DOYO Live Returns with New Lineup, Venue

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – In the four years since it was launched, Dennis Schiraldi has been amazed at the talent that shows up for the DOYO Live Digital Marketing and Interactive Design Conference presented by iSynergy. 

Presenters who have given talks come from globally recognized conferences and are local first-timers, he says, and they have delivered quality information to the Mahoning Valley’s marketing community.

“There’s a concentration of talented individuals here that are doing it on a national stage, who have the knowledge and the wherewithal,” he says. “We’re hungry for it; so why should we drive an hour and a half to Cleveland or hop onto a plane to go to Boston when you can go to Stambaugh Auditorium and get the same level of speakers, access to them and save on the cost and time?”

After a 15-month hiatus – the event was moved to October from August, when it was held the first three years – DOYO Live will return Oct. 17 and 18 at Stambaugh Auditorium. In the lineup are speakers who have presented at the digital-marketing conference in years past, as well as newcomers. What almost all have in common, Schiraldi says, are local ties.

“We pride ourselves on giving people the opportunity who haven’t had the opportunity to speak at other conferences. We also pride ourselves on the fact that 80% of those speakers have been from the Youngstown area,” says the conference’s founder. “We’re also proud of the fact that over half of all our speakers have also spoken at some of the most prestigious conferences in the world” such as Content Marketing World and Hubspot Inbound. 

“It’s their starting point at the local level that propels them to the national scene,” Schiraldi continues. “We see that they have the competency and depth. We want to make sure the breakout sessions are equal in value, intensity and energy that matches the keynote.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute – which host Content Marketing World in Cleveland – and an author whose works include “Killing Marketing and Epic Content Marketing”, which was named a must-read business book by Forbes magazine.

Joining Pulizzi and Schiraldi as presenters at DOYO Live are 18 marketing and design professionals. Four deep-dive workshops are also planned, including Supremacy Marketing founder Dhariana Lozano discussing advanced social-media strategies, including the use of video on platforms such as Instagram Stories.

“I don’t know about you, but I tend to click through stories more than I go through the feed,” she says. “I like to use behaviors online. Not just what’s new, but having people actually use the network to target users.”

Because videos used in Instagram Stories can be filmed and lightly edited through the app, she continues, there’s a low barrier to entry that allows for almost anyone to use it as a marketing tool.

“It’s great for extra visibility. You can use geolocation and hashtags to reach more people; so it’s a great way to get that extra exposure,” she says. “In bigger cities, if you use certain tags, it can pull you into the stories for, say, New York City in general.”

Also presenting is Youngstown State University director of marketing Ross Morrone, who will take attendees through Google Analytics and how the data collected can help guide marketing and digital design.

“As I work with clients, and even in my work here at the university, one thing I always find surprising is what that journey looks like,” he says. “You may have an idea of how customers find you, but it doesn’t always match up to the reality. It shows the truth about your customers, which tells you how you should place advertising and how you should message the market.”

Such tools can also help drive strategies beyond your website, he adds.

“It gives you a much deeper understanding of your customers and how they interact with you online,” Morrone says. “They need to understand how that data can drive things like product development, sales, marketing, branding.”

Speaking Friday afternoon will be The Business Journal CEO Jeff Leo Herrmann, who will discuss how to develop a successful marketing program in a post-Facebook News Feed world. For years, he says, Facebook collected the lion’s share of ad dollars, but after several successive controversies and breaches of user trust, many are looking elsewhere.

“You can achieve the same reach and impact, and because of the negative association with Facebook nowadays, you want someone who has a positive association,” he says. “That’s someone who’s delivering information, news, resources, impact.

“What really matters is integrated marketing programs,” Herrmann continues. “Print drives impact, digital display ads drive frequency and email marketing drives immediacy. You have to use each platform for its own strength and in tandem, they reinforce each other.”

With the move on the calendar also comes a change in venue, moving to Stambaugh Auditorium after being held at DeYor Performing Arts Center last year, and more events under the DOYO umbrella. On Sept. 19, Schiraldi hosted a DOYO digital day, featuring a mix of presenters and event sponsors with interaction between them and viewers. 

And in the works is a DOYO student day at YSU, set for Oct. 17, which he hopes can connect students at the college with local professionals to discuss jobs, the realities of the business or just insights to the social media world.

“We bring in a few YSU alumni who are in the industry – marketing, PR – and invite students to come and listen to what that career path looks like and get some advice along the way,” he says. “It’s something small where we can invite students to network with employers.”

Pictured: Dennis Schiraldi, founder of DOYO Live

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.