#32under32 event director experience

#32UNDER32 Opening Film // Minneapolis, MN from acowsay on Vimeo.

Opening film premiered at the May 28th #32under32 awards.

Since December, this Minnesota Design Gal had been planning for the 3rd Annual 32 under 32 community event. This event was founded by an Ad 2 MN volunteer—with a new idea, the right plan, right volunteers and American Advertising Federation (Ad Fed), this community awareness event became a reality!

Accepting the challenge, I made sure to strategize the goals of the event as I knew this year’s focus would be AWARENESS.

The 2nd year I was honored to receive the 32 under 32 award where I found myself not only being congratulated but also educating people about what the award was.

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The best part about leading nonprofit work is recruiting a team of people who you want to know better and are more talented than yourself. That empowered me to reach out to several creative and marketing folks of which I had successful past experiences with, along with a few new eager minds, to create this powerful planning crew for the 3rd annual event.

Sponsorship is the most intimidating role in any nonprofit work because it means you are knocking on doors and asking for, well, dollar bills. My approach this year while spreading the word about the event and award, was to gather influential interesting brands to supply messaging, goods, decorations and give-a-ways for guests.woodchuckIMG_6957
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11312637_986381814728827_5574797207792454698_oThe sponsorship break-down included adding a dessert bar from Mall of America, Catalyst Group creating custom boxes of mints and custom designed name tags, Woodchuck wood-stuff which included custom judge thank-you notebooks and event give-a-ways, KIND Snack bags for 32 winners and judges, Creative Circle for an interactive Photo Booth and contribution to event dollars, Red Stamp winner discounts and SOTA clothing for event-day prizes photography branding. Acowsay digital owner, Tyler was part of the planning crew but he also sponsored with his valuable behind the camera time and mad-digital production skills. Again, thanks to these powerful community names for being part of the entire experience—wouldn’t have wanted to do it without you!

Taking on the Director of this not for profit community event, I knew the event itself would need to be elevated—who wants to come to an event, see that you don’t get the 32 honor and pay $40 to go home with empty stomachs and empty-handed… #notcomingbacknextyear

After touring and seeking out venues for longer than my agenda had planned, I landed on the Minneapolis Event Centers (MEC) and worked with the wildly talented Wendy. The team negotiated the entire event timeline, a welcome-cocktail, special beer price (that matters), rentals and food—MEC would be introduced to many influential advertising professionals, so this helped with our small budget. MEC was even spotlighted as a sponsor for their incredible added-value lighting, tech support and stage excellence.

Red carpet? Of course! It’s all about experience!11417771_986378801395795_5862668234762296448_o

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In the 2 years prior, there were 5-6 judges with a range of experience and industry focus. I interviewed a few of the past judges to ensure the process for the 3rd annual event would be improving. The entire nomination process was streamlined to be better for judging and elevate most efficiently for quality nominations, rather than the not serious contenders.

I secured 6 inspiring leaders that ranged from Director of Project Management, Strategic Account, Start-up CEO, Content/Copywriting agency owner, Digital Production Creative Director and introduced Public Relations.

The overall judging process entailed verifying the identities of each nominee and nominator, compiling and calculating the judges’ grading sheets and the facilitation of the in-person judging day. The process solidified it is fair and it works to select the top 32.
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The 32 honorees of the 2015 award are people who I aspire to be; their backgrounds and proven forward-thinking are incredible. Being able to reach out to them individually was important to me as the event Director—I also realized that I did not have all their emails. A learning for future years is to include a field for the nominees’ email in the nomination form. #ItsCrunchTime

Securing the proprietary URL and designing 32under32.com to be used in the future was a successful outcome—one of my magic 3 goals. The Copywriter and Web Manager worked closely to quickly execute the best messaging and organize the content that made most sense for our busy-career-focused audience. It was designed in under one month for the February 1st nomination window to open.

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The user-generated content, for the introduction video, was something that Tyler from Acowsay Digital and I knew we were taking a chance on. We had set our goal of 20 people to submit a selfie video while answering questions provided to them. We had 40 nominees that sent multiple selfie clips to be added to the final video that was revealed at the event as opening film! #youknowwhoyouare

Creating sharable event materials that can be used to market the event in the future was part of the magic 3 and with Tyler’s talents and help from volunteers and 32 Alumni Cory Vandenberghe, Alison Beattie, Aneela Kumar, Sarah Edwards and Danny Olson, we made it happen with two 30-second spots. View those videos on Ad Fed MN YouTube Channel.

