Engage 2011

Engage! Conference and Expo® 2011 took place February 15-16, 2011 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. Engage provides companies the critical information they need to reach kids and youth through digital technologies.

Engage! provides insight into the latest strategies, technologies and techniques. We bring an incredible amount of brain power together under one roof. The show is a ‘must-attend’ event for entertainment and media companies looking to compete in the digital space.

February 16, 2011, 1:30 –  2:00 pm – Room 2
Mark Smale, Senior Vice President Creata Digital – producers of Happymeal.com and it’s associated virtual world – McWorld for McDonald’s will share their approach to creating compelling brand experiences that integrate engaging physical and virtual play .  At the core of this thinking is: What is make believe? Imagination is triggered and amplified via something physical. It works best by using a “real” prop to seed a virtual ‘reality’. As such, to maximise the emotional connection with the audience, it is critical that the experience is part of a  whole play narrative – spanning the offline and online continuum. The single most powerful driver of traffic to an online play experience is a strong, purposeful link with the offline play experience. It creates a real sense of purpose for the user, delivering the greatest increase in site visitation. Learn also how working with entertainment partners can further enhance this emotional connection whilst building positive brand experiences.
Mark Smale, Senior Vice President, Creata Digital


Rick Wion, Head of Social Media for McDonald’s USA, will deliver the day two keynote at this year’s Engage Conference and Expo next month in NYC. As the Director of Social Media Rick’s efforts include social marketing campaigns, long-term branding, issues management, customer service and employee engagement. Using new trends and technologies to enhance digital storytelling around McDonald’s balanced menu options is also a key driver behind the brand’s endeavors.

McDonald’s USA is the leading foodservice provider in the United States serving a variety of food to more than 26 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local business men and women. 11,000 of the company’s U.S. restaurants offer free Wi-Fi.

Rick’s keynote will take place on February 16 at 9:30am in Hall E of the Javits Convention Center.


February 16, 2011, 1:00 – 2:00 pm – Room 1
Are YOU ready to connect?  Consumer connection points are exploding and retailers are determined to participate at every single point, whether physical, online, digital or mobile!  As retailers expand their reach, the destinies of the brands, products and solutions that bridge connections will be transformed. In her presentation, retail authority, Carol Spieckerman will reveal eight mistakes that cut off retail connections along with tools and tactics for tapping into retail opportunities.
Carol Spieckerman, President, newmarketbuilders


February 16, 2011, 11:00 – 11:30am – Room 1
As the Trend Specialist for the Toy Industry Association Reyne Rice is one of the foremost experts on where the toy industry is heading. She will share an overview of trends and innovations affecting today’s marketplace for toys, games, entertainment and the youth marketplace. Presentation will include updates on technologies impacting the youth market and families.
Reyne Rice, Trend Specialist, Toy Industry Association

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February 15, 2011, 3:45 – 4:45 pm – Room 5
The old business models are out. No longer can one rely solely on a bricks and mortar retail channel, a subscription model online, or banner ads to drive revenue. But what are the new ways that businesses are monetizing customers online? What are the options and how are customers reacting? How do kids, youth and even parents today approach spending — what increments are best, what pay options work, how do payment strategies stack up? This session will compare and contrast proven ways to monetize an engaged customer: subscriptions, virtual goods, premium services, ads, and microtransactions will be among the strategies discusses.
Erica DeLorenzo, Senior Director Network Development, WildTangent
Roger Pavane, SVP Sales, PaymentOne
Michael Cai, Vice President of Video Games, Interpret (moderator)

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February 15, 2011, 1:30 –  2:00 pm – Room 1
Sears is leveraging the use of social media to reach parents and influence toy purchase behavior. Join Julia Fitzgerald, CMO Toys, Sears Holding Company as she shares multiple examples of successful and not-so-successful attempts to use social media as a toy retailer. For toy manufacturers, the take away includes ideas to bring to retailers that result in good joint social media marketing ventures.
Julia Fitzgerald, CMO Toys, Sears Holding Company

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February 15, 2011, 1:00 – 1:30 – Room 1
Digital and physical cross paths with Interactive Toy’s unique license of the Medal of Honor brand.  Medal of Honor is one of the top selling console video games of all time and Interactive Toy is leveraging the strength of the franchise.  The company has created a line of interactive remote controlled toys that dovetail’s with the games existing storyline. Come find out how Interactive navigated this strategy.
Ian Chisholm, Marketing and Licensing Director, Interactive Toy

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February 15, 2011, 11:00 – 12:00 – Room 1
Understand the market opportunities for brands online by drilling down on the numbers, the demographics, and the trends. Who is playing online, which properties and online activities are the stickiest, and what monetization models are driving the lion’s share of revenues? This session will present new data that will help you identify the trends driving online worlds today — and help you develop essential strategy for your company going forward.
Billy Pidgeon, Senior Analyst, M2 Research
Michael Cai, Vice President of Video Games, Interpret
Jia Wu, Senior Analyst, Strategy Analytics
Scott Traylor, CEO, 360KID (moderator)

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Now in our 5th year, the show continues to expand and has a new focus for 2011:  Tools and strategies for reaching the constantly connected consumer. The proliferation of new devices and services allowing consumers to be “always on” creates a new set of challenges for companies eager to have an impact with consumers. Engage! provides insight into the latest strategies, technologies and techniques. As with previous events expect our audience to be everyone from consumer products companies and entertainment firms to brand marketers and advertising agencies. There are also a significant amount of retailers and merchants who attend.

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Bio coming soon.