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National Restaurant Association - Marketing Executives Group (MEG)

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Marketing Executives Group (MEG)

MEG is a community of restaurant marketing professionals who are connected 365 days a year and come together every Spring. MEG raises the level of industry excellence by connecting, inspiring, teaching and challenging each other through the exchange of ideas, thought leadership and best practices.

MEG connects individuals who serve their restaurant or hospitality industry company at the highest levels. Professionals active in MEG include Chief Executive Officers, Presidents, Marketing and Sales Officers, as well as EVPs, Vice Presidents, Directors and Managers of Brand Marketing, Corporate Communications, Creative and Marketing.

Be among some of the industry's most successful: Bd's Mongolian Grill, Bread Winner's Cafe and Bakery and The Quarter Bar, Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Dunkin' Brands, Firehouse of America, First Watch Restaurants, Fish City Grill, Fuzzy's Taco Shop, Golden Corral, The Habit Restaurants, Inc., Lettuce Entertain You, Mellow Mushroom, Movie Tavern, Pei Wei, Polly's Inc, Sterling Hospitality, Think Food Group, Tim Hortons Inc., Topper's Pizza, Yard House, Zaxby's and many more.

We are always on the lookout for dynamic and engaging speakers. If you are interested in learning about speaking opportunities for our 2018 conference, please email NRA's subject matter expert Jaclyn Sanford at jsanford@restaurant.org.

2017 Speaker Presentations: Click here to access the presentations

Note: You will need a username & password to access the presentations. To receive a username & password, please email meetings@restaurant.org. Presentations are only available to past MEG conference attendees.

MEG Leadership

Keynote Speaker


Wednesday, May 17

3 p.m. - 7 p.m. Registration

6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Opening Event - Shatter the Ice
  Mix & mingle with friends both new & old at our opening night event.
Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be provided. *Dinner is on your own*
Sponsored by:

Official Beverage Sponsors:

Thursday, May 18

8 a.m. - 9 a.m. Breakfast
  Sponsored by:

9 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Welcome

9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Keynote Speaker - Morgan Spurlock, Academy Award-Nominated Director of Super Size Me and Host of CNN's Inside Man, Presenting "The Greatest Lecture Ever Presented"
  We live in an age where it's tough to walk down the street without someone trying to sell you something. The entire American experience now seems to be brought to us by some corporation. Utilizing the cutting-edge tools of comic exploration and total self-exploitation, Spurlock dissects the world of advertising and marketing by using his personal integrity as currency to sell out to the highest bidder. Scathingly funny, subversive, and deceptively smart, he shines the definitive light on our branded future.

10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Networking Break / Morgan Spurlock Meet & Greet
  Sponsored by:

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Roundtable Discussions
  Topics will include:
  • Internal Marketing & Your Culture
  • Loyalty through Technology
  • Data Driven Ways to Brainstorm New LTOs & Promotions
  • Engaging Suppliers in your Marketing Promotions
  • Creating the Future through Innovation
  • Localize Your Menu to Drive Traffic and Sales
  • Crafting Dynamic Direct Mail Campaigns
  • Restaurant Marketing Trends
  • Local Store Marketing - Tactics That Work
  • Simplify Your Marketing Supply Chain
  • Capture Customers at Every Touchpoint
  • Effectively Partnering With/Influencing Your Franchisees
  • Millennials and how they Changed the Rules of Marketing
  • Driving Business Results Through Cause Marketing
  • Supply Strategy for Marketing Materials
  • Franchisee Relations - Getting the Buy-In
  • Menu Engineering and Analytics
  • Best Practices for Managing the FDA Menu Labeling Delay
  • Culinary Innovation
  • Using Focus Groups to Make Better Marketing Decisions
  • The CMTO: Is your Organization Leaning In or Out?
  • Executing Promotions with your Beverage Partner


12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch
  Sponsored by:

1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Taking your Promotions to the Next Level
  Brands love to form alliances with other industry leaders for shared equity and funding, but more importantly, so they can blow out their promotions, accelerate awareness and increase sales. From promotions with the National Cattleman's Beef Association to museum exhibits with The McIlhenny Company, Coca-Cola® and others, Schlesigner has developed calendars rich with partnerships, alliances, special funding and exceptional results. Learn how she identifies, approaches and leverages relationships to develop record-breaking sales results and how your brand can effectively become great partners with diverse organizations, building lasting relationships.

2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. What Trends are on the Horizon?
  What forces are gobbling up visits historically served by casual dining and fast-food chains? Which consumers are lured away by these restaurant industry disrupters - and why? Cain will share new insights surrounding emerging chains, home meal delivery, lane migration, technological advances and C-store made-to-order offerings, as well as delve into what's on the horizon for the restaurant industry.

2:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Networking Break
  Sponsored by:

3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Disruption at the Creative Core
  In an industry with fierce competition, it is imperative to find new ways to stand out. Mulhern will share best-in-class examples from ads on Facebook's platform, as well as lessons to take from creative disruptors.

4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. Break - Attendees On Your Own

6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday Night Event
  6 p.m. - 7 p.m. - Cocktail Hour
7 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Sit-Down Dinner with Entertainment
  Sponsored by:
Entertainment provided by:
 Second City Works (SCW) is the B2B arm of the world-renowned theater, The Second City. With expertise in audience dynamics, ensemble building, co-creation, and agility, Second City Works' mission is to create a more empowered, creative, and collaborative business culture. SCW will leverage their core expertise in improvisation and comedy to provide a high value experience through funny, customized content.

Friday, May 19

8 a.m. - 9 a.m. Breakfast

9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Community Service Initiative - "Putting For A Purpose"

No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in six children struggle with hunger. We've teamed up with Impact 4 Good and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign to shine a national spotlight on the crisis of child hunger in America. Join us Friday morning as we "Putt for a Purpose," turning an area into a miniature golf course made out of canned food items. While there will be a winner of the hole-in-one competition, the real winner is the No Kid Hungry associated food bank in Chicago who will receive all the food items used during the event.


11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Networking Break
  Sponsored by:

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Growing a Culture of Presence
  Finding presence is our greatest unmet need. How did we get here? And what can we do about it? In this highly interactive, participatory and experiential brainstorming presentation, Blinkoff will show you how we got here and what we can do about it. But more importantly, you will start on a path to transform yourself, your work and the way your customers experience your product, services and brand.

12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Lunch
  Sponsored by:

1:45 p.m. - 3 p.m. Deep Dive Session - How Do We Create an Economy Built on Presence?
  In this session, we will work in small groups to connect the dots between a Culture of Presence and an Economy of Presence. We will move between three stations - an Economy of Presence, Consumers and Presence and Brands and Presence. What are the variables that are necessary to create each of these areas of "presence?" And what are the steps, products, services and more we need to put in place to actualize an "economy of presence?" Each small group will ladder up their key insights and report out their findings.

3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Modern Leadership: The 5 Habits to Success in a World Gone WiFi

Leaders in the Exponential Age are made—not born. We are also living in the golden age of data, and the key to winning in this golden age is grasping the 5 Habits that all successful leaders practice to achieve success and happiness. Embracing these habits will help you become more productive, reduce stress and drive success. With pioneering video-storytelling techniques, this motivating message from Qualman is entertaining, educating, and most importantly empowering. Learn: why simple is critical, but simple is hard, big is great but actionable is better, the art of being Flawsome: failing fast, failing forward, failing better, the importance of avoiding thru-put traps to produce output and the two questions every executive needs to ask.

2016 Spring Agenda

Conference Sponsors

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors

Thank you to our Beverage Sponsors

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