Keeping Five Steps Ahead At Advertising Week Europe

Whether it is taking place in New York or London, Advertising Week is a chance for the industry to gather and reflect on where it’s been, where it is and where it’s going. From sessions on creativity to data, talent, ad blocking, to current events like the American presidential election and the Brexit, Advertising Europe 2016 had it all.  Tech giants like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat kept the conference abuzz , while everyone from agency leaders to celebrities (and even magicians!) took the stage to address successes, challenges and innovations in the advertising world.

One of the most interesting aspects of advertising is the close alignment it has to current events and breaking news.  It’s incumbent on marketers, to stay directly in tune with the thoughts that shape our ever-changing world. I thought that this year’s #AWEurope did an amazing job of integrating current events with what’s hot in the industry right now.  Here are some of my favorite themes/takeaways of the week. And trust me, it was difficult to choose!

  • Change is here. Embrace it.
    • If there’s one thing that everyone at Advertising Week agreed with, it was that a huge change is upon our industry. The message was clear: you can either disrupt the world, or be disrupted. This goes for brands, agencies, employees as well as creative work.  If you’re not five steps ahead of the curve, you’re falling behind.
  • Personal growth is professional growth.
    • Keeping in the theme of growth and change, Grant Tudor, Founder of Populist, made the insightful point that Personal Growth = Professional Growth. Everything is getting bigger and better. Technology is allowing people to do things that have never been done before, allowing companies large and small to grow at exponential rates, and if these companies want to succeed, they need to allow their people to do the same.
  • Stay hungry, stay humble.
    • This was a quote that newly crowned IBF world heavy weight champion Anthony Joshua used to close his session. As he’s risen to exponential fame, it’s a line that he’s always kept in the back of his mind, and it drives everything he does. Something for both companies and employees to keep in mind as we all go through the highs and lows of working in this industry.
  • Companies with a creative culture are the ones that will thrive.
    • Jim Lusty, Partner at Upping Your Elvis, a creative leadership capability company, gave an inspiring presentation hosted at MEC’s Talent Track. Taking the audience through the various levels at which our brains think and operate, he made it clear that the most difficult place to be truly creative is sitting around a boardroom table.  Encouraging company leaders to fuel their employees with creative outlets and options, Jim offered an array of suggestions on how to truly make the most of your underlying creative talent.
  • LISTENING is an art.
    • Former hostage negotiator Richard Mullender had the entire audience on the edge of their seats when discussing the most effective ways to listen and to truly understand what someone is saying to you. It’s true that the most effective leaders are great listeners, and  I think this can be applied across all levels. I’m looking forward to applying an array of new tactics to all of my meetings.

And listening to the game changers first hand was for me a large part of the excitement of being on the ground at Ad Week Europe.

That’s a wrap! Until next time, #AWEurope



Posted on April 22, 2016, in The Hit Board. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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