OLSON, Best Buy and #Trends – Oh my!

Being on the go is something I am very used to putting many things on my plate including volunteering for nonprofits, keeping up with the digital and creative trends and currently looking for a JOB all while trying to maintain some sort of personal life-family-friends and maintain and grow my network. The average MN gal right?
In just 1 week, I had participated and learned about 3 totally different topics in 3 totally different locations. Let me share.

OLSON: Ford Center: Ryan Murray Photo

Ryan Murray Photo: Ad 2 Olson

Starting off with the last Ad 2 agency event of the season! The Ad 2 Programs event I have planned and dreamed about for the MSP community for a while. It was at OLSON in their new space at the newly remodeled Ford Center Building in Minneapolis. 260+ pre-registered attendees making it the most pre-registered and attended Ad 2, Ad Fed event thus far (not counting the SHOW folks). The hands-on tour given by OLSON employee volunteers started the night off was a great way to greet guests entering on the 10th floor. Then moving to the 9th where there was much to taste and drink and of course people to network with. The agency has the 7,8,9 and 10, while 6th they share but have a fabulous photo studio in. Christina Clawson, Senior Brand Manager at OLSON, and I had known each other for handful of years and been planning this event for almost 3. Knowing the space would be a great way to bring the Advertising community in to enjoy, learn and explore.
Interactive Director and Vice President Paul Ratzky got to share some great influential case studies that have paved OLSON to be one of the top agency’s.

OLSON: Ad 2 : Ryan Murray Photo

OLSON : Ad 2 Ryan Murray Photo

OLSON Speaking : Photo by Heather Rudloff

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Full House I snapped after giving opening announcements.

A unique piece of this event was the portfolio reviews that were going on for anyone that had signed-up ahead of time where 6 OLSON creative were giving one-on-one reviews for 15 minutes. This is another way Ad 2 has put the plug into education and also being different within our programs. Thanks Olson!

I announced to the 200+ guests about our 1st Place National Award that American Advertising Federation had rewarded Ad 2 with for the 2011-12 Programs. It was another way to create awareness of the National partnership with have with AAF and Ad 2.

The night ended up a quick clean-up by a few savvy volunteers including creative director and past Internship hirer Randall Herrera, then over for a few celebratory drinks next door at Darby’s. Cheers to a successful night!

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@mndesigngal Instagram

The weekend of Easter had approached and I found myself with 1200+ ultra-cool-geeks including developers, programmers, designers and IT influentials at the minne*bar conference at the Best Buy Headquarters. I arrived early to make sure to get my trendy t-shirt and began the day with a presentation on fundraising in Minnesota. It gave me insight on Angel funding, crowd funding and start-up funding in general. Also advice such as, “sell to your family but never sell the control of your company to them”, (at least not right away).

Above is a @mndesigngal Instagram from the day

What's Your Why

I then moved to a segment on “What’s Your WHY?” which involved reflecting on oneself’s track through childhood goals to current job’s and the combining of them. Also a super great topic of why culture creates a sustainable competitive advantage.
A past Apple employee spoke about working on the same team as Steve Jobs and even asked us the question “When did the first iPhone come out?” —- Do you know? 2007! It’s strange because you think it’s like 2001 or something, but that is what is so great about technology, we ask why then there is change and innovation happens.

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Can you Read This?

Can you read this? I can. So strange how our mind works even online now.

I then met Drew Fleck who presented a segment on Expanding your Entrepreneurial Social Capital. He hit it home for me on this topic; not only learning more about location and the diversity of groups but taking it to the next level in evolving one’s network. I ended up having lunch with Drew and got to learn even more one on one.

The Day wasn’t even half over yet after those 3 sessions! What was pretty ironic was being at Best Buy then just a few days later… Brian Dunn CEO of Best Buy resigns. It has nothing to do with me I swear.

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Then the week wrapped-up with an amazing Ad Fed breakfast speaker from JWT New York, Ann Mack. She shared with nearly sold-out event, the Top 10 Trends for 2012. She did stress that trends can be shaped, and that these were from her perspective.

Here are my brief notes and the exciting TOP 10:

1. Navigating the New Normal
Smaller Scales… such as 50cent bubblegum and affordable clothling from high-end designers

2. Live a Little
Without giving up a lot.

3. Generation Go
Redefining what success is. (Was she talking to me directly here?)

4. The Rise of the Shared Value
Drivers: Opportunities in growth can be found in problems of needs.

5. Food as the new Eco-Issue
Fans of the part-time diets, “Meatless Mondays”, Vegan until 6pm etc.
Chipotle commercial— who has seen it?

6. Marriage Optional
60% of Bachelor degrees are Women. The new thought of test-driving a marriage for two years. (For real) More marketing is being done to the single woman.

7. Reengineering Randomness
People don’t want to be told- they want to discover.
Brands such as : Livingsocial “infuse the new”, daily lives, Lollihop and pop-up stores.

8. Screened InteractionsTweets Touch screens have been tapping into our lives slowly… ATM’s to… Bus stops, retail stores and more.

9. Celebrating Aging
Marketers need to look at the life-stage rather then the age of the consumer.
You have the right to be young at any age.

10. Objectifying Objects
CDs, Cash, a book… don’t need them anymore but something about holding it can be a status symbol.
Vinyl records seen a 41% increase in sales over last year!

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What can I say? A busy gal likes to keep a busy mind. Can’t believe I had to put these 3 very large and influential events into one post. But this gal is busy, and I will continue to write in 12 PT for you like I have promised.

