Spark is a marketing conference focused on data-driven creativity.

Brands today are required to engage with consumers in real time and across all channels. This growth in omni-channel activity, combined with the dramatic increase in marketing technologies, has left many marketers feeling overloaded by data. With disparate systems and the need for actionable conclusions, marketers are striving to marry new analytical capabilities with their creative strategies.

This year at Spark, we’re bringing together a group of digital and content marketing leaders to explore the future of marketing, analytics, and technology-assisted creativity. Join us for a full day of presentations, interviews, and discussions at The Newseum.


  • Allen Gannett

    CEO + Chief Maven, TrackMaven

    Allen Gannett is the CEO and founder of TrackMaven, the marketing analytics platform used by hundreds of the world’s best brands. Allen also serves as a General Partner at Acceleprise Ventures, where he invests in early-stage SaaS companies. Previously he was CEO of Splash Networks. Obsessed with Pumpkin Pie and Corgis, Allen lives in Washington, D.C., and once was a very pitiful runner-up on Wheel of Fortune.

  • Baratunde Thurston

    President/Co-Founder of Cultivated Wit

    Baratunde Thurston is a futurist comedian, writer, and cultural critic who helped re-launch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, co-founded Cultivated Wit and the “About Race” podcast, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. Baratunde is a highly sought-after public speaker, television personality, and thought leader who has been part of noteworthy institutions such as Fast Company, TED, the MIT Media Lab, The Onion, and the gentrification of Brooklyn, New York.

  • Ari Isaacman Bevacqua

    Director of Communications, New York Times

    Ari Isaacman Bevacqua is a Director of Communications at The New York Times and an adjunct professor at The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs. She was previously a Growth Strategy Editor at The New York Times. Before that, she was also the Director of Audience Development at Upworthy. She spent three years at the White House, where she served as a Presidential Management Fellow serving as the Assistant Press Secretary and spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget, a Policy Analyst in the Office of E-Government and Information Technology, and the Digital Strategy Analyst in the Office of Digital Strategy. Ari has also worked in performance management analytics at the District of Columbia Public Schools. Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Ari holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.B.A. focused on strategic planning and public policy from The George Washington University, where she helped launch the Certificate in Responsible Management. Ari is a yoga teacher and has enjoyed bringing yoga classes everywhere from homeless shelters in D.C. to Haiti.

  • Ross Martin

    EVP, Marketing Strategy and Engagement, Viacom

    Ross Martin is EVP, Marketing Strategy and Engagement for Viacom. He oversees the company’s marketing, consumer intelligence, innovation, business development and creative strategy teams. Previously, Martin founded and ran Scratch, Viacom’s creative strategy and consulting division. Martin joined Viacom in 2004 as the first Head of Programming for MTV's Emmy and Peabody Award winning college network, mtvU and later served as Senior Vice President of MTV 360 Production and Development. Prior to MTV, Martin ran production company Plant Film, served as VP of Film & Television for internet startup, and was a development executive for Spike Lee's 40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks. Martin is the Chairman of the Viacom Marketing Council and a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He was recently named to the Board of Directors for The Ad Council and serves on the advisory boards of St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Yale University Center For Customer Insights. In 2012, he was named one of Fast Company's “100 Most Creative People In Business” and a “Media Maven" by Advertising Age. In 2013, he was named to Fortune Magazine's "40 Under 40" list of rising business leaders. In 2014, he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Achievement.

  • Kern Schireson

    EVP, Data Strategy and Consumer Intelligence, Viacom

    Kern Schireson is an Executive Vice President at Viacom Media Networks responsible for Viacom’s overall data strategy, and the consumer and audience intelligence that powers Viacom’s content, platforms, and partnerships.

    Prior to joining Viacom, Kern served as CEO of Schireson Associates – an insights and strategy consultancy that he founded. In over a decade at Schireson, Kern led the development of innovative product and brand strategy for some of the world’s leading companies including Amazon, American Express, Intel, Microsoft, Nestle, and many others.

    Prior to founding Schireson Associates Kern led the Marketing and Product teams at Informative – a $300M online market research firm that pioneered a technology for combining structured and unstructured data to derive rich context. Prior to Informative, Kern served as a senior executive in Product Management and Marketing roles at two venture-funded startups in the US and UK and was the Chairman of an educational non-profit that recruited, trained, and placed at-risk young adults into entry level jobs in technology support.

    Early in his career Kern specialized in network security and was responsible for the design and management of some of the largest private networks in the world. He has lectured extensively on this topic, written two advanced courses, and published a column in PC Magazine.


