn how to prepare for a launch and what to do post-launch to make your next product launch a success.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Go-to-Market
Submitted by: Jeff Lash. Jeff Lash is the Director of the Product Management advisory service at SiriusDecisions, where he conducts research and advises product management teams within B2B companies on how to improve performance and effectiveness. He has 10+ years experience in product management, user experience and product development. Jeff also writes the popular How To Be a Good Product Manager blog (www.goodproductmanager.com) and is on Twitter as @jefflash. Jeff is on Twitter as @jefflash.

Slides: Available upon request; email [email protected]
Contact: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jefflash

Session ID#:33 You’ve created your baby. Don’t introduce it to the world naked.
Description: Will your product change the world? Not until it’s given a name and a chance to exhibit its unique personality. Until then it’s not even a brand, it’s simply a list of features.

Ceci Bartels, President of Naked Branding will be sharing insights on how you can hasten the acceptance of your product or among investors and end users using Product Essence Positioning (PEP) and visual language to make your new brand bigger, better and bolder.

Session Format: Presentation
Category: Go-to-Market
Submitted by: Ceci Bartels. Ceci is a creative, strategic, branding, digital media and integrated marketing executive that can cast a vision to create growth.

Her firm Naked Branding helps clients get clarity about their product’s core essence and value proposition and achieve business success by building, creating or revitalizing their brand(s) with a visual voice expressed across all touch points.
Ceci is on Twitter as @CeciBartels.

Session ID#:34 Finding Your Theme: How to Create Content that Connects
Description: As we all know, content is king… but what kind of content? If you want to create content that connects, it needs to be focused on the Who, What and Why that are relevant to your business.

This workshop will help you think about the strategy and structure of your content BEFORE you start crafting material to fuel your SEO, social media and lead generation. We will begin by offering an overview of effective content strategy, or why you need to “find your theme,” and we’ll look at two examples of startups that have done it right.

Attendees will walk away with a deeper understanding of their Who, What and Why, their own “Content Sketching” worksheet and a better sense of how to approach the vital but challenging task of crafting effective content that reaches the right audience.

Session Format: Workshop
Category: Go-to-Market
Submitted by: Brian Posnanski. Brian Posnanski is the founder of TrafficPRM, a strategic content marketing agency. He helps companies develop content that creates traffic, customers and ultimately brand leadership. Some people think he looks like Jason Bateman, but he doesn’t. Brian is on Twitter as @bpoz.

Slides: http://traffic-prm.com/content-strategy-workshop-find-your-theme/
Contact: [email protected]

Session ID#:35 Accelerate St. Louis – A Startup Reinvention
Description: An overview of the St. Louis ecosystem for entrepreneurs that provides information on sources of capital, mentoring programs, innovation centers, and programs offered by local universities to help small businesses.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Resource overview
Submitted by: Eric Schneider. Eric Schneider is the Director of Business Solutions for the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce, the chamber of commerce for the bi-state metropolitan region. Eric’s responsibilities include developing programs to help small businesses fund, run, and grow. Eric is on Twitter as @stlregchamber.

Slides: http://acceleratestlouis.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Startup_Reinvention_Condensed.pdf
Contact: Christine Karslake at [email protected]

Session ID#:36 Distribution Channels for Beginners
Description: Based on a college course (but free), providing a quick overview of distribution channels focusing on key aspects for a new or small company with little money. Direct vs. Indirect. Who has the power, what kind, and how to manage it. How to price within the channel. Will begin as a presentation but can quickly transition to a Town Hall at audience request.
Session Format: Presentation
Category: Go-to-Market
Submitted by: Jim Elder. Leads a St. Louis marketing services agency. Former marketing professor teaching courses including distribution channels. Former senior marketing executive in pharmaceuticals and biotech. Jim is on Twitter as @Allegra_STL.

Session ID#:37 Trade Show Intelligence on My Customers And Competitors
Description: Learn trade show intelligence techniques to extract competitive information on customers and competitors from a conference and ways to keep the competition from getting the drop on you and your company. This session will give a playbook for what to do before, during and after the trade show to maximize your trade show ROI.
Session Format: Ask the Expert
Category: Marketing Execution
Submitted by: Alison Bourey. Bourey is a Society Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professional Catalyst award winning expert on competitive intelligence who for 15 years has successfully been conducting trade show intelligence that helped clients outmaneuver the competition. Her intelligence has facilitated clients anticipating competitor launch dates and messaging as well as understanding customer’s perceptions of the competitions’ product line. Alison is on Twitter as @atbourey.

