The Uprising

The Uprising

The Uprising 2019 has sold out. Please click here to reserve your spot for the next Uprising.

It’s time to re-imagine marketing. Together.

Traditional classes and conferences aren’t preparing marketing leaders for the unprecedented changes in the business world. While most events provide tips and tricks to iterate on “what is,” The Uprising — October 1-3 in Knoxville, TN — is an intimate, private retreat focused on the concepts and skills needed for leaders to conquer what is next.

The Uprising is the first step toward building an ongoing community of marketing leaders prepared to excel in a world of change and chaos. I’m bringing together 30 extraordinary people (like you) in a collaborative learning environment to create breakthrough insights on subjects including (tentative list):

  • Balancing tech + automation with new consumer realities
  • Purpose-based marketing strategy
  • Loyalty through “belonging” and community
  • Entering the consumer conversation through contextual marketing
  • Developing a responsive company culture
  • Reaching unreachable customers
  • Practical realities of AI on content, strategy, reputation
  • New marketing measurement considerations
  • Leadership skills needed to navigate chaos
  • Experiential and word of mouth marketing
  • Rational new views of content, social media, influence, and engagement

The format of the event is not traditional lectures and panel discussions. Every participant will have the ability to contribute their own expertise to vital discussions, led by our facilitators. This is an intimate meeting of diverse thought leaders preparing for change, not a college classroom.

Every rebellion starts with an uprising. Become part of a movement.

The Uprising Team

Every participant plays a role in The Uprising, but the conversations will be led by me (Mark Schaefer), Mathew Sweezey, and Dana Malstaff.

  • I have more than 35 years of marketing experience. My super-power is seeing how trends come together to create a new future. I’ve authored seven popular books and have worked with companies like Dell, Microsoft, Allstate, and Johns & Johnson on marketing strategy. I’ve taught at the graduate level at Rutgers University for more than 10 years.

  • Mathew Sweezey is Principal of Marketing Insights for, an award-winning marketer, a pioneer of the marketing automation space, and one of the top minds on the future of marketing. He has a new book coming out soon on Contextual Marketing.

  • Dana Malstaff is the founder and CEO of BossMom, leading an organic online community of 37,000 entrepreneurs. She is the author of three books, leads meet-ups in 100 cities, and is pioneering a fierce marketing movement based on human-centered connection and belonging.

The Venue

When I refer to The Uprising as a “retreat,” I mean retreat!

Yes, we will learn, we will build community, we will connect deeply. But we’ll also breathe fresh air and relax in a comfortable lodge surrounded by gardens, forests, and hiking trails. We’ll celebrate new business friendships with fine dining and fun surprises along the way.

RT Lodge is nestled in a story-book setting in Maryville, TN, 15 minutes from the Knoxville Airport. The enrollment fee is inclusive and covers everything except your personal travel to the retreat and non-meal related alcohol.

The Lodge is filled with overstuffed sofas, soft-leather club chairs, beautiful fabrics, antiques, and local artifacts from the nearby Great Smoky Mountain National Park. There are plenty of areas where groups can gather, private corners for intimate discussions, and lovely gardens for thinking and reflection.

Take a nature hike. Hop on a bike. Read in a garden. Share a drink with new friends. Make s’mores after dinner by the fire pit. Challenge me to ping pong or a game of corn hole. This is all part of your Uprising retreat experience.

The Community

The Uprising is an un-conference focused on co-created ideas, small group interactions, intimate networking, and personal interactions with marketing thought leaders.

Learnings from the retreat will be captured in an online group and graduates of The Uprising will be the first to populate this online community. Continued learning opportunities and discussion will be available for graduates following the event through the exclusive Uprising channel.

  • 1Forward-thinking, actionable new ideas based on real-world business needs.
  • 2Personal interaction with me and other thought leaders.
  • 3Opportunity for on-going learning on the future of marketing.
  • 4Build personal relationships with other marketing leaders.

The community will grow over time as other Uprising Retreats are completed.


The cost of The Uprising is $3,750 which includes the programming, all meals, snacks, refreshments, wi-fi, lodging, entertainment, and a one-year enrollment in The Uprising Online Community. In other words, once you arrive at the retreat, everything is covered.

Participants should prepare for this schedule:

Tuesday, October 01: Please arrive at RT Lodge and settle in before our 7 p.m. welcome dinner. Check-in as early as 3 p.m. to enjoy the grounds and meet me and the other retreat leaders before The Uprising begins.

Wednesday, October 02: Mountain breakfast followed by a day of discussion, discovery, and insight. Evening entertainment will include a surprise guest speaker, discussions by the open-air fire place or outdoor games.

Thursday, October 03: Plan for a full day of discussion followed by a “graduation celebration” and evening fun.

Friday, October 04: Breakfast is included before your departure for home. For those planning to stay an extra day or two to explore Knoxville and the Smoky Mountain region, we can help with insider tips for an enjoyable stay.

Are you in?

You can become part of The Uprising by applying now for one of the extremely limited openings. Before you go to the next step, I hope you can agree on three things:

• This is not an event where you can float in and out. You are a co-creator of our community. Your presence is integral to the event. I hope you will be fully present for the entire retreat, which means arrival by 6 p.m. October 01 and departure no earlier than the morning of Friday, October 04.

• Although you will have plenty of personal time, I hope you’ll prepare for this immersive retreat by putting aside external business calls and distractions to the best of your ability.

• We hope you’ll commit to active participation in the online community after the event.

The Uprising 2019 has sold out. Please click here to reserve your spot for the next Uprising.

RETURN POLICY: Tickets are fully refundable up until 60 days before the event. One-half of the price will be refunded up until 30 days before the event. Ticket holders may transfer or sell their spot to another person as an option.

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