...and more coming soon!


Now in its fifth year, Spark 2017 will be our biggest and best event to date. The conference topics will cover:



Dive into cutting-edge marketing technologies and learn how marketers should use data to drive success.


Take a behind-the-scenes look at inspiring product launches, campaigns, and brand strategies from the visionaries behind them.

Best Practices


Learn how marketing leaders implement technology-driven creativity to empower their teams and drive change.

so diamond. such shaps.
THURSDAY • May 18, 2017





Allen Gannett, CEO + Chief Maven, TrackMaven


Keynote: Open/Up: A New Approach To Business Innovation

Ross Martin, EVP, Marketing Strategy and Engagement, Viacom


Kern Schireson, EVP, Data Strategy and Consumer Intelligence, Viacom


Coffee Break


Breakout Session: Content & Commerce

Alex Skatell, Founder and CEO, Independent Journal Review

Breakout Session: The Intersection of Content and Data on the way to a Social Media Center of Excellence

Beverly Jackson, VP, Social Media and Content Strategy, MGM Resorts International

Breakout Session: How to Manage to Metrics without Becoming Big Brother.

Christine Schaefer, CMO, ThreatConnect




Breakout Session: How IJM Drives Social Justice on Social Media

Cameron Bartlett, Social Media Marketing Manager at International Justice Mission


Chad Berndtson, Director of Content Marketing & Social Media, Palo Alto Networks

Breakout Session: Social Strategy at Scale: Condé Nast's Roadmap to Accelerated Growth

Rochelle Stewart, Director, Digital & Social Strategy, Conde Nast




Breakout Session: Storytelling IRL: Creating big, beautiful experiences that drive brand results

Vanessa Fontanez, Executive Director of Brand Marketing, Vox Media

Breakout Session: Contagious Media: How and Why Things Go Viral

Paul Berry, Founder & CEO, RebelMouse

Breakout Session: The Marketing Challenge: Putting Insights In To Action

Angelo Sasso, Sr. Director, Business Analytics and Customer Insights, Leading Hotels of the World




Breakout Session: You are what you share: What brands can learn from the alarming allure of fake news

Jean Ellen Cowgill, President, Atlantic Media Strategies

Breakout Session: Next-Generation Retail Strategies

Laura O'Shaughnessy, CEO, SocialCode

Breakout Session: How a $25 Billion Tech Firm Was Born on Social Media

Hae Jin Higgins, Global Social Media and Digital Strategist, DXC Technology


Coffee Break


Breakout Session: Content + AI: Creating Personalized Experiences for Your Audience

Patricia Travaline, CMO, Skyword

Breakout Session: All The Feels: The Role of Data in Entertainment

Monica Bloom, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Tribeca Shortlist


Becky Wang, Author of Creativity and Data Marketing: A Practical Guide to Data Innovation

Breakout Session: 7 Mistakes Killing Your Content Marketing... and How to Avoid Them

Kristin Kovner, Founding Principal, K-Squared Strategies




Keynote: Moving from Data to Analytics to Action

Ari Isaacman Bevacqua, Growth Strategy Editor, New York Times



Baratunde Thurston, President and Co-founder, Cultivated Wit


Cocktail Reception


Conference Ends

check out these overlapping shaps

Our annual customer workshop is designed to help advanced TrackMaven users prove the value of their marketing activities and improve performance. We’ll dive into the ways our most successful customers use TrackMaven to increase conversions and tie activities to business results. Join us for a half day of engaging exploration and discovery!

so diamond. such shaps.
WEDNESDAY • May 17, 2017






How to Optimize Your Marketing Spend

Advanced content and campaign analysis connecting marketing automation, your CRM, and TrackMaven

How to Improve Your Digital Campaigns

Advanced content and campaign analysis using Google Analytics and TrackMaven


How to Prove the Value of Your B2B Marketing Program

Best practices for reporting on marketing ROI

How to Justify Your Digital Marketing Activities

Connect your campaigns to business results




Group Discussion

Facilitated group discussion to share marketing trends, tips, and leadership best practices


The Future of Marketing Analytics


Rooftop Reception


Reception Ends

check out these overlapping shaps
who doesn't love zigzags?


The Newseum
Knight Conference Center
555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

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Interested in sponsoring Spark 2017?

By becoming a sponsor, you'll enjoy the benefit of getting your brand noticed by your fellow marketing peers. Our expansive attendee list guarantees countless opportunities for networking and meeting decision-makers from leading brands.

Download the sponsorship prospectus

Check out some highlights from last year's conference.