The Room
Brand Retreat
The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
October 19-21, 2022
+150 Marketing Executives
Personal Growth & Marketing

Why A Retreat?

The Room is traveling to NOLA to explore the city, create new relationships, and learn more about how to be truly well. The Retreat was created for and by brand marketers focusing on:

1) Professional development goes hand-in-hand with personal growth.

2) 100% marketing learnings through group discussions. No talking heads, no intermediaries.

3) We are in NOLA, let’s experience NOLA.

As an invitee, you will be part of a highly curated group of 75 senior brand leaders. You will be inspired, you will be challenged, and you will be better prepared to deal with the challenges you face in your role. In the evenings, as we have fun exploring vibrant New Orleans, you will forge relationships that will strengthen your support network and overall career path well beyond the Retreat.

To be a participant we ask that you come prepared to be an active contributor – this is The Room’s ethos. We learn from peers. The Retreat is free for qualified brand executives to attend.

We invite you to contact us if you feel you can both benefit from, and contribute to The Room Marketer’s Retreat.

New Orleans Street Signs

Retreat Agenda

2:00 pm -

Registration Opens

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Marketer Only Meeting

4:10 pm - 4:30 pm

HOPE is a Four-Letter Word

Together for Hope (TFH) works in the 339 counties of persistent rural poverty in the U.S. Using asset-based community development, TFH asks communities what they have rather than what they need. By focusing on what is good in these communities, community leaders are able to leverage their assets to create new futures. In this space, hope is not some fluffy emotion; it is a hard-headed persistence in doing good. As one poet suggests, “hope is a sewer rat.”

4:30 pm - 4:50 pm

The Practice of Curiosity

The best marketing professionals synthesize exceptional creativity with analytical rigor. Creativity flows from the nurturing of our species' highly innate curiosity. In a world with booming industries focused on wellness, yoga, mindfulness, breathwork, and physical fitness, few scholars or intellectuals have focused on the practice of curiosity. Jess Banks, a roboticist, scientist, and furniture designer will be in conversation with NYU Professor and The Room Editorial Director, Aaron Cohen.

4:50 pm - 6:05 pm

Roundtable Discussion: Short term wins vs Long term benefits?

Navigating the choice between brand and performance marketing investment – This group discussion will unpack the key dimensions of this ongoing challenge for businesses trying to grow both in the short and long term.

We’ll focus on the implications for measurement, buying and creative strategy and how to chart a course in high inflationary and turbulent economic times.

6:05 pm - 6:30 pm

Presentation (TBA)

6:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Private Brand Reception

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Welcome Reception (Full Retreat)

7:00 am - 9:30 am

Exercise & Breakfast

9:30 am - 12:00 pm

General Session

9:35 am - 10:25 am

The Blind Spot Every Leader Today Needs to Know About

Leaders today use data to run almost everything in their enterprise. And yet they run their executive teams on gut feel. Good Leadership today is both the art & science of working together to create great results. Paul Batz will share how good leaders get great results, without superhero energy.

Paul Batz
10:25 am - 10:50 am

The Power of Our Platform

The last few years have fueled cultures fraught with burnout, quiet quitting, and disconnection. After close to a decade as publisher of Advertising Age, Allison Arden stepped off to build a company that makes well-being easier. Join Allison Arden on an exploration of the Elements that will reframe the opportunity we have to re-energize ourselves, our teams, and our companies and share a back to basics approach to use the power of our platforms to create a better, brighter future for all of us and generations to come.

Allison Arden
10:50 am - 11:15 am

Making Meaning

The compartmentalized self is a divided self, so how does one become whole? This question, while it sounds hippy-dippy and more relevant for a Sedona crystal retreat, is vitally important for people in business. There has always been large numbers of people in the business word who were “successful but lost” because of the divided self. How can the intersection of the personal and the professional be mutually beneficial?

Jason Coker
11:15 am - 11:35 am

The Case for Color-Blindness

Color-blindness has become a dirty word in American politics. Rejecting the wisdom of the civil rights movement, we are now taught to see everything, and everyone, through the lens of race. Yet in a multi-racial democracy, the only path forward is to make race less important, not more important. Contrary to popular belief, color-blindness, properly understood, provides the best ethical, legal, and social foundation for healthy race relations.

Coleman Huges
11:35 am - 12:00 pm

Theory of Enchantment: A New Approach to Anti Racism

Theory of Enchantment (ToE) is an innovative framework for compassionate anti-racism that combines social-emotional learning (SEL), character development, and interpersonal growth as tools for leadership development in the boardroom and beyond.

Chloe Valdary
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Marketer Only Lunch Presentations

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Roundtable Discussions

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Roundtable A: Influencing the C-Suite / Board

Marketers work with extraordinarily complex models, media mixes, and technologies. This specialization requires a nerd-like commitment to details and ideas that are not simple for our colleagues in the C-Suite to digest. In this session, we explore how simplicity and storytelling help us advocate for our marketing strategies. We make digital marketing digestible for even the busiest operationally and financially focused CEOs. In addition, we workshop how to navigate the competing priorities of the CMO, CFO, and CEO. Budget approvals require an orchestration of constiutencies with competing priorities.Our community has stories of success and failure that can inform how we can best succeed when advocating for marketing plans.

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Roundtable. B: Reimagining the Marketing Organization for 2023

When did marketing start owning some of the revenue function? The maturity of e-commerce, funnel management, DTC, and micro-segmentation have blurred and colored outside the lines between marketing and revenue. What does the marketing organization of 2023 include? E-commerce? DTC? Are these separate units?

Should you have a Center of Excellence or does that expertise belong in brand teams? How do you integrate continuous feedback, grow expertise, balance internal and external resources all the while growing your people, bolstering productivity and fostering collaboration?

