New Strategy for Enterprise Competitiveness

Christopher S. Rollyson

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I am regularly asked about what associations to get involved with to find out more about Web 2.0, social networking, e-business, the Internet and the high technology scene in the Chicago area.  Therefore, I am offering a subjective viewpoint here.  Please email to get/give more information on any of these, and let me know about others that I may have unknowingly omitted.

Custom search all major events engines and organizations use my search engine

For coverage of many of these events, check the The Global Human Capital Journal or The May Report.

Name/Link Comment For more information
Association of Multimedia Communications Brings together multimedia (not only web) specialists, programmers and business people.  Here you'll find a lot of graphics people (i.e. Shockwave, Director) and Mac people. Website;
get on their mailing list for monthly updates about meeting times.
Big Frontier Has partnered with The Mobium Group to produce high-quality strategic marketing events. Consistently worthwhile programs. Check out their past events. Website
Chicago Interactive Marketing Association Media and marketing orientation.  More webby people from agencies than any other organization.  Definitely do some of their special events, like cruises. Website
Executives' Club of Chicago The Executives' Club produces a tremendous range of high quality programs. Here you'll hear CEOs of global enterprises like IBM, UPS and Kraft Foods present their strategies and competitive pressures. Foreign diplomats discuss international trade issues. Committees plan events and have focused discussions. Networking gives you access to corporate executives and service providers. Highly recommended. Website. Also, see the ECC channel on the Global Human Capital Journal.
The Illinois IT Association The Chicago Software Association had long had a wider reach than its name suggested, so in 2005 it relaunched itself with a more Midwest (hence Illinois) focus.  Traditional emphasis on assisting high tech entrepreneurs to grow their companies as well as major software vendors; however, growing effort to court involvement of large organizations that use technology. Great events calendar on the website. Website 
KnockNOW KnockNow was launched in June 2001 to give Chicago its own version of Silicon Valley's Bucks Diner. Bucks is a famous meeting place that's packed on any given day with people from all different sectors of the "high tech business creation" industry talking about everything from funding to failure, from sales cycles to standards, from burn rate to burn out. The KnockNOW Breakfast Club is a place to share experiences, exchange knowledge and do deals. No cost, open to all, meetings announced as scheduled. Place and time as announced
Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) Excellent collaborative group for senior marketing executives. Fine balance between hands-on support and strategic thinking. Convenient location. Although helps senior marketers through transition, not a job search assistance group per se; members help each other with a full range of business issues. Website
Midwest Entrepreneurs Forum Assists technology entrepreneurs through general support and fostering connections with VCs and other funding sources. Website
MIT Enterprise Forum Peter Balbus and his team have done an excellent job on this year's program, which focuses on tech-inspired innovation. Relevant to corporate managers and entrepreneurs. Website
Strategic Management Association The SMA is a very solid forum for discussing business strategy issues; it unites gray hair and new economy around strategy.  I like the participation style of content. Periodic events. Website; Christine Glatz
TechCocktail Frank Gruber and Eric Olsen launched TC in July 2006, and it's since taken Chicago by storm—as the place to mix with Web 2.0 entrepreneurs. I've been very impressed by the organization (creative, interactive) and the sponsors. New business models, social media. And, Frank and Eric put on TC events around the country. Highly recommended! Website
Technology Executives Club The TEC was launched in 2000 by an experienced hand.  Alex has been around and knows the high tech community in Chicago very well, undoubtedly a key reason for the TEC's excellent quality of speakers and programs.  Attended by corporate executives, key tech vendors, technology-oriented professionals and tech entrepreneurs. Their website and newsletters have a growing global audience due to white papers and articles, most of which have been contributed by Club members. Alex Jarett
Technology Leaders Association (TLA) Fantastic resource for senior IT executives. An off-shoot of SIM, TLA has a mission for "members helping members" through all-too-frequent transitions; however, monthly meeting are attended by numerous employed IT executives, too. Website
University of Chicago GSB Innovation Round Table Excellent programs and executive speakers from Fortune 500 companies as well as innovative consultancies. Networking after most meetings. Website
University of Chicago GSB International Round Table Superb programs and executive speakers from professors, Fortune 500 companies as well as innovative consultancies. Networking after most meetings. Great discussions. Website or Sophia Kholodenko, '87
University of Chicago GSB Marketing Round Table Excellent programs and executive speakers from professors, Fortune 500 companies as well as innovative consultancies. Networking after most meetings. Website
The May Report Read about organization activities and Ron's unique viewpoint and reportage on Chicago's high technology happenings. Website 
Ron May

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