xPotomac 15, billed as “where the future of digital meets business,”  takes place Thursday, August 27, in D.C. This “unconference” provides an unparalleled forum for the exchange of thoughts and ideas on the ever-changing digital space. This isn’t your typical 101-type conference; far from it. This is where a small group of internationally renowned speakers share a piece of their brain, sparking conversations today that materialize in business tomorrow.

The 2015 program brings together speakers working in some of the most interesting areas of business communication today. Mark Schaefer kicks things off as the opening keynote, expounding on the ideas in his recent book, “The Content Code,” which highlights how the marketing world has gone mad.

Other sessions and speakers include Social@Ogilvy’s Kathy Baird, who’ll share lessons learned from Burning Man; Gannett’s Jodi Gersh and the Washington Business Journal’s Jennifer Nycz-Conner on the evolving face of news; and Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant, who will discuss how having Millennials in leadership roles is changing the workplace.

This year’s event will also include a new element: a hands-on social media crisis communications bootcamp, led by Andy Gilman of Commcore Consulting, who notably provided crisis counsel to Johnson & Johnson during the 1982 Tylenol crisis.

xPotomac is designed to be the antithesis of the typical conference experience, which sell the “bigger is better” cliché, and where typically it’s hard to get significant interaction with speakers. Here, on the other hand, speakers are surrounded by attendees, instead of up on a stage. Further, they are asked to limit their remarks to 15 minutes, allowing for the remaining 30 minutes of each session to be devoted to audience interaction.

And interact they do – past events have seen speakers such as Andrew Keen, Robert Scoble, Jim Long, Toby Bloomberg and many more engaged with furious (sometimes literally!) debate with attendees, many of whom represent D.C.’s tech thought leaders themselves.



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