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.

Now accepting registration for The Uprising April 5-8, 2022!

Hurry. Just 2 Tickets Remaining!

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 5-8, 2022 in Knoxville, TN — is an intimate, private marketing 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 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
  • Impact of the pandemic on our future
  • Exploring the meaning of metaverse
  • 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.

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 me (Mark Schaefer) and two other facilitators, Mathew Sweezey, Cathy Hackl, and other featured presenters.

  • 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.

  • Cathy Hackl is a leading tech futurist and globally recognized business leader specializing in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and spatial computing. She is one of the world’s foremost experts on the Metaverse.

  • Mathew Sweezey is Director of Marketing for, podcast host, pioneer of the marketing automation space, and author of The Context Marketing Revolution.

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. 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, including:

  • All participants will be required to be vaccinated before attending the event.
  • There will be no self-serve buffets
  • The RT Lodge staff will be fully masked. They have a very high vaccination rate, but not 100 percent among some of the young college students who work there.
  • Rooms will be cleaned and serviced only at the request of the participant
  • Meeting rooms cleaned at the end of the day
  • Touchless check-in (except room keys)
  • Participant masks during the meetings will be optional


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, April 5: 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 begins.

Wednesday, April 6: 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 pit, and outdoor games.

Thursday, April 7: Plan for a full day of discussion followed by a “graduation celebration” and evening fun — including a private concert!

Friday, April 8: 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. April 05 and departure no earlier than the morning of Friday, April 08.

• 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.

There are currently TWO spots open for The Uprising.

Uprising 4th - 8th April 2022

Uprising 4th - 8th April 2022


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