Big questions, let's all walk away with knowledge to evolve our organizations for 2023 and beyond.

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture

Walk through the museum for a taste of the amazing and serendipitous creativity that make up the fantastic celebration that is Mardi Gras. Grab a cocktail, dress up in authentic Mardi Gras costumes and take as many pictures in the interactive costume closet.

6:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Second Line Parade

We will join the Grand Marshal, stilt walkers, mascots and Bourbon Street's Brass Band in NOLA's memorable Second Line Parade! Everyone will join the fun as we march through the french quarter in style.

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Dinner at Arnaud's

Founded in 1918 by French wine salesman Arnaud Cazenave, Arnaud's is a staple in NOLA and has long occupied a beloved spot in the city’s culinary lexicon.

9:00 pm - 12:00 am

After Hours at Double Dealers

Hidden beneath the historic Orpheum Theater, Double Dealers is a true speakeasy that offers a one-of-a-kind subterranean cocktail bar emulating the backstage area of a 1920s vaudeville theater.

7:00 am - 9:30 am

Exercise & Breakfast

9:45 am - 10:45 am


9:45 am - 10:45 am

“You Are Only as Good As Your Team” How Generation X manages Millennials and Generation Z

Post-Pandemic management is an essential theme at this year’s Retreat as everyone deals with intergenerational management. Let’s emerge with a playbook to manage the challenges rampant on our zoom calls and in our hallways. Our teams are burned out, quietly quitting, insisting they work remotely, arguing over hybrid schedules and complaining that performance reviews are too severe. More than war stories you will be sharing innovative best practices and walking away with new tools to boost productivity, morale, and, as a result, performance.

Jen Caballero
Jennifer Pelino
9:45 am - 10:45 am

Corporate Social Responsibility

Global environmental consciousness, social justice movements, and a highly charged political climate have driven brands and the people who steward them to take a stand. Marketers are standing on the front lines of addressing the ramifications of these decisions. How do brands authentically and responsibly communicate values? How have decisions to engage in political and cultural issues galvanized our organizations? How does an organization balance its business needs with its desire to serve and reflect its communities?

Bridget Flynn Tilner
Brent Estevez
Rachel Goldflam
9:45 am - 10:45 am

Effectiveness of Advertising

Does advertising work? Seriously. As you try to reach more and more young people, are they smarter than your media channels? Can standard units work or do you need an army of influencers? If you can target pick-up truck owning men on the west coast who collect butterflies does it matter? What happens when you cannot target them (cookie/regulation/iOS)? We are going through a reinvention of digital advertising. For a decade, power has shifted towards the media buyer. In a world where targeting is less possible, will creative return to prominence? Your job is to build and grow massive brands. So now what?

Tim Caroll
Brittany Harshbarger
9:45 am - 10:45 am

Remaining on the Cutting Edge

Downturns are exceptional times for innovation and brand building. Flush with cash and anxious to be taken seriously, marketing technology companies promise to help you target, nurture and convert your audience. This is an ideal time for senior leaders to stay on the cutting edge. How can we use innovation to lead our teams to explore uncharted terrain and develop their own skills and how do we stay close to innovation? We’ll dig into new technologies and how to identify the shiny new object that advance our brands.

Liz Thomas
Zach Erdmann
9:45 am - 10:45 am

Maybe It's Time to Change How You Target?

How and where you spend your marketing dollars is transforming. For many, a big part of the spend used to be driven towards brand loyalists. Today, we see loyalist targeting shifting towards organic and more working dollars allocated towards acquiring new customers. Amidst these trends, technology, legislative and platform changes are leading brands to (re)discover interest based targeting in place of traditional demos. The days of predetermining what becomes TV spot vs an online video targeted at women aged 35-44 are sun-setting as marketers plan with more sophistication. Marketers are thinking about quadrants, ’this appeals to brand loyalists’ and ’this to non-loyalists’, and what order of messaging is most effective. Compound these changes with how non media channels are playing into the interest based mix including the rise of influencers and the return of experiential. So, let's discuss how interest based targeting is reshaping how we think of targeting and what effectiveness means given these shifts in spending.

Roberto Ruiz
Bryan Warman
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Town Hall: Can Remote Work Work?

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Workshops & Lunch

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Women in Leadership

Women occupy many of the most powerful positions in marketing today. Does this change the structure, culture and results of marketing organizations? We are particularly interested in how women are hired, managed, and promoted differently from men. As we redefine the workplace are we promoting the qualities of women?

Katie Loria
Lauren Busch
Isabel Massey
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Managing / Growing Me

As your career advances, career planning can become more daunting and even more essential. Members of our community question how long they should stay at their company, how to position their skills for reinvention, and whether to switch industries. People consider going to smaller companies for bigger roles or bigger companies for larger budgets. Some consider the idea of moving out of the marketing or advertising industries altogether. This workshop will help you formulate your personal strategy including how others are navigating their own planning.

Jonathan Powell
Doug Jensen
Laurel Van Tassel Laurel Jónsson
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Taking the 1st Party Data Journey

For years, brands have aggregated and acquired first party data to improve the ROI of media. Changes in privacy policies and regulations coupled with an explosion of different vendor categories have made managing a company’s first party data profoundly complex. How are marketers resolving the practical implications of their data strategy? Is the juice still worth the squeeze?

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Decision making and prioritization frameworks

During this time we will attempt to improve your time management. As a busy exec you are pulled in many directions and your time is often ‘eaten up’. Whether you are 30, 40, 50 or 60, we can always rethink how we work, what we do best, and how we can do more of it.The goal is control: how do you spend your time on what YOU want to be doing.

Rishad Tobaccowala

Participating Brands Include

*Partial list

Retreat Sponsors

*Partial list


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