8:00 AM-8:55 AM
9:00 AM-9:00 AM
Keynote- Merge: The closing gap between technology and us
9:05 AM-9:40 AM
The mind-boggling pace of evolution has taken us from a world without screens to one dominated by devices. This rapid evolution is accelerating at an exponential rate. As machines become as intelligent as us, we’ll reach a point where we become indistinguishable from one another. Presented by Craig Atkinson, Chief Investment Officer at PHD, this session will explore how the next three decades will be the most technologically disruptive era in history and how technology and humanity will – both symbolically and literally – merge together
Why AI? The impact of artificial intelligence
9:40 AM-10:15 AM
Mitch Joel in conversation with Steve Irvine of Integrate.ai
Artificial intelligence is urgently knocking on the doors of marketers, and set to have a big impact on brands. This session will serve to answer some key questions regarding the real potential of AI and the effects it will have on the future of the marketing industry.
Presented by two esteemed subject matter experts, author and tech guru Mitch Joel will conduct an in-depth discussion with Steve Irvine, founder of Integrate.ai and advisor to Canada's leading AI research organization, the Vector Institute.
From kickstarter to challenger: Knixwear's disruptive new model
10:15 AM-10:45 AM
Knixwear began as a Kickstarter sensation just four years ago. Created by founder Joanna Griffiths, the brand aims to fill several service gaps in women's intimate apparel offerings, and provide comfortable activewear for all sizes. The brand raised over $1.6 million in pre-sales for their first-ever bra product, and still holds the records for most-funded fashion project, and most-funded women's project in Kickstarter history. Now sold online and carried in over 500 retail locations across North America, Knixwear has its sights set on even greater disruption within the apparel industry. Griffiths will join us to share her story and the brand's outlook on the future.
10:45 AM-11:05 AM
The Future 100: Key trends for marketers
11:05 AM-11:35 AM
Lucie Greene, Worldwide Director of the JWTIntelligence Innovation Group, will present exclusive findings from JWT's 2018 Future 100 Report. A product of JWT's in-house futures and innovation think tank, the Future 100 provides a look at the year ahead, identifying key trends in technology, retail, culture, marketing and more. Greene will provide an essential roundup of the most important information for marketers to have in their arsenal as they face the future.
Brand building at fintech Speed
11:35 AM-12:05 PM
Find out how Koho, a hot new entrant into the fintech landscape, is defining a brand that breaks through the clutter at start-up speed, and why this needs to be the norm for all brands moving forward.
Lunch + Smart speakers and the audio revolution hosted by Globe and Mail
12:05 PM-1:05 PM
During the lunch break our partners at The Globe and Mail dive into Smart speakers and the Audio revolution
Amazon sold tens of millions of Echo devices globally during the holiday season. Google’s in the game with Home, Harman Kardon with Invoke, and Apple’s HomePod is due to launch this year. Despite lingering privacy concerns, smart speakers have reached critical consumer mass, and marketers need to get in the game.
The Globe and Mail’s content-marketing team will showcase how people are using home assistants, the opportunities for marketers, a few key case studies, and where the market is headed in the near- and long-term.
Racing towards regulation: Branding in Canada's new cannabis market
1:05 PM-1:35 PM
The smoke is starting to clear, as pictures of Canada's provincial cannabis markets start to emerge. Each province will establish their own rules, regulations and retail environments for recreational marijuana. Marketing, or perhaps a government-mandated lack thereof, will be a unique challenge for cannabis brands as they seek to capture consumer attention.
Alison Gordon, CEO of licensed producer 48 North, will discuss the marketing and branding challenges her company faces in the run-up to legalization, and how her team plans to stay nimble as the country braces for this pivotal moment.
The evolving role of the CMO
1:35 PM-2:10 PM
Andrea Hunt, CMO of Weston Foods, and Lori Davison, VP of Brand Strategy for the SickKids Foundation, will take part in a live onstage discussion of how their roles, and the place of marketing in their organizations, have transformed in recent years. Both executives have led rebranding strategies, as well as institutional overhauls, and will expand on their experiences with the MES audience.
Beer to the future: Labatt's Todd Allen on planning for the next decade
2:10 PM-2:40 PM
As consumer habits evolve, consumer goods must also adapt to changes in their market, both in the short and long terms. The alcohol sales industry is no different, with a shifting retail landscape, and the need to cater to different segments of the Canadian population in new ways. Labatt Brewing, with parent company AB InBev, has unveiled an ambitious new plan to have non-alcoholic beverages account for 20 per cent of its global profile by the year 2025, cider and beer are coming to more grocery stores in Ontario, and Labatt has the goal of tying its brands to every occasion on the yearly calendar. Labatt's VP of Marketing in Canada, Todd Allen, will join Strategy Digital Editor Jeromy Lloyd for an in-depth discussion of how his brand plans to navigate its next era
2:40 PM-3:00 PM
Building brands with purpose
3:00 PM-3:20 PM
Brands are increasingly looking to align with social causes to be more relevant to consumers. But good intentions don't immediately make for a sound business strategy. General Mills' VP, Marketing Emma Eriksson outlines how her company has successfully built new affinity for its brands by embracing purpose in a meaningful and impactful way.
Keynote- GE: Innovation outside the box
3:20 PM-4:00 PM
Sam Olstein, GE's Director of Global Innovation, has led the brand through some of its most dazzling and provocative marketing campaigns in recent years. From using GE's digital technology to broadcast an up-close look at an active volcano in Nicaragua, to creating a massive, scientifically-perfect meat smoker at SXSW, Olstein has found ingenious ways to present GE's technological capabilities to a younger generation. Olstein will discuss how his team has developed an innovation-focused culture within a legacy brand, further solidifying the role that GE will play in the tech sector's future.
4:00 PM-4:05 PM
More details to come!
4:05 PM-5:00 PM