Outside on the Loop, the marathoners’ feet pounded to Chicago’s heartbeat; inside McCormick Place West, the pulse of DMA2013 could be felt in the DMA Village.   The monitors showed “heat maps” of US cities represented at the conference, Twitter activity, and “word clouds.”   Meanwhile, curious conference-goers crowded around introductory sessions on privacy and the power of DMA membership to data-driven marketers.

As I walked through the vast exhibit hall, I stopped by the Innovation Pavilion, sponsored by Google, where I put on headphones and watched three different presentations from our three Innovation Award winners to find out what their amazing technological advances proposed to do for the field of marketing.  Offerings ranged from Yseop (pronounced “easy-op,” as in “easy operation”), an artificial intelligence software that promises to take us into the space age; to Merkle’s “connected recognition” programming which brings together customer data integration with digital data integration across addressable channels; to the enhanced brochure developed for Mustang by Latcha+Associates which embeds mobile content in a print brochure for a new type of “cross-screen’” engagement.

Title sponsor Adobe  set up to share insights on cross channel campaign management solutions throughout the conference.  Marketing software provider V12 opened their martini bar.  And DotMailer offers attendees a chance to win two tickets to London with a promo that is “as quick and easy to enter as their email automation software is to use.”  Simply watch their video—it’ll take less than five minutes—and then answer one question to be entered for the chance to win.

There were also familiar faces among the throngs of exhibitors.  I was part of a photo-op at the booth for Japs-Olsen, a proud supporter of the DMA for about 40 years, and got the opportunity to speak with Debbie Roth, Vice President, Sales & Marketing.  “DMA2013 is a very important venue for our customers,” she told me, and added that the DMA’s emphasis on education and advocacy is part of what keeps them coming back year after year.

It’s all here— the innovation and the classics, the big data and best practices, the quick and the easy—and it’s all data-driven!  If you are not here this week, follow the action at #dma13, or here on DMA Advance.

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