• Transform magazine
  • October 19, 2017


2017 Transform conference North America

New York City,

Transform conference North America

Transform conference North America



Registration, breakfast and networking


Welcome and opening address

Andrew Thomas
publishing editor
Transform magazine


Transform Tales

The Transform conference will be punctuated with a series of short sessions in which delegates will be taken on a brand’s transformation journey.

Founded in 1922, PEN America is one of the country's oldest literary activism organisations. Despite its heritage, PEN America needed greater visibility and a way of defining itself more clearly. It undertook a rebranding project in search of a way to more clearly and consistently reflect its dynamic work of celebrating and defending free expression. Sarah Edkins, deputy director of communications, shares the journey and the challenges of its rebrand process.


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Sarah Edkins
director of communications
PEN America


Building digital branded communities

Over the past decade, many small businesses and startups have relied on LinkedIn’s groups as places where they could build communities among their customers.

However since Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, these groups have deteriorated. How can a company build its own online digital community? Balancing data and traffic control with targeted content and an engaging personality is a fine art.

Moderated by Patrick Hanlon, whose latest book The Social Code: Designing Community In The Digital Age defines how to create communities via traditional, digital and social media, this session will offer delegates an invaluable insight into the world of online communities.

This will be a panel session with Q&A from our audience.


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Moderated by Patrick Hanlon


Brand development and Generation Z

Realistic, independent, digital natives, role-hopping.

These are some of the characteristic buzz words used to describe Gen Z-ers, the demographic that by 2020 will make up 40% of the workforce. How can companies best target their specific characteristics? Attracting Gen Z-ers, the generation most aware of their worth to brands, requires new strategies.

This session will provide delegates an insight into what innovative approaches top brands are taking to tackle this new market force, and the development their brands are undergoing to fit this new criteria.

This will be a panel session with Q&A from our audience.

Speakers TBA


Coffee, cakes and networking


Brand differentiation 

Concentrating on the arts, education and legal sectors, this session explores the different components of brand differentiation. A cornerstone of brand strategy, brand differentiation combats the growing adversary that the excesses of choice poses. In an age when every sector is saturated with options of organization, it’s only natural to need to find new ways to stand out. 

This will be a panel session with Q&A from our audience.


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Aubrey Bishai
director of marketing services
Vinson & Elkins LLP


Deborah Farone
former CMO Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Farone Advisors LCC

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Duncan Shaw
co-founder and executive creative director
Living Group

Nicole Steinberg
director of communications and brand management
Mural Arts Philidelphia


Heritage vs disrupter brands

Energetic new brands often pursue exciting ideas and brave branding strategies, but veteran companies can build upon a wealth of experience when approaching brand communications. How can these types of companies learn from each other? What is the value of experience in branding? Delegates will hear from two brands: one that uses its heritage to evolve its brand image, the other that is challenging conventions and breaking boundaries

Erik Ritchie
chief strategy officer
Zenni Optical


Stacey Sujeebun
director of marketing communications
Konica Minolta


Signs, symbols and semiotics in branding

Semiotics defines how meaning is created and communicated through the signs and symbols within our culture. 

Mark Kingsley, a lecturer on semiotics at the School of Visual Arts and David Burstein, who has applied semiotics to Run for America, a citizen-powered movement to reimagine politics and reinvigorate governmen join this session. 

These experts will look at how the signs and symbols of an organization's brand can interact with those of society and develop powerful brand associations.


This will be a panel session with Q&A from our audience.

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David Burstein
Run for America


Mark Kingsley
School of Visual Arts


Gemma Jones
associate director
Space Doctors


Networking lunch


Transform Tales

This is one of a series of short sessions in which delegates will be taken on a brand’s journey of transformation.


 Setting the right tone

Tone of voice acts as the expression for the people behind the brand. Pivotal in setting a company apart from the rest, in building trust and communicating its values to the consumer, tone of voice is a key part of achieving a unified character across all types of brand communications. This session delves into the importance of tone of voice with best practice illustrated by a fantastic case study.

Speaker TBA




Transform Tales 

In 2015, a private equity firm based in London and New York sought to bring three distinct brands into alignment and delineate a clear path for growth within the crowded and competitive healthcare marketplace. Kristen Saponaro, CMO of nThrive shares the process of creating a vision for the company that could energise individuals from each of the three separate cultures and make them excited to be a part of a new company that aims to transform healthcare. 

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Kristen Saponaro
chief marketing officer


The Art of Connecting Creativity and Data

This session will focus on how big data can be translated into compelling creative, particularly exploring the power of psychographic targeting over traditional demographics, and the need for transparency in social data and the acquirement of consumer data. SHARE Creative's client Dramamine will join the session to provide a cast study to explore the use of influencers to provide an authentic review of the pharmaceutical drug and used social media to increase engagement with the product.


Mark Karlan
director of digital marketing

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Stephen Para
chief creative officer
SHARE Creative


Event closes

Andrew Thomas
publishing editor
Transform magazine

All of our speakers have been carefully selected to share their stories and experiences. We always encourage discussion, debate and questions at our events and always encourage delegates to participate.

When & where

Date: 2 November 2017

Time: 08.00 -15.00 
Venue: Espace, 635 W42nd St., New York, NY 10036

Supporting Partners

If you would like to be a supporting or media partner for the Transform conference in New York please email our events manager, Michelle Kibble with your suggestions on how we can collaborate. We're always happy to find creative ways to work with external companies and we'd love to hear from you.


Brand agency @AesopAgency is helping leading US instant mash brand @IdahoanFoods take root in the UK:… https://t.co/ejvuo9u5QL
RT @_digital_impact: Thanks once again to everyone who celebrated with us at the Brewery last night. Read all about the event over @Communi