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Set-up before the event. Ready for the 7:15 ceremony!

Who wants to plan an event—then no one shows up?!

Communication and PR planning are key to a successful event because of the many moving parts involved. Our team found that it worked well being organized up-front and drafting the event communication summaries following with the customization of content for each channel. We also had a Google Doc with a social calendar and plenty of unique graphics to share. Starting the 32under32 Gmail worked well for one main outreach email for nominees and nominators, then Ad Fed MN filtered questions from the website and registration. Continuing to add new outreach and PR ideas, while remaining flexible is mandatory.

Social media was buzzing #32under32 throughout the planning sessions and we made hundreds of impressions when the nominations went public through local media help.

The BIO’s of the honorees at the event were told in 2 facts and 1 tail — tweets were deployed tagging the place of work and nonprofit organizations while the honorees’ BIO was read by our fabulous MC, Laura Fitzpatrick. Laura kept our attention and made us laugh while talking about Beyonce back-up singers, George Clooney wedding crashers and 90’s trend-setters… #nailedit
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cheers_to_thatIn summary, the #32under32 director role was a super experience to learn more about myself and take on an entire judging process from start to finish (and we know that finish doesn’t just mean up to the event).

As I move forward with other community initiatives and creative impactful projects, I look forward to the future years of #32under32. There are endless possibilities, every year will improve and be different. The best event advice I have is to experiment and improve the process always, remember in volunteer-work that as leader you have to keep people’s attention, inspire them and empower them and keep your director goals to 3 magic ideas…

  • Build awareness in the community – video promotion, sharable social graphics etc check!
  • Launch 32under32.com – align structure for future event years
    check!
  • Elevate the event experience
    check!

Keep pushing to be a better you,
MN Design Gal – Tricia
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Photo credits to: Jay Larson, Heather Hanson, Cathleen Olson, Snap Yourself 

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3rd Annual #32under32

Saturday, March 22nd at Midnight nominations close for the 3rd Annual 32 under 32. Nominate now. Seriously.

The nominations are key to the 32 Under 32 Awards. It gives the people who know the industry best — you — a chance to recognize someone that embodies the rare combination of creativity, drive, and special talents to stand out from the pack.

Video produced by Acowsay Digital.

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My moodboard created in January — inspiring the overall theme for this year.

 

Reminder a nominee could be a current, former or future co-worker, a boss or mentor, or even someone you play in a band with. The only rule is that nominees need to be in a marketing, advertising, PR, or similar role, work, live and play in the great state of ‘Sota, and be under 32 years of age as of May 1.

Evaluating the nominees is a hand-selected pool of judges that changes every year to coincide with the diversity of talent out there. This year’s line-up were hand-selected and feature a director of project management, a director of account strategy, an entrepreneur/CEO, a copywriter/business owner, a VP of public relations and a creative director with UX and video production focus.

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Photo by SOTA Clothing and Spence.

Video produced by Acowsay Digital.

Meet our judges in more detail:

Kat Dalager is a process geek, rule breaker / boat rocker that currently manages the Integrated Producer team as the Director of Project Operations at the in-house creative agency for Life Time Fitness, 3E The Life Time Agency. Past works include Campbell Mithun, The Martin Agency, Carmichael Lynch, Best Buy and Target.

Mark Hines, tech enthusiast and first generation digital professional. Coder since elementary school. Accidental marketer. Currently helps big brands think like startups and upstarts get traction in-market as Director of Account Strategy at GoKart Labs. Was at Ratchet, Mono and Fallon where he lead teams that brought great ideas to life.

Erin Newkirk believes friends + family makes the world go ’round, which is why she founded Red Stamp in 2005. Many years and one successful acquisition later, Red Stamp and Erin are still in the business of thanking, wishing, inviting and announcing with stylish cards + decor that can be sent via their award-winning app or on the web. Past work includes managing brands at General Mills and Kaplan Educational Centers.

