Conference Schedule

Please view our full list of Speakers

Monday, January 21

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM DGA Board of Directors Meeting - Invitation Only
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM Registration Open
12:45 PM – 1:00 PM  Opening Remarks by DGA President Matt Bollinger
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Presentation: What it Takes to Win with Amazon, Phillip D'Orazio (Palmetto Digital Marketing Group)

Has your business considered selling through Amazon? Maybe you already do, but still have questions about how to do it more profitably. This session will help give you the information you need to determine if Amazon is a market outlet for your products and/or services.

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM Networking Break
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Presentation: Facebook Live, Owen Video (

The use of live videos has become a popular marketing tool, especially on social media. Creating effective videos is not as easy as it sounds, however. Owen Video has been coaching small businesses since 2012. His unique ability to create videos that actually nurture customers and drive traffic to your website makes him a go-to resource for most entrepreneurs and service based companies. In his session, Owen will share proven tips for what works and what to avoid when it comes to using live videos in your marketing line-up.

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM Networking Break
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Presentation: Content Basics BootcampMerritt Engel & Monica Tiffany (Merrigan & Co.)

Does the phrase “content development” make you want to tear your hair out? Do you get anxious even thinking of getting started? The leadership team at Merrigan & Co, Monica Tiffany and Merritt Engel, will take the mystery and anxiety out of producing engaging and effective communications. You’ll get ideas for building a strong messaging foundation you can use as a base for all of your copy needs. From direct mail to digital—from your website to your social channels, tackle your messaging challenges head on with the strategies you learn in this session.

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Welcome Back Reception

Tuesday, January 22

7:00 AM – 7:45 AM Registration Open
7:00 AM – 7:45 AM Continental Breakfast for all registered attendees
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM Business meeting
8:30 AM – 8:45 AM Presentation: Update on Nexus Sales Tax issues, Ken Lane, Stark Bro's Nurseries & Orchards Co.
8:45 AM – 9:00 AM Networking Break
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Presentation: What Has Google Changed Recently - And How Does it Affect Search, Michael Snyder (Snyder Online Marketing)

This session, led by Mike Snyder, Snyder Online Marketing, will provide an overview of recent changes in Google's algorithm and what you can do to keep competitive in organic search.

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM Networking Break
10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Presentation: Landing Pages Best Practices, Maggie Powell (Goodness Factory) Standing out isn’t a fad, it’s survival. If you want a chance at success, you can’t afford to build your business on a whim and a prayer. Great businesses die everyday because they don’t take their marketing seriously. But for small businesses, marketing can feel expensive and out of reach possibly from budget, time or skill level. Sometimes, going to an outside expert for website design and promotion is the most cost effective and least stressful path to take for a business. Other times, you and your staff may be able to develop the skill set and the knowledge to handle these tasks well.
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Green Thumb Awards Presentation
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Luncheon for all registered attendees
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM Workshop: Are Chatbots in your Marketing Future? Bill Powell (Goodness Factory) This may be a new term for some. A chatbot (also known as a smartbots, talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, IM bot, interactive agent, Conversational interface or Artificial Conversational Entity) is a computer program or an artificial intelligence which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Bill Powell, the other half of the Goodness Factory duo, will lead this workshop session, sharing his insight on how chatbots are being used by direct marketers to boost sales. He brings 15 years of sales and marketing experience to the table. Prior to founding the agency he worked with many tech companies in software sales, and made his mark managing email campaigns for large companies such as Walmart.
2:15 PM – 2:30 PM Networking Break
2:30 PM – 3:15 PM Presentation: Everyone Loves A Good Story: The Five Characteristics of Effective Content, Melanie Deziel (StoryFuel)

With brands and marketers increasingly taking up the torch of storytelling and leveraging content across their own properties to bring in traffic and connect with consumers, there is plenty to be learned from the world of journalism. This session, led by Melanie Deziel, founder of StoryFuel, will share the five most important journalistic best practices taught in journalism-school classrooms and used in newsrooms across the country. Melanie explains in easily understandable terms how marketers can create high-quality, authentic content that abides by the best practices and makes journalistic content compelling, effective and trustworthy.
3:15 PM – 3:30 PM Networking Break
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Workshop: StoryFuel: Generating Endless Content Ideas, Melanie Deziel (StoryFuel)

Coming up with ideas for content can be challenging, and when content can play such a powerful role in your marketing strategy, the pressure to generate unique content ideas is real. In this session, Melanie will present a framework that serves as a starting point for generating new content ideas and approaches, offering inspiration to get your brainstorms rolling and a challenge to stretch your creative muscle.

4:30 PM – 4:45 PM Networking Break
4:45 PM – 5:15 PM

Presentation: Introduction to Wednesday’s All-day Workshop: Digital Marketing, Learn to do What it Really Takes to Drive Sales, Dennis Yu (Blitz Metrics)

Are your digital marketing efforts driving sales to improve the bottom line? Do you feel like you hear about how others use digital marketing successfully, but you haven’t quite turned the corner on making it work for your business? And to add to the complexity, digital marketing techniques are continuing to evolve and change at a rapid pace.

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Networking Reception


Wednesday, January 23

Full-day Workshop by Digital Marketing guru Dennis Yu, Blitz Metrics

Breakfast on your own
 8:45 AM – 10:00 AM Hands-on Workshop Session 1, Digital Marketing, Dennis Yu (Blitz Metrics)
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM Networking Break
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM Hands-on Workshop Session 2, Digital Marketing, Dennis Yu (Blitz Metrics)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM  Luncheon for all registered attendees, Sponsored by Fine Gardening Magazine
1:15 PM – 2:45 PM Hands-on Workshop Session 3, Digital Marketing, Dennis Yu (Blitz Metrics)
2:45 PM – 3:00 PM Closing Comments, Matt Bollinger