Your MN Design Gal and so much more!
Tricia

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[Insert Your Name] Advertising Summit

Instagram by @mnfutureadgal, sitting front row at 8:10 AM on Friday 3/2/12

Some of my followers may have heard of it before, but the Student Advertising Summit was held Friday, March 2. The day actually originated in the mid-90’s called “Career Day” for students to come and learn about internships and jobs in the advertising and marketing field. In 2005, the day re-branded into Student Advertising Summit and now is called “SAS” if you’re in the right in-groups. The day continues to grow and break records for attendees reaching over 300 this year. Along with the important Sponsorship participation in the advertising community is only growing.

The SAS DayThe day started with opening announcements, which I had to try to settle the group down from being too rowdy of course. Sarah Heininger and Andrea Styczinski are the co-directors of the SAS event also helped start the day off. These two talented women have been part of the planning for a few years being interns and then volunteer leaders. It took a few weeks of convening them that they can take on the director role, but now after one year under their belt I bet they feel invincible!

Some of the Team SAS!The tweets directly to me started after my opening speech which my opening really wasn’t anything fancy other than being real about networking; also making sure the attendees knew how important it was that they took the time to come to the U of M campus today. They were here for a reason and that was apparent.

"Tell Better Stories" Christopher Owens

"Tell Better Stories" Christopher Owens the keynote speaker at lunch. He opened with a Kardashian joke. So YES he was entertaining, real and simply incredible.

Throughout the day, the hellos and interest in Ad 2 came in through the booth that we had set-up next to Colle + McVoy sponsor table. Allie, Zach and I got to talk to potential members and also just the population on questions. The numbers aren’t in yet, but I bet we signed-up over 10 new members at a $30 student-only rate.
Ad2_table_Allie_TriciaI worked throughout the morning to later find out that the team needed me to be part of the round-table discussions that give attendees some candid time with industry leaders. Sitting at a creative table, I found that every group of about 10-15 were interested in agency stories, how to show-off their creative portfolio and what jobs to apply for. I was very real with them showing them my iPad and making sure they knew to have an online website, Behance or Cargo. I shared a few personal stories about interviewing and presumptions on appearance.

highlight reel 1The questions also came in about internships and I make sure they knew to pick their Top 5 agencies/marketing/businesses and to go after it! My internship was not even posted, I approached the company because one day I wanted to move to San Diego and that company had a location there. Half-way through the interview Randall (Now a Creative Director at OLSON) says to me, “What are you here interviewing for again?”

I’m a believer of business cards and leave-be-hinds. I don’t care if advice from others tell you not to use them; the cards that do surface somewhere are worth something. I can remember a time after graduation when I send postcards to hundreds of contacts in the mail and still remember when Amanda Brinkman (at the time, head of UHG Carrot and past Ad 2 President) told me personally that her secretary gave it to her and said “Wow, this looks really cool.” I also caught people hanging them up in their office as art. Or how many times do I get a call or email and it starts, “I saw your card and was wondering your still looking or could do any freelance.” Be creative. Be you.

Bemidji State University

Only Bemidji State Student! (I'm a '06 Alum) He was representing so proud of him! (Plug-in his name when find his business card on my desk)

After 2 hours of consistency chatting and answering questions around an oval table, I moved on to doing a few portfolio reviews. (Meanwhile internet became terribly slow at and I tried to send-off a few client changes; I had to brush off my bandwidth frustrations very quickly). The portfolio reviews instantly gave me a flashback to 2006 when I had my portfolio class and the recommendations that your teachers tell you that are “agency real-life” can frankly be a real-life industry joke. The main thing I had to remember is let the presenter shine and help them remember and highlight their strengths and also minus a few weaknesses within their portfolio– then give some true criticism including telling a guy that his hat had some heavy lint on it. (Helpful fashion hints always) I ended-up giving one of the girls a hug after because she did so well and I could feel her nervousness.

The day ended with a happy hour at the good ol’ Library Bar where all the U of M students go to get drunk for $2 drinks and $1 shots. The basement was packed and the tension was relaxed while a few students still had resumes in hand that I loved seeing.

The day wouldn’t have been complete without my volunteers Allie Eide and Zach Zutler helping with the Ad 2 table, whom were 1st year SAS attendees last year and now are part of the Ad 2 board! Jay Larson and his fabulous photographer and genuine energy. I have to say, that when it comes to events and having the right guy you must be patient and truly care about the cause and Jay does. I think I have known him for 3-4 years now… and we met at AIGA events back when I networked 4 of the 5 nights of the week!

Shout-out to the entire Student Advertising Summit Team because I have to say, this will go in history that first time any group ever attempted to get a real-life flash-mob together!

Also BIG THANKS to all my friends, colleagues and mentors that were part of the day that I didn’t get to talk to or see them present. So happy to see familiar faces and it wasn’t unnoticed!

I hope to still participate with the summit throughout my career and also become a spotlight speaker to enhance the diversity for the years to come. I have so many topics and ideas that I must be able to execute them.

Did you insert your own name into the summit title of my blog? Because at any age, or point in your career you can attend. It’s a great to have a day to step-back and learn, think about the future and remember why you got into Advertising in the first place.

High-Fives to all the participates and attendees! Hope to see you at next Ad 2 event to chat-it-up!

Tricia

talkingwithmyhands

Talking with my hands like my mother.

{Stop back for I will be adding more photos throughout the next week.}