Dan Ruppert-Kan prior to starting his company that specializes in copywriting and content, he was a Creative Director at Russell Herder and a Sr. Copywriter at Carmichael Lynch. He’s currently working on projects for Harley-Davidson, Porsche Financial Services and other marketers and ad agencies.

Dan Jasper is a PR guy, spokesperson and anything but stylish, only occasionally gets to shop at work. He is Vice President at Mall of America managing public relations, community relations, social media, tourism, retail merchandise and digital strategy. Thankfully he has a talented team that helps make him look good.

Michael Kraabel writes, designs, strategizes, codes, films, and more while being VP, Creative & User Experience at Bolin Marketing. An early pioneer of interactive marketing and PR, Mike has been devising digital communications programs for companies for more than 16 years while past work has been at Olson, Schematic, Gage and Martin Williams.

This event would not be successful without the talented volunteers that have been hands-on since the beginning planning in December. As this year’s Director of #32under32, it was crucial for me to be surrounded by passionate talented-thinkers that wanted to get their hands a bit dirty after their day jobs. Let’s take minute to recognize them:

Alexandria Huerter
Molly Michalowski
Andrea Styczinski
Hannah Mortenson
Ashley Mullins
Tyler Eichorst
Daniel Krueger
Casey Garvey

[Insert picture after the next board meeting]

Have you nominated yet? Time is running out.

Save the date May 28, 2015. Register for the event is your next assignment folks.

Always thinking,
Your 2014-15 #32under32 Director and forever design gal

 

 



#32under32 Award

What is 32 Under 32?

In every industry, there are those who push beyond what’s asked of them in the hopes of disrupting the status quo. These are the early risers and late-nighters. The after-work hustlers and the opportunity seekers. In the advertising and marketing industry, we call these people ambitious and recognize them as being one of the 32 Under 32. This elite award recognizes 32 up-and-coming ad professionals in the Twin Cities, hailing incredible accomplishments and endeavors they gain at such a young age. – AdFed MN

On June 26, I accepted this award among talented advertising colleagues and fellow savvy marketers, designers, copy writers, digital directors and more.

Why the age 32?

Ad 2 members have to be 32 and under for the lower membership rate, basically it goes back to Ad 2 National rules. There also is a local MPLS magazine called thirty two that was an original sponsor in 2013.

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With my husband Steve moments after receiving the award.

Below are the highlights from my acceptance speech that I preformed in my bathroom, by myself, later that night.

Thank you for the opportunity to be among these incredibly talented people. Some of you have hired me in this room, others of you we have volunteered together for years or just hours, we have played together at the uptown bars and later on in our careers some of you will want to hire me and I will want to hire you.

I sincerely am not here without the American Advertising Federation and Ad Fed MN organization. Too many times we take it for granted the volunteers, the ideas and the execution of these events. I would like to thank Anna Sanders for her idea on this 2 years ago and this year being the 2nd annual event for #32under32. [insert applause] I also want to thank past Ad Fed and Ad 2 Presidents and current board members and volunteers, photographers and social community managers I recruited a few years back because without event marketing there wouldn’t be any attendees to come to these events and all the volunteers and bartenders just stare at each other.

I’m accepting working as a volunteer and past Ad 2 President will always be part of my life because you learn so much more shit when your not getting paid for it, it’s just less apparent. [insert laughs and claps]

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Even though no one knows who nominates them, I knew one for sure in this room. So I thank Cathleen for her time and on-going support in my young advertising career, you are an incredible entrepreneur and talented business woman.

I also want to thank Steve. My husband and supporter of my crazy creative thinking, late-nights on my Mac researching and executing ideas that I’m not getting paid for. [insert laughs] I am lucky to have a tech savvy man who also understands that I will always be in this crazy design & advertising world.

Also want to thank Family and Friends that aren’t here tonight-they are usually always positive and encouraging of my creative talents. Without them I would have probably never made it through presenting for 2 hours my digital design portfolio at BSU and surely would have never handled all those 2nd place call backs. Seriously my family is my rock and I’m excited to see where my career and life keeps taking me while designing this path through life.

Thanks for listening and thanks for not booing me while on stage. See you again soon! Cheers!

[insert applause] exit stage—

your mn design gal – designing her path through life 

mndesigngal