Conference to bring insights to marketing and PR professionals

Dusti Reimer
Dusti Reimer
Vanessa Gross
Vanessa Gross

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Dusti Reimer believes it’s important to invest in her career in marketing and communications, but also wishes there was a way to reduce the travel and expense involved in attending conferences a long way from her work in Grand Junction.

Reimer suspects others working in the Grand Valley feel the same way.

Since going to a conference elsewhere presents barriers, Reimer decided to stage an event in Grand Junction and has been involved in organizing what’s billed as the Initiate Conference.

Count Vanessa Gross, marketing director for Fusion Group USA, among the local professionals eager to attend. “Having it here is just absolutely fantastic.

Reimer owns Elevate PR and Marketing and also created the Experience Education Foundation to provide educational opportunities to marketing and communications professionals.

The Initiate Conference is scheduled for Feb. 21 and 22 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 743 Horizon Drive.

Online registration is under way with early bird pricing offered to those who sign up by Dec 31. Individuals and businesses who register and pay this year can deduct the expenses on 2018 tax returns, Reimer said.

The two-day conference will include keynote speakers, breakout sessions, panel discussions and networking opportunities, Reimer said.

While the conference will offer information to marketing and communications professionals, the event also will be useful to the owners and managers of businesses of all sizes, she said. “There’s something for everybody with this.”

Separate tracks will be available to advanced practitioners, those with some experience with marketing and communications and those new to such pursuits, she said.

The Initiate Conference is scheduled to begin Feb. 20 with a meet-and-greet event set for 5 to 8 p.m.

On Feb. 21, the conference will focus on communications and include a panel discussion with print, radio and television journalists. Breakout sessions will address such topics as brand management, internal communications, law and ethics, campaigns, return on investment and video stories.

On Feb. 22, the conference will focus on marketing and include a panel discussion with local marketing professionals as well as presentations on digital, email and experiential marketing. Presentations also will offer information about automation and corporate storytelling.

The sessions will include time for participants to ask questions, Reimer said.

The conference also is designed to offer an enjoyable experience, she said. “We want to remind people we do fun things. It’s about fun.”

It’s important for marketing and communications professionals to continually learn, especially to keep up with rapid changes in the industry, Reimer said. “It’s overwhelming at times.”

Gross, who’s also worked on the committee organizing the conference, said there’s a need for professional development, especially in an event offered in Grand Junction. “We’re hungry for this type of conference.”

To register for or obtain more information about the Initiate Conference, visit the website at