4As Puts The Brakes On Accelerate Conference As It Rethinks Approach To Events

Well, here’s one less industry gabfest you’ll have to cram into your already overcrowded schedule -- The 4As said this week that it was cancelling its spring 2019 industry gathering known recently as the Accelerate Conference as it rethinks how to put on more meaningful “action-oriented” events. 

Instead, the group is hosting its inaugural Decisions 20/20 forum next March in Washington, D.C. And a month later it will stage an expanded Management Practitioners’ Forum, also in D.C. 

“The marketing industry is facing real challenges to its growth and creativity,” said Marla Kaplowitz, president and CEO, 4As. “It’s no longer enough to discuss these challenges, it’s time we identify actionable approaches to solve them.” 

The Decisions 20/20 forum, for example, will address issues related to data, media, tech and privacy.  Sessions will be organized around keynote addresses, debate-oriented panels and smaller breakout sessions. 



Hmmm. Sounds a lot like Accelerate but more narrowly focused. 

For the first time the Management Practitioners Forum is being staged as a standalone event instead of as an off-shoot of a broader conference. And reporters aren’t being invited so participants can feel free to say what’s really on their minds. Or that’s the idea anyway. 

Topics at next spring’s MPF include the future of marketing and the talent imperative. Also on the agenda are sessions about client wants and needs and the competitive landscape. 

I’m really trying to keep an open mind here but it sounds like more gabfest to me. 

Tell you what: If a real solution to the industry’s “talent imperative” comes out of this forum I will be thoroughly impressed. 

Not holding my breath though.


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