Marketing Bootcamp

AMA BootcampJoin Us Again Next Year!

At this half-day conference, attendees learned the latest in marketing trends and best practices, leaving with practical takeaways and much more! Check out photos from the event here (special thanks to Stan Foxworthy).

This year’s event took place on Friday, July 29 at the College of Charleston School of Business Beatty Center, 5 Liberty Street, in downtown Charleston.

Tickets were $60 for AMA members and $75 for non-members, which included programming plus the Summer Social. (You also had the option of buying a social-only ticket.) Student members of the Charleston AMA and College of Charleston students and faculty got a special rate.

We listened to your feedback!

This year, we left the noisy roundtables behind and moved into classrooms so attendees could better hear the speaker and other participants.

Attendees choose 4 sessions to attend out of 6. Each session was 45 minutes long.

What hasn’t changed? Attendees still got the same great marketing insights and advice from some of the top marketers in the Charleston area including face-to-face discussions and Q&A time.

Bootcamp Schedule

1-1:30 p.m. – Check-in
1:30-2 p.m. – Welcome and keynote by Mayor John Tecklenburg
2-5:15 p.m. – Speaker sessions (rotate through 4 sessions)
5:30-7:30 p.m. – Summer Social

Topics & Speakers

We were excited to welcome the following marketing experts to share their expertise at the 2016 Marketing Bootcamp:


How to Keep Calm and Carry On: Crisis Communication in the Digital Age: Learn the single most important thing a professional communicator should do in a crisis situation – and it’s not “tell the truth.” Learn how to to navigate the next crisis – in advance. Discover how most crises aren’t crises at all. It’s all part of this fast-paced, illuminating session that will even occasionally be true.

Barry Waldman

Presenter: Barry Waldman, Chief Thinker and Doer at Big Fly Communications.

Barry Waldman, chief thinker and doer at Big Fly Communications, has been serving humankind for 35 years, mostly by not showing up at their parties. A former broadcast journalist, he’s provided PR and marketing services to non-profits and small business since 1988, when he took a crisis communications job that lasted for nine years of near-constant adrenaline rush. His two claims to fame are broadcasting the NCAA Soccer Championships on the radio and winning the 1986 New York State Lumberjacking Championship. No, really.

Sponsored by:



A Study of Rebranding While Remaining True to Our Roots: The process and transition of rebranding the parent company after 20 years of being TBonz Restaurant Group to Homegrown Hospitality Group. In our classroom, we will study how we transitioned to HHG while growing our culture and community responsibility projects through our non-profit TBonz Foundation. We will also discuss how our web presence and social media has impacted the business and driven customer loyalty to HHG.

Emmy Scott

Co-presenter: Emmy Scott, Director of Marketing and Operations at Homegrown Hospitality Group.

When working in the Charleston food and beverage community in the late nineties, Emmy Scott met the TBonz owners, Mark Cumins and Jerry Scheer. Scott was drawn to their personalities, business concept and their desire to give back to the community. She joined the company to help open a restaurant in her hometown of High Point, NC in 2000. After a successful opening, Scott transitioned to the marketing department where she is responsible for the marketing plans and objectives for 8 different concepts and 20 locations. She also oversees the TBonz Foundation, project management and daily operations.

Liza Millsaps

Liza Millsaps

Co-presenter: Liza Millsaps, Marketing Manager at Homegrown Hospitality Group.

While attending Coastal Carolina University, Liza Millsaps worked as a full time server at TBonz Gill & Grill in Myrtle Beach, SC. After graduating with a degree in communications, Millsaps started working part time in the marketing department. After only a few short months, she knew Homegrown Hospitality Group was a company she wanted to be part of. Today Millsaps assists with marketing plans and promotions for 8 concepts and 20 locations.

Sponsored by:

RR Donnelley horizontal

Own Your Own Digital Brand: In a world where people have access to your business’s information literally at their fingertips, it’s important to own your digital brand. This presentation will talk about local SEO, content creation, reputation management, and why it’s critical you manage all aspects of your digital presence to protect your brand and grow your business.

Blair Barna

Presenter: Blair Barna, Advertising Director and Co-owner of the Charleston City Paper.

