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NEWS ANALYSIS: BMA Conference Report 2011 - Tales from the Windy City

The Business Marketing Association’s annual conference in Chicago is a great gauge of the health of the B2B market. Joel Harrison reports

In America at least, big is still beautiful. This was no better illustrated to me by the size of the skyscrapers in downtown Chicago, which was the location for the Business Marketing Association’s (BMA) annual conference (1–3 June); or indeed the size of the conference itself. With more than 650 attendees, it easily dwarfed any B2B-focused conferences in Europe, with an embarrassment of riches in terms of speakers, including numerous on-stage testimonials from CMOs, and a keynote from prolific author and business guru Seth Godin.

In truth, the comparative scale of the BMA conference should come as little surprise, given the size of the US, the sophistication of the BMA (it has more than 2500 members) and the fact it has been running regular meetings since World War Two.