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The Student Ad Summit was fantastic.  My only qualm is I never attended before!  A major hands down to the volunteers who devoted so much time to the event, you all did an excellent job.  In case you couldn’t make the event or are curious about my experience, here’s a blow-by-blow recap of the day.

Breakout session 1 – Lisa McEllistrem, VP/Management Supervisor, Periscope

“The Changing Roles of Marketers: The Super AE”

Key Points:

  • Periscope – 240 employees, tagline = “We wrap more talent, more tightly, around our clients’ brands.”
  • Account executives need to be an advocate for both their client and their agency
  • Be inquisitive, have an insatiable curiosity and stay on top of the curve
  • Don’t be afraid to bring big ideas to the table, you are valuable
  • Don’t write a creative brief in 30 minutes, they take time
  • Come at problems at a different angle, advertising is about building relationships, not just putting ads on tv
  • Favorite tweeters: @TEDnews, @gapingvoid, @jtwinsor, @cliffbot

Breakout session 2 – John Jarvis, Managing Partner/Chief Creative Officer, The Lacek Group

Great Power, Great Responsibility: Becoming an Agency CEO

Key Points:

  • John’s had 10 jobs in 27 years – don’t worry about your first job being perfect, you will move
  • Read Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company – learn to love the world of business
  • The Lacek Group specializes in Loyalty Marketing, owned by Ogilivy
  • Don’t be a motormouth, develop your listening skills
  • Be able to think like a client, interact with them as must as possible
  • Remember, at the end of the day it’s just advertising

Breakout session 3 – Jodi Grundyson, Director of Brand & Retail Strategy, Sara Nelson, Design Director, KNOCK, inc.

People Do Judge  Book by its Cover: Branding & Packaging – *My favorite presentation! I have major appreciation for great design.

Key Points:

  • KNOCK is a branding and design firm, they’ve created awesome packaging for a variety of consumer goods and have worked extensively with Target
  • Create brand stories
  • Subtlety is nice
  • Let your clients be the experts they are

Keynote Speakers: Bob Ballard, VP/Management Supervisor & Charlie Callahan, VP/Executive Creative Director, Periscope

Key Points:

  • Be a simplifier not a complicator
  • We (advertisers) solve business problems, if you want art get a loft
  • Manage the jobs that aren’t hot so you can manage the ones that are
  • Don’t shove things around (when making changes), make them better
  • Focus on the important, don’t get distracted by things that aren’t

Cool people I met during lunch and networking roundtables:

Periscope Agency Tour

The Summit wrapped up with agency tours and a portfolio review session.  I was lucky enough to score an agency tour at Periscope. The thing that sets them apart from all the other agencies I’ve visited is the ability to do almost all their work in-house. They have a full photo studio and printing center. On our tour the photo team was doing a shoot involving grilled fish so the whole place smelt like salmon.  Periscope also has lots of cute dogs, definitely a fun atmosphere to work in.

Final Thoughts

Despite the reality of seeing hundreds of other cutthroat students trying to land a job, just like I am, overall the Ad Summit was uplifting.  Sometimes I question if advertising is for me but when I attend events like this and get excited by great creative and friendly professionals I know advertising is where I want to be.  Despite the bad job market nearly every professional I’ve met has been friendly and willing to help. That says a lot about the Twin Cities ad community.

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Still have not posted pictures.  I’m working on it.  It has been a crazy hectic week but I have some thoughts to share:

1) I’m extremely greatful for the thriving Ad/PR/Marketing/Interactive community in the Twin Cities. I cannot express enough gratitude for the kind people I have met through AdFed, Ad2 and MIMA.

2) I’m extremely excited for tomorrow’s Student Ad Summit. Wish it were here at St. Thomas instead of the U (my bias of course) but it’s going to be a huge day. Major problem will be deciding which breakout sessions to attend.

3) I have secured a free  copy of Seth Godin’s Linchpin and cannot wait to read it.  My Aunt donated to the charity Acumen and received a free copy of the book. As a thank you from Seth she just received a second copy, for free, and was kind enough to pass it along to me. He is a marketing genius! I love good causes.

4) I officially signed up for the Susan G. Komen 3-day. I’ll be walking 60 miles and raising $2,300+ for breast cancer research. Looking forward to the experience and will be posting my fundraising site soon.

5) Time to go to bed. I’m getting up at 5:30 to get ready for the Ad Summit tomorrow and pack for my V-day trip to Mankato.

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