The Uprising

The Uprising

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

Mathew Sweezy, Salesforce

There is nothing like this. Mark did something deep here that I have never seen before. It went to a different place.

Melissa Wilson, CEO Networlding

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

Inspirational, educational and affirming for those of us who want to help marketing serve the world, not annoy it.

Evelyn Starr, branding consultant

The Uprising was life changing for me and I don’t use terms like that lightly. I observed true leadership in action.

Brian Wood, Whirlpool Corp.

Registration for the May 2020 Uprising is now closed.
Please click here to reserve your spot for the next Uprising (October 13-15, 2020).

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 — May 12-15, 2020 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) and two other facilitators, Leah Schultz and John Jantsch.

  • 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 eight popular books and have worked with dozens of companies like Dell, Microsoft, Allstate, and Johnson & Johnson on marketing strategy. I’ve taught at the graduate level at Rutgers University for 10 years.

  • Leah Mackey Schultz is Director, Social Media & Engagement at Papa John’s International. Leah is a digital analytics and eCommerce expert who is also involved in every aspect of the company’s branding evolution including their participation in the Super Bowl.

  • John Jantsch is the visionary founder of Duct Tape Marketing. John is one of the most accomplished sales + marketing authors, speakers, and workshop leaders in the world. His new book The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur is out now.

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 $3,850 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 me and other 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.


The cost of The Uprising is $3,850 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, May 12: Please arrive at RT Lodge 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 begins.

Wednesday, May 13: 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, May 14: Plan for a full day of discussion followed by a “graduation celebration” and evening fun — including a private concert!

Friday, May 15: 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. May 12 and departure no earlier than the morning of Friday, May 15.

• 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.

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.

Registration for the May 2020 Uprising is now closed.
Please click here to reserve your spot for the next Uprising (October 13-15, 2020).

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