Contact: [email protected]

Session ID#:38 Getting to Niche, Simplifying Market Execution by Answering Seven Questions
Description: This is applying an agile mindset for evaluating market opportunities. It is hands-on and everyone gets to play. I enthusiastically share how to quickly assess the market landscape (15 minutes). You or your team ambitiously apply the process to a real life product/service that you select (30 minutes). I applaud your work and together we all learn and get better.
Session Format: Workshop
Category: Opportunity Analysis
Submitted by: John Tudor. I help teams for B to B capital goods/CPG firms drive cradle to grave product life cycle initiatives through intense focus on product positioning that embraces customer needs with improved value propositions to enable profitable growth in line with strategic objectives.

Academically, I have a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and in Marketing and recently completed my MBA through the Tippie School of Management (University of Iowa – Summer 2014).

Session ID#:39 Using embedded micro-controllers and the possibilities of inter-connectivity.
Description: This will be a discussion about widely available technologies such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi that can be used in product development. We will go over their abilities, limitations, and possible use cases. We will also explore the growth of the “Do it Yourself” community in relation to the business community.
Session Format: Roundtable Breakout
Category: Product Development
Submitted by: Joshua Krull. I am a Launch Code graduate with a background in Market Research. My focus is on code development and hardware design. Recently I have co-founded and hosted events for the St. Louis Raspberry Pi Meetup Group. Joshua is on Twitter as @comjosh64.

Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/comjosh64/embedded-microcontrollers
Contact: [email protected]

Session ID#:40 Adding Tech To Your Communication Mix
Description: Learn how to use the same tech used by large corporations, affordably, to boost your marketing communication effectiveness. See real world examples of tech applications that you can apply within your company…applications that can boost returns from your marketing communication programs.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Marketing Execution
Submitted by: Jim Elder. Jim Elder leads the St. Louis office of a marketing services agency with offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to leading an agency, Jim has been a marketing professor and a senior marketing officer at companies in the healthcare industry. Jim is on Twitter as @Allegra_STL.

Session ID#:41 NOT INVENTED HERE–HOW THIS CULTURE CAN CAUSE A TRAINWRECK FOR YOUR COMPANY.
Description: Many companies have a weak or no system for supplier and customer input and feedback in their product design process. Some companies strictly prohibit outside input. This can be a big mistake. Often, outside stakeholders, particularly industrial users, have the best ideas for improving your product.

We will discuss both sides of the idea submission process and best practices for achieving optimal outcomes for both the company and submitter.

Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Product Development
Submitted by: Steve Matthews. IP attorney with Matthews Edwards LLP. 25 year of advising on IP matters to a range of client partners including major corporations, mid-caps, startups and individual inventors.

Contact: [email protected]

Session ID#:42 SO YOU WANT TO MAKE IT IN ASIA . . . SOME DOWNSIDES TO CONSIDER.
Description: Asia manufacturing is attractive. But has downsides. This will be a discussion of some of the pitfalls experienced by US companies that design here and build there.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Manufacturing specific
Submitted by: Steve Matthews. IP attorney at Matthews Edwards LLC, 25 years experience advising on IP matters to client partners including large corporations, mid-caps. start ups, and individual inventors.

Session ID#:43 Discover what you’re missing with EcoSystem Mapping
Description: Without even realizing it, product managers can develop a narrow vision. Despite using plans, roadmaps, and group activities, you likely still do not have the “”big picture”” view. The novel activity of EcoSystem Mapping will enable you to develop a holistic understanding of your product and its environment. The process highlights areas which will provide the most impact to your customer. You will discover people, processes, and technical details that would otherwise be overlooked. Overall, EcoSystem Mapping reveals the best places to spend time and money in the development process.

After a short talk about the purpose, development, process, and appropriate use of EcoSystem Mapping, participants will divide into small groups to get first-hand experience with EcoSystem Mapping.

