What is LaunchCon?

LaunchCon is a digital marketing conference we host in downtown Orlando for our employees and invited guests. We bring speakers from around the globe to educate our team on digital trends, tactics and strategies for our various departments. This is one way we provide cutting-edge knowledge to our staff, and it’s also a perfect venue for brainstorming ways to move our work beyond excellence.

LaunchCon 2020

What had been planned as our first two-day conference ended up as a no-day deal. The necessary response to the breadth of the COVID-19 virus means we are looking for a new date and possibly a new format for 2020 based on speaker availability.

2020 Speakers

  • Marie Haynes Marie Haynes Consulting, Inc.

    Marie runs Marie Haynes Consulting, Inc., which provides expert-level insight about website content related to Google search. A former veterinarian, Marie is a longtime SEO who since 2008 has been helping clients understand and unravel their often-complex website performance issues. She has great familiarity with Launch That’s processes and projects, having followed them for years. This is Marie’s second trip to LaunchCon.

  • Paul Shapiro Catalyst

    Paul, Senior Partner and Head of SEO at Catalyst, specializes in technical SEO for Fortune 500 companies. As a technical marketer, he has helped some of the world’s biggest brands improve their digital footprint and grow their bottom lines. Paul also founded the industry’s first technical SEO conference, Boston-based TechSEO Boost. This is his first time presenting at LaunchCon.

  • Kristina Halvorson Brain Traffic

    Kristina is a multi-platform evangelist for quality marketing content. Her title is owner and CEO of Brain Traffic, a content strategy agency in Minneapolis. She delivers her messages through her book (“Content Strategy for the Web”),  The Content Strategy Podcast, which she hosts on her website, multiple iterations of her annual conference, Confab, and her many speaking engagements. This is her first time speaking at LaunchCon.

  • Ross Hudgens Siege Media

    Ross is founder of Siege Media, one of the fastest-growing digital marketing agencies in the country. He and his team provide strategic and grass-roots initiatives and solutions for clients across the country. A former college football player, Ross takes a hands-on, tactical approaches to solving problems and building brands. This is his second appearance at LaunchCon.

  • Ross Simmonds Hustle & Grind

    Ross is a marketer, author, consultant and public speaker. He is founder of Hustle & Grind, an eCommerce store for entrepreneurs, as well as founder Foundation, a content marketing agency. Ross authored of two books, “Stand Out: The Content Guide for Entrepreneurs,” and “The Hustle Manifesto.” Ross’s passions are discussing business-to-business strategies, tech, good coffee and growth. This will be his third time talking at LaunchCon.

  • Heather Physioc VMLY&R

    Heather, whose last name is pronounced SY-och, is group director of discoverability at VMLY&R, which means she digs in when it comes to SEO, SEM and content performance. She is passionate about dogs, donuts, travel, and the ability of teams to find their best ways to collaborate. In addition, Heather is a University of Kansas adjunct professor of digital marketing at the master’s level. This is her first time at LaunchCon.

  • Allen Kupetz KPartnerz

    Allen likes to introduce himself as “The Last Boss Launch That CEO Gene Apelado Had.” Following a career as an international business creator, Allen relaunched his life as a teacher and an entrepreneur. He founded KPartnerz, which helps U.S.-based companies conduct market research and develop sales along the Pacific Rim. He is also a successful investor in startup companies around the country. This is his third LaunchCon appearance.

  • Mark Zeigler Florida State University

    Mark’s specialty is intrapersonal communication and public speaking, subjects he has taught, practiced and trained others on for more than two decades. He is a teaching professor for Florida State University’s College of Communication and Information, where he coaches future leaders in the value of clear, direct and face-to-face dialogue. He does many training workshops for corporate and government entities seeking stronger, more efficient teams. This is his first time at LaunchCon.

LaunchCon 2019

We brought the focus of LaunchCon 2019 back to the event’s founding concept: to bolster knowledge about core digital marketing topics and trends. This year we immersed ourselves in website content, audience, and communications.

Six digital experts came to Orlando to illustrate fresh approaches for presenting ideas and concepts, share tips for better understanding the people who read our pages, and explain how building internal language habits can reduce miscommunication and wasted time.

The two AMA panel discussions were fact-filled and lively, and they featured all of our speakers. The experts didn’t always agree on everything, which told us something we already knew — some of the elements of digital marketing, especially SEO and content, can be subjective.

2019 Speakers

  • Abby Covert Etsy

    An information architect who works at Etsy, Abby discussed the intricacies of language and presented the concept, “What if developers, designers, writers and project coordinators all used the same terms and took the time to build an agreed-upon project rulebook?”

  • Rhea Drysdale Outspoken Media

    Owner of the digital agency Outspoken Media, Rhea showed us how to write web pages based on Google’s understanding and evaluation of sentence and paragraph structures — and discussed how Google’s AI is learning in ways we haven’t yet thought of.

  • Marie Haynes Marie Haynes Consulting

    One of the world’s foremost experts on Google’s algorithms, Marie gave a state-of-search presentation about the last algo refresh and hypothesized what may be coming next.

  • Ross Hudgens Siege Media

    A new speaker to LaunchCon, Ross, founder and CEO of Siege Media, gave us his thoughts on developing on-page content strategies and link-building strategies.

  • Kelsey Jones Six Stories

    The founder and CEO of Six Stories outlined her process for repurposing content, designing strategies that include various ways to reuse written pages and original images to reach a wider audience.

