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We’ve just announced ILM West, our big December show, which takes place in San Francisco Dec. 12-14. Can we beat last year’s record attendance of 675+? We like our chances.

The timing couldn’t be better. So much progress has been made in local in the last year. On the progress scale of 1-5, we’ve clearly jumped up a notch ( a “3”?).

As an industry, we are now focused on “closing the local loop.” Everyone in the local ecosystems — ad agencies, credit card companies, mobile carriers, Facebook, Amazon — are jumping in to participate where some had never even played. All the key subjects are fair game: engagement, redemption, conversion and reputation management.

As I like to say, “THIS is ecommerce.”

Our opening keynoter is Bob Pittman, CEO of Clear Channel. Dating from MTV, which he cofounded, Pittman has been one of the industry’s true visionaries. We’ve all watched him reshape the future of media and entertainment as head of Century 21, which he made a national brand; head of Six Flags; and President of AOL Time Warner . Recently, he’s seen great opportunities in local media investments, both digital and traditional (Daily Candy, Thrillist, Clear Channel itself).

Other notable “first round” speakers for us include ReachLocal CEOs Zorik Gordon, who has been pushing the envelope on independent local sales channels; Avvo CEOs Mark Britton, who is looking to deploy social media across verticals; AllThingsD‘s Kara Swisher, clearly one the most important media observers (and a must read at all times); Digital First Media CEO John Paton, who has developed a cross-newspaper management model with Journal Register and Media News Group; and Clark Gilbert, the Harvard Business School protg of Clayton Christensen who now runs Deseret Media; Thrillist Biz Dev Head Mike Rothman, who is leveraging local male lifestyles across deals, display and clothes; and DexOne CSO David Sharman, who is focused beyond Yellow Pages as the company embraces a wide set of SMB solutions. Lots more to come.

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