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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gary Vaynerchuk and Baratunde Thurston to Keynote 2010 MIMA Summit at the Minneapolis Hilton September 27-28, 2010

The Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA), announces the ninth annual MIMA Summit on September 27-28, 2010 at the Hilton Minneapolis downtown conference center, featuring author and high-energy businessman Gary Vaynerchuk and comedian, author, and vigilante pundit Baratunde Thurston keynoting the event.

Founded in 2001, MIMA’s annual Summit has become the premiere interactive marketing event in the Midwest. Attracting more than 1,200 industry professionals from all disciplines of marketing, design, media, promotions, content development, product development, publishing, usability and experience design, the Summit offers a half day of Intensive Workshops on September 27, and a full day of presentations from top thought leaders in the industry, unrivaled networking opportunities, smart discussions on the latest trends and topics in the interactive marketing space on September 28.

“MIMA connects, educates and partners with its members and the greater business community to elevate the quality of interactive marketing practiced in Minnesota and around the country,” says Tim Brunelle, president of the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association. “The MIMA Summit complements our monthly educational events and Conversations About The Future Of Advertising seasonal thought-leadership events. Plus it’s an ideal opportunity for me to wear one of my ascots.”

Conference tracks will include, but are not limited to, social marketing, culture, technology, content and user-experience, measurement, search and MIMA’s innovative “Geek Outs,” affording attendees to hear from the next-generation of start-ups and innovators in the Twin Cities area and beyond.
Building off attendee feedback from last year’s event, the 2010 Summit will expand to a second day, with day one, September 27, featuring a series of “Intensive Workshops”. These “Intensive” sessions will allow attendees the opportunity to participate with presenters as they dive deep into key topics relevant to marketers.

“Now in its ninth year, the MIMA Summit has cemented itself as a must-attend event for corporate, agency and freelance marketers,” says Erin Rauk, co-vice president of the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association. “In 2010 we again expect to reach record attendance levels, and the addition of Gary Vaynerchuk, Baratunde Thurston and half-day intensive workshops will take this year’s event to the next level.”

Morning keynote speaker Gary Vaynerchuk is a self-trained wine and social media expert who has revolutionized the wine industry. Gary’s cult-like following is the result of his unconventional, often irreverent commentary on wine, combined with his business acumen and foresight to use social media tools to reach an untapped audience. He hosts a daily webcast called “The Thunder Show” on that attracts over 90,000 viewers each day, and blogs regularly at, dispensing business advice and comments on emerging technologies and cultural trends. Gary’s first book, Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion, was released in the Fall of 2009 and debuted as a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Gary continues to focus on VaynerMedia, a boutique agency that works with personal brands, consumer brands and startups, working closely with his brother, AJ.

Afternoon Keynote speaker Baratunde Thurston is a comedian, author, and vigilante pundit. He was nominated for the Bill Hicks Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, declared a Champion of the First Amendment by Iowa State, and called “someone I need to know” by President Barack Obama. He has appeared on most major cable and broadcast networks and in newspapers, including the New York Times and UK Independent. Baratunde is the co-founder of the political blog Jack & Jill Politics and performs regularly in New York City, where he works as web editor for The Onion. He hosts Popular Science’s Future Of on the Science Channel, resides in Brooklyn, and lives in The Internet. He is currently writing a book called How To Be Black, which will be published by Harper.