Contact: [email protected]

Session Format: Workshop
Category: Product Strategy
Submitted by: David Mathew. David Mathew is a Software Producer at Software Engineering Professionals, Inc (SEP) in Carmel, IN. He is a Computer Engineering graduate of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the founder of the Indy Product Management meet-up. He has a passion for UX/product and business and diverse experience working with both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. A continuous learner, David is constantly looking to synthesize new ideas and share his knowledge with the community. David is on Twitter as @mathewda.

Session ID#:44 Paired-Design for Better Product Definition
Description: In this session presented by two long-term collaborators, participants will get hands-on experience with the Design Studio collaborative design method. Design Studio is used to explore opportunities and innovate products to better serve customer’s needs. This is not design by committee but rather a guided, efficient method for allowing product teams to generate a lot of ideas in a rapid way. The session will be presented and then practiced in a workshop format so participants can experience the value and fun of co-creation. Co-Presenters Lois Lewis and Danielle Cooley have deep expertise in Human-centered design and collaboration and have learned from experience that more creative brain power makes their designs mo’ better.
Session Format: Workshop
Category: Requirements Definitions
Submitted by: Lois Lewis. Lois Lewis is the founder and principal design collaborator at CoCreate Collective. Her passion for humanizing technology has been the driving force behind her projects for companies like Chanel, Harley Davidson, Pepsico, Emerson, BlueCross BlueSheild, and MDAnderson. Her recent work has focused on enterprise innovation and collaboration solutions.

Lois is a maker at heart – ask her about her art projects or product ideas.
Lois is on Twitter as @loistweet.

Session ID#:45 Point-Counter Point: Traditional VOC versus ODI.. What’s the big deal ?
Description: Much has been written recently about the possible advantages of ODI (outcome driven innovation) versus traditional VOC (voice of the customer) methods. But… are they really so different ? Or is it just a matter of semantics…

This session will provide a look at both sides of the question: “”how do we know what what our customers really want ?”” by examining some of the key ideas for both methods in an attempt to compare and contrast them. But don’t be surprised if there not as different as you think !

Presented by Jerry Fix and Jeff Rivas

Session Format: Panel Discussion
Category: Product Development
Submitted by: Jerry Fix. Jerry Fix, P.E., NPDP is currently the marketing manager for LED’s and Controls at Hussmann Corporation. Prior to Hussmann Jerry was the Product Manager for controls at Parker Hannifin’s Sporlan Division. Jerry started his career as an Electronics Engineer at McDonnell Douglas. Jerry has B.S.E.E. from Michigan Tech and an MBA from Saint Louis University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Missouri and has NPDP certification from PDMA. Jerry is on Twitter as @jerryfix.

Session ID#:46 Lessons learned in a high growth environment . . . living my own HBS case
Description: Product managers are in a position of leadership and therefore must be concerned with more than just product specifications, costs, price and delivery. There are organizational issues that must also be considered especially when dealing with fast paced, high growth situations. Using my recent involvement in a company that experienced incredible growth followed by bankruptcy as a framework, I outline specific examples where better decision making and negotiation could have resulted in an enhanced outcome for both the supplier and the customer. It is the goal of this presentation to help everyone learn from the mistakes of others.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Prod Mgmt Careers
Submitted by: Nels Ostrom. Nels Ostrom has been a product manager in a variety of fields ranging from consumer electronics to capital equipment. He has co-authored many refereed journal articles and patents and holds a BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Nels is on Twitter as @nelsostrom.

Session ID#:47 The Facilitator’s “Bag of Tricks”
Description: Facilitating groups is a key skill for anyone leading a product effort. To become a successful facilitator you need confidence and presentation skills, but more importantly you need a strategic plan and a diverse “bag of tricks.” Since each group and situation is unique, it’s important to know how to choose the right tool(s) for each particular case and when you need to create new tools. In this session I will discuss the building blocks for successful facilitation. I’ll then review some popular activities, show you can develop your own activities, and provide some tips for capturing output and preparing beforehand. Finally we’ll open up to group discussion so everyone can share their experiences with group facilitation.
Session Format: Town Hall
Category: Prod Mgmt Careers
Submitted by: David Mathew. David Mathew is a Software Producer at Software Engineering Professionals, Inc (SEP) in Carmel, IN. He is a Computer Engineering graduate of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the founder of the Indy Product Management meet-up. He has a passion for UX/product and business and diverse experience working with both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. A continuous learner, David is constantly looking to synthesize new ideas and share his knowledge with the community. David is on Twitter as @mathewda.