The Uprising

The Uprising

Honestly, the best marketing conference I've ever been to.

Mathew Sweezy, Salesforce

By far, the best experience of my marketing career.

Dr. Karine Abbou

Imagine having uninterrupted, deep conversations about the future of business with some of the best minds in marketing. One of the most fulfilling events of my career.

Keith Reynold Jennings, Jackson Healthcare

There is nothing else close to it. Three days of unrivaled learning and social connections.

Jack Silverman, Bolin Agency

I knew I'd learn a lot, but I didn't know I'd also walk away with 30 new friends.

Ruth Hartt, Clayton Christensen Institute

The Uprising retreat is an intellectual adventure.

April Bryant, Bayer

The most powerful gathering of eclectic thinkers and marketing visionaries in our field today.

Dan Nestle, LIXIL

A place for people who want to grow from good to great.

Chad Parizman, Ader Communications

Registration for the April 2024 Uprising is now closed.
Please click here to reserve your spot for the next Uprising (Spring of 2025).

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 — April 16-19, 2024 in Knoxville, TN — is an intimate, private marketing retreat focused on the concepts and skills leaders need 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 rapid change. 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
  • Reaching unreachable customers
  • Practical realities of AI on content, strategy, reputation
  • New marketing measurement considerations
  • Remaining relevant in a world of rapid change
  • Exploring the meaning of emerging technologies
  • Rational new views of content, social media, influence, and engagement

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

It’s hard to explain this event without experiencing it! So here is a little video I put together to explain the three reasons why this is distinct!

Here is my promise. You will leave this event one step ahead of the competition because you’ll receive insights and ideas you’ll find nowhere else.

Every marketing rebellion starts with an Uprising. Become part of our movement.

The Uprising Team

Every participant plays a role in The Uprising, but the conversations will be led by Mark Schaefer and renowned experts. Two marketing LEGENDS will be featured presenters — Sandy Carter and Ed Keller.

  • Sandy Carter is a digital marketing legend. This pioneering leader served as a business unit CMO for IBM and Amazon Web Services, consulted with the NBA, led an early AI startup, and currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Web3 startup Unstoppable Domains. She is the author of “Extreme Creativity.”

  • Mark Schaefer is a world-renowned marketing futurist, keynote speaker, consultant, educator, and the author of 10 books, including seminal works such as “KNOWN,” “Belonging to the Brand,” and “Marketing Rebellion.” In 2023 he was named one of the top three digital marketing thought leaders in the world and also among the top three “most inspiring” marketing thought leaders in another poll. Mark is the host of The Uprising.

  • Ed Keller is widely known as the father of Word of Mouth Marketing. His seminal research and publications laid the groundwork for many modern marketing strategies. Ed is a scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and is Executive Director of Market Research Institute International (MRII).

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, ponds, 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 of $3,950 is a great value because it is inclusive, covering everything except your personal travel to the retreat.

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 contemplation 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 event of co-created ideas, meaningful small group discussions, relaxed contemplation, intimate networking, and personal interactions with top marketing thought leaders.

Many have described The Uprising as “transformational” due to the generosity, personal support, and inspiration they receive throughout this immersive experience.

We will focus on:

  • 1Forward-thinking, actionable new ideas based on real-world business needs.
  • 2Personal interaction with Mark Schaefer and other renowned thought leaders.
  • 3Opportunity for on-going learning on the future of marketing.
  • 4A chance to get away, relax, and re-energize with new ideas.

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

Is The Uprising right for you?

Some people have told me they feel nervous about registering for The Uprising. They may be wondering if they have enough experience, or if they will have anything to add to discussions led by accomplished marketing thought leaders.

Everyone who comes to this retreat is valued, supported, and absolutely immersed in the community. Diversity of thought, heritage, experience, and age is essential and celebrated.

If you have a passion to learn, grow, and help us figure out what’s next in the world of marketing, you’re ready for The Uprising. Everyone belongs, and is accepted here.

COVID Protocol

Due to continued safety concerns over COVID, we are working with RT Lodge and our event planner to provide a safe and joyful event. We will conform to best safety practices as required by the time of the event.


The cost of The Uprising is $3,950 which includes the programming, all meals, snacks, refreshments, wi-fi, lodging, and entertainment. In other words, once you arrive at the retreat, everything is covered.

“Best event I’ve attended. I easily received ten times the value from what I paid to attend The Uprising.” — Megan Conley, CEO of Social Tribe

To get a feel for The Uprising experience, check out our photo gallery!

Participants should prepare for this schedule:

Tuesday, April 16: Please arrive at RT Lodge (15 minutes from the Knoxville Airport) and settle in before our 6 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 officially begins.

Wednesday, April 17: Mountain breakfast followed by a day of discussion, discovery, and insight. Expect a gourmet lunch and dinner, evening entertainment, a surprise guest speaker, discussions by the open-air fire pit, and outdoor games.

Thursday, April 18: Plan for a full day of mind-blowing discussions followed by a “graduation celebration” and evening fun — including a private concert!

Friday, April 19: 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.

Join us!

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. Tuessday, April 16 and departure no earlier than the morning of Friday, April 19.

• 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 want to set a tone of respect, positivity, professionalism, and encouragement. All are welcome with an open mind and an open heart.

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.


If you would like to make convenient monthly payments instead of a lump sum registration, please contact Mark Schaefer directly via email at [email protected]. We will be happy to work out a convenient payment plan for you!

There are currently zero registrations left for The Uprising 2024. Drop a note to Mark Schaefer at [email protected] to be included on a waiting list in case an opening occurs.

Click below to pay in full and reserve your spot in this exclusive event!

Registration for the April 2024 Uprising is now closed.
Please click here to reserve your spot for the next Uprising (Spring of 2025).

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