(Photo above: (L-R) Georell Bracelin, GB2 Agency, Greg Kleinert, Greg Kleinert Design, Jen Dinan, Cairn, Tenley Sutton, GB2 Agency, enjoying popcorn chicken at a presentation on the rebranding of KFC by John Dempsey of Wieden + Kennedy | Photo Courtesy of GB2 Agency)
Fast-growing grass-roots group inspires and connects Central Oregonians on marketing, creativity and beyond.
Oregon Innovative Marketing (OIM) is expecting a full house at its March 21 event at 10 Barrel Brewing on the eastside — a panel discussion titled, “Spirited Women, Spirited Marketing.” It is evidence of the growth the networking group has experienced since its first gathering last June.
Georell Bracelin, owner of GB2 Agency in Bend and co-originator of the group, can attest to its expansion.
“I stood on a table at our first event so people could hear me and looked at a promising crowd with many new and familiar faces,” she said. “Now we are selling out events and reaching a wide range of people that are eager to connect with their tribe.”
In recognition of Women’s March, OIM’s event this month serves as a celebration of women in the Bend beverage industry, bringing together female leaders of 10 Barrel Brewing, Humm Kombucha and Atlas Cider. The discussion will dive into the challenges of succeeding in a traditionally male-dominated industry and how traditional and online marketing have affected the growth of these companies.
OIM was conceived by a group of curious and enthusiastic local marketers who yearned for connection with industry friends, colleagues and newcomers that had been missing since the Ad Federation of Central Oregon disbanded in 2016. The goal has been to unite and educate not just traditional marketers in the community, but media reps, designers, web developers, photographers, small business owners, anyone with a curious and innovative spirit.
“I’m so excited for this organization,” says Jessica Biel, business development director for Pinnacle Architecture. “Since moving to Bend in 2015 from Seattle, I’ve been totally missing having a marketing community.”
OIM has settled into a schedule of hosting events every other month — some with inspirational presentations, some dedicated to networking — at little or no cost. OIM keeps things fresh with their venues with an eye toward showcasing local businesses. Past venues include Bangers and Brews, Oregon Media, Mazama Media and The Barrel Thief Lounge at Oregon Spirit Distillers. The group is currently exploring potential venues such as OSU-Cascades in May, Arrowood Development’s new Tartan Place at Tetherow in July, Buzztag in September and The Tech Center in November.
OIM’s other plans for the immediate future include the launch of a new website, committee and sponsorship recruitment, and development of resources for connecting local businesses.