  • Ross Simmonds Hustle & Grind

    Founder of Hustle & Grind, Ross gave us a tour of his expansive mind with a deep dive into how to look at one subject from a wide variety of angles. Content, design, keyword research — there’s always a new place to find ideas.

LaunchCon 2017

LaunchCon 2017 was our largest and most comprehensive conference so far. For the first time, we broke the day into two tracks – marketing and technology.

We heard from 10 presenters from across the country, and they educated us on content marketing, reputation marketing, SaaS, back-end problem solving, publishing and performance, machine learning and AI, data analysis, data presentation, video branding and content distribution.

We also changed the format in 2017 to include panel discussions with our various speakers, and our employees loved these talks. The AMA panels also allowed presenters to engage with one another in front of us, and it was cool to watch them pick up on new ideas and learn along with us.

2017 Speakers

  • Allen Kupetz Anauj

    Orlando’s resident investment capital and startup guru delivered some insightful thoughts on Humans vs. Artificial Intelligence. The takeaway: Computers are winning.

  • Jon Busdeker Storyteller

    An author, videographer and former reporter (newspaper and television), Jon showed off his versatility by demonstrating that content does not mean always the written word.

  • Krissie VandeNoord NorthUX

    A web designer, engineer and UX lover, Krissie focused on back-end problem solving through embracing projects and turning major issues into a series of smaller ones.

  • Ross Simmonds Hustle & Grind

    A digital entrepreneur, Ross delivered two talks: one about how to get your best content noticed in the sea of content that is out there, and a second about how to build your brand through a series of experiments.

  • Jennifer Lyons Evergreen Media

    Jennifer delivered two presentations about how to present Big Data effectively. Some clients are more visual than others, and there are times when data must be compiled in different formats to find the best one.

  • Rhea Drysdale Outspoken Media

    As only Rhea can, she delivered a lengthy examination of cold-call outreach marketing — why it is boring, why it is hard and some tips and tricks to make it informative and easier.

  • Chris Coyer CodePen

    Chris delivered two presentations to a code-hungry audience. The first shed light on new publishing methods and web speed (and some quick wins). The second tackled the best practices for SaaS groups and companies.

  • Kane Jamison Content Harmony

    Kane gave us a detailed look at the various ways to measure success of new and existing content — and taught us that there aren’t always metrics and analytics to help.

  • Brett Snyder Knucklepuck Media

    The focus of Brett’s keynote was Good to Great: how to build a project (or, in his case, a company), have a resolute vision of what the glorious end-point looks like, and have the resolve to make the hard decisions that will be required.

LaunchCon 2016

We brought an eclectic mix of speakers and ideas to Orlando in 2016. They were all related to digital marketing in some way: understanding mobile SEO, how to win at social media marketing, what to try when you think you’ve tried everything, how to stay focused in an age of distraction, incremental innovation and a history lesson about Launch That.

This was the last conference where we featured one-on-one time with speakers. Launch That was a smaller company in 2016, and it made sense to offer a handful of time slots where Rocketeers could ask specific, job-relevant questions of a subject-matter expert.

2016 Speakers

  • Allen Kupetz Kpartnerz

    Allen educated the masses about incremental innovation and how re-inventing the wheel every few years is rarely necessary. Turns out that small improvements over time can be significant and meaningful.

  • Kane Jamison Content Harmony

    Kane did a deep dive on the benefits of audience segmentation to a business. The more you can break your customers into difference groups, the better you can address their needs.

  • David Palombo
    David Palombo Launch That

    This LaunchCon followed a recent rebranding of Launch That, and David discussed the differences between managing and leading as well as the kind of company we are — and that we want to be.

  • Cindy Krum MobileMoxie

    Cindy tackled the challenges of excellence in mobile SEO and highlighted small web fixes that make UX on our phones more useful — and even enjoyable.

  • Marta Turek ROI-DNA

    How does one better pay attention? Or, better still, how does one avoid distractions in a world full of them? Marta gave us her rules for the work road.

  • Brett Snyder Knucklepuck Media

    Brett explored a concept every business wants to face: the challenge of taking a successful strategy… and then making it even more successful.

LaunchCon 2015

Our initial LaunchCon was marketing heavy, and we asked two outside speakers to bombard us with information and ideas. In the end, we learned about generating quality ideas for content marketing, how to tell a story, web analytics and metrics, big data, marketing outreach and successful paid marketing campaigns.

2015 Speakers

  • Brett Snyder Knucklepuck Media

    Brett focused on how to generate quality content ideas for evergreen pages and how to execute outreach marketing by leveraging relationships.

  • Jon Robinson Launch That

    Jon evangelized about Big Data — how to leverage analytics from all the various data that websites and businesses collect about themselves and their customers.

  • Robert Rule - Business Analytics Director, Launch That
    Rob Rule Launch That

    Our jack-of-all-trades walked us through our evolution of pay-per-click learning, explaining how some of our various paid campaigns developed into success stories and what lessons we learned.

  • Mike King iPullRank

    Mike, a longtime entrepreneur, educated LaunchCon on another aspect of Big Data: how the government and conglomerates are collecting useful data from our phones, credit cards and social media and capitalizing on it.

  • David Palombo
    David Palombo Launch That

    Our Chief Marketing Officer focused on the business of marketing and distilled it down to one concept: To be great at it, all you have to do is tell a story worth hearing.