Blair Barna is one of the founders and co-owners of the Jones Street Publishers, LLC, publishers of the Charleston City Paper, DISH, and S3 and owners of Charleston City Paper Media. He is a former President of the Advertising Federation of Charleston and Lowcountry Local First and is currently the President of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, which is the trade organization that represents over 120 alternative newspapers and online media entities in North America. Barna lives on James Island. He has a wife, four cats, three chickens, two kids, one dog, a turtle and no time to himself.

Sponsored by:

Ted deLoach Marketing Services 

Nelson + DMC 2color


Event Marketing and PR: What it Takes to Make it Great: Angel Postell will discuss best practices for marketing and handling the press for your next event so you can be sure to make the biggest impact.

Angel Postell

Presenter: Angel Postell, Owner and President of Home Team Public Relations.

Angel Passailaigue Postell has over 20 years of experience in public relations, marketing, and event planning with specialties in travel and tourism and food and beverage. Past positions include Communications Manager of the Jacksonville Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Public Relations Manager of the South Carolina Aquarium. Postell served as volunteer chair of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival planning committee and went on to serve as Founding Executive Director for eight years. In 2013, she retired from the festival and re-opened her public relations firm, Home Team Public Relations. Soon afterward, she began an events division, Home Team Events.

Sponsored by:

Branding Bliss logo


Driving Change Through Film and VideoIn 2014, Thibaut Fagonde released the movie “Overalls and Aprons” to examine the true cost of connecting culture back to agriculture, setting out to answer a question that was personally important to him: “Should communities invest in localized farm-to-table food systems?” As illustrated through the film, learn how this professional filmmaker uses video effectively to tell stories, drive action and create a movement around his mission.

Thibaut Fagonde

Presenter: Thibaut Fagonde, Filmmaker and Director of “Overalls and Aprons.”

Filmmaker Thibaut Fagonde was born in France, raised in Canada and USA. He’s a Columbia University graduate with a degree in philosophy and visual arts. His father, a chef saucier and avid photographer, influenced Thibaut’s culinary palate and photographic craft. Documenting his love of food as a child and throughout his travels around the world developed in him a curiosity to investigate the socio-economic dynamism in thriving food communities. Overalls & Aprons, Movie and Movement, is Thibaut’s response to tackle a burning question regarding the sustainability of our food production, which has fallen victim to the polarization of quantity vs. quality. Visit for more information.

Sponsored by:






Integrating Facebook Live in your Marketing:

Learn how to integrate Facebook Live into you marketing efforts in low-cost, easy to implement ways. We will share real-life examples and outstanding analytics that drive real results.

Katie Wells

Co-Presenter: Katie Wells, Founder of Social Media Day.

Katie Wells is the founder of Charleston’s Social Media Day, celebrating all things social media. She was formerly the Director of Training for Charlestowne Hotels, a hotel management company based in Charleston, S.C. After five years, Katie left Charlestowne Hotels and founded K.E.W. Solutions, Inc., a training and consulting company.  K.E.W. Solutions, Inc provides training solutions on both a national and local level for such notable clients as SMG, the world’s largest management company for arenas, stadiums and conventions centers and locally, the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Katie was the official trainer for the G20 Summit in 2010 and is a licensed Emily Post Facilitator. Katie is also an Adjunct Professor for the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department at the College of Charleston.

Jennifer Bilbro

Jennifer Bilbro

Co-Presenter: Jennifer Bilbro, Founder of Out to Eat With Kids.

Jennifer is a social media consultant and founder of the website, blog, and mobile application Out to Eat with Kids. She’s been leading businesses and restaurants through social media platforms since 2010. With Out to Eat with Kids, Jennifer offers consultation services for restaurants nationwide to help optimize their strategy to better serve families and kids including the overall dining experience, menu options, kid-friendly specials, & marketing to families. Her social media firm, Pink Bike Networking, consults with businesses on digital and social strategy. She is a regular speaker and educator about using social to grow your business, increase sales, and build a community. Jennifer and her family live in Charleston, South Carolina.

Sponsored by:

Thank you to our sponsors and partners!

PulitzerPC1 (1)

Post & Courier, Annual Platinum Sponsor


Charleston Business Magazine, Annual Gold Sponsor

College of Charleston logo

College of Charleston School of Business, Venue Sponsor


FS_logo_2015     Hughes Party Rental Logo 2C






Revolve Conference, Partner


Buy your tickets for the 2016 Marketing Bootcamp now!

Eventbrite - Charleston AMA Marketing Bootcamp