Marketing Special Interest Groups (SIG 2.0)

Connect and learn

Find Your People

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are AMA Chicago member-only, collaborative discussion groups designed to create an open forum for the exchange of knowledge and ideas. SIGs meet virtually once a month for 45-60 minutes. The topics are community-driven and interactive, usually with a short 10-minute case study presentation followed by a Q&A-style discussion among attendees. SIGs do not meet in July, August or December

Learn more about SIGs, our vision and the communities thus far in this blog.

Membership Perk

Members Only

SIGs are only open to active AMA Chicago members. That’s right, these peer-to-peer communities are yet another benefit of membership.

If you are not an active member, join or renew now for $149. You’ll gain free access to SIGs and every monthly event from AMA Chicago ($300+ value), plus professional tools and templates, and many other perks.

Join AMA Chicago

Meet YOUR Community

There are 850+ marketers in AMA Chicago, and every one of us could have vastly different job descriptions and responsibilities. SIGs are the place where you find your peers – the people who share your passions, challenges and interests.

Effortless, Virtual Networking

SIGs are your chance to network with your marketing peers – without ever having to find a parking spot. Through monthly virtual meetings and Slack, you’ll get help from and give help to people in your subset of marketing as often as you’d like.


Current Communities

SIG 2.0

Arts & Entertainment Marketing Special Interest Group

Schedule: Second Tuesday of the month at noon (CT)

Calling all creatives in culture organizations, performing arts, and entertainment! With Chicagoland as our backdrop with world-class cultural and entertainment scenes that have deep roots in Chicago’s history, we share experiences, campaign success stories, and latest sources of inspiration with each other. Marketing and creatives in performing arts, botanical gardens, and other attractions in both the for-and non-profit sectors are encouraged to join this community! Membership in AMA Chicago is NOT required for this SIG at this time.

Leader: Grant Apgar and Chris Cloud 

SIG 2.0

Book Club Special Interest Group

Schedule: Third Thursday of the month, 12-12:45 p.m. CT.

We come having read an agreed-upon book, then discuss learnings. We’ve had featured guests and even authors join the conversation. This SIG is particularly beneficial for people who came to marketing in a roundabout way and need to get fundamentals and strategy all at once! 

Leader: Kevin Davis and Beverly Moore

SIG 2.0

Brand Special Interest Group

Schedule: First Thursdays of the month at noon

The heart and soul of every company, product, and service is its brand, but building a brand that connects with the right consumer is a marketer’s biggest challenge. This group will discuss the many facets of a brand such as brand strategy, brand development, memorable brand activations, the ROI of investing in a brand, humanizing your brand and trends in branding. Be ready to expand your mindset around brand and network with other Chicago area brand geek marketers!

Leaders:  Steven Silverman and Lisa Kaplan

Related blogs: Winning the Name Game: How to Pick the Best Name for Your Brand | Our Jewish Synagogue is a Brand and Why You Should Care

SIG 2.0

Direct Response Marketing Special Interest Group

Schedule: Fourth Thursdays of the month at noon

Welcome to the world of Direct Response Marketing! This SIG focuses on marketing or advertising efforts designed to generate a trackable and measurable response. Topics will include:

  • Direct mail and related engagement technologies
  • Omni-channel integration strategies, including email, call center, and direct digital
  • CRM and Data Management incorporating data segmentation, attribution modeling, and loyalty programs
  • Creative development, copy, and graphic design with response generation focus

Whether you are new to direct response marketing or a seasoned veteran, we welcome all who are willing to share and to learn something new!

Leaders: Blair Migonis and Greg Ward

SIG 2.0

Marketing Team of One Special Interest Group

Schedule: Second Monday of the month at noon

Building a marketing department from the ground-up is no easy task, particularly if you’re doing it alone. Join us to hear how other like-minded (and understaffed, and under-budgeted) marketers are prioritizing their work, optimizing their time, and building successful programs.

At our first meeting, we’ll talk about the top marketing tools that increase our effectiveness as marketers and help us save time – and money. We’re looking forward to hearing from you about your favorite software, apps and tools!

Leaders: Lidia Varesco Racoma, Miriam Carey, Elfrida Gabriel

SIG 2.0

Nonprofits Special Interest Group

Schedule: Third Tuesday of the month at Noon

Whether you’re new or experienced in nonprofits, this community offers a chance to share your challenges and successes with other not-for-profit marketers. Topics will include how to get the most for your limited marketing dollars, sharing best practices and finding other NPO partners.

Leaders: Jacqueline Lalley  

SIG 2.0

Research & Insights Special Interest Group

Schedule: Closed temporarily

This community focuses on the research and insights that drive marketing forward in Chicago and nationwide. Come prepared to discuss tools, strategies and ideas.


SIG 2.0

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Special Interest Group

Schedule: Second Wednesday of the month from 12-12:45 p.m. CT

At its core, the purpose of search engine optimization (SEO) is to increase your website’s visibility in the organic search results of major search engines. In this SIG, we’ll focus on 3 key areas:

  1. On-page SEO – Any content on your web pages including blogs, product copy, web copy etc.
  2. Off-page SEO – Anything which happens away from your website that helps with your SEO strategy such as backlinks.
  3. Technical SEO – Anything technical undertaken to improve search rankings such as site indexing to help bot crawling.

Leaders: Mark Bealin and Steve Krull

SIG 2.0

More to come!

There are more Special Interest Groups to come in Chicago! Let us know what you’re interested to be a part of by completing our short survey.

Request SIGs
More to come!

Lead a SIG

Special Interest Group chairs are volunteer topic experts who lead monthly meetings, identify other experts, moderate Slack channels and keep the community going strong. Each SIG may have one or more chairs, depending on preference and volume of community members.

If you’d like to chair a SIG, email executive director Bonnie Massa to start a new SIG community.

Email Bonnie

Apply for a SIG

SIG 2.0: Application

Complete the fields below to apply for a Shared Interest Group (SIG) 2.0. Once you are accepted, you will be emailed more information about joining the slack channel and future meeting dates. NOTE: SIGs are only open to AMA Chicago members. If you are not a member, join or renew for $149 at

  • Note: SIGs are for active AMA Chicago members only. Join us to learn more!
  • You are welcome to be in more than one SIG at a time. Please submit this form individually for each SIG you would like to join.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

My educational background isn’t in marketing or business (though I’ve been doing the work for about 8 years now in a higher ed setting). I’ve been starting to look for accessible marketing-focused books to supplement my “on the ground” knowledge. I’m really excited to have some conversation partners that I can be nerdy with about marketing too!

SIG Book Club Member

Want more? We’ve got you covered.

AMA Chicago offers a year-round lineup of marketing workshops, networking events and other programs. They’re free for members and an average of $20 for guests. See what we have coming up.

View all events