Why Every Canadian Marketer Needs to Attend Advertising Week
Posted by Chris Campaner on September 27th, 2011
“And then we placed a $20 bet on which rickshaw driver could get us to The Billboard Party first.”
Ryan Thomas is a Managing Partner and Business Strategist at Playground Inc. – and if you’re in NYC the Sunday before Advertising Week, email HIM for directions to the Lakeside Lounge where your first PBR and shot of Wild Turkey can be charged to his tab.
Enjoy Ryan’s piece:
For four years running I’ve given up my vacation for a week long business conference. Advertising Week in New York City is a must attend event for anyone looking to get ahead in this business. In four scant years this single event helped the rapid advancement of my career from a lowly advertising student right though to the managing partner at a 14 person digital communications company.
So prior to this years October 3rd start date, I wanted to share with you how 320 hours in New York can in fact make you a better marketer.
Listen and Learn from the Best Clients on the Globe
As a junior you’re not going to get invited to every high concept strategic meeting. Yet these meetings are essential to understanding the forces driving our business.
In the past four years Advertising Week has hosted the heads of Marketing for Louis Vuitton, Cirque du Soleil, Goodyear and even The Onion. Each time, these CMOs and VPs spoke about their unique challenges.
In conversations with their peers, it’s possible to not only understand the language used in glass boardrooms around the world, but how major companies attack major problems.
If you pay attention you can even learn how great ideas are sold. Learning how the Cirque team sold the Beatles on LOVE is an experience that has helped me sell innovative ideas no less than 3 times.
Getting Ahead of the Curve
When marketers gather they talk; most of this talk is about the business they share. When cocktails are in the mix, conversation turns to equal parts fear and opportunity.
It happened two years ago after the Wooster Collective spoke on the explosion of street art. We followed up with a torrential downpour of pseudo-legal street level promotions.
It happened three years ago when a green pencil was announced at the D&AD awards presentation. When, for almost a year, every brand felt a need to address the greener side of the marketing dollar.
And it happened last year when mass media and digital agencies debated the convergence of their mediums. Now every brand has it’s own digital media channel.
It will happen again and if you’re situated in the center of a room with that many smart minds, you’ll see the trends as they transpire. Being on the early adoption side of this curve could be the break your next client needs.
Then Night Falls
And it’s exactly what you think. I could tell you about the time they shut down Times Square for cocktails, or opened the doors at the one and only Friars Club, about standing next to 30 Rock’s Grizz and watching Questlove dj, but at the end of the day it’s about the people you meet and the experiences that make you a better marketer.
Which is about the same time we placed a $20 bet on which rickshaw driver could get us to The Billboard Party first.