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Should You Be Excited for Advertising Week?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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The infamous Advertising Week in New York is October 3–7th, and with the 200 and some events, it will try its best to not disappoint. Have you registered yet?

Events like this are difficult to plan for. Take a step back and think about last year's Advertising Week; what topics or discussions happened that helped move the advertising industry forward? What "best practices" did you add to your portfolio to produce the best strategy or creative for your client or brand? What new or different idea just blew your mind? Anything? Hopefully something did.

Advertising Week has the potential to be the marquee event for any creative professional. The minds it gathers are unquestionably the "thought leaders" of the industry. It is easy to see where the creativity gets its spark, but through the posturing, the pomp and circumstance, the hyperbolic statements, and silly predictions (the year of mobile, circa 2008), sometimes reaping the benefits of events like this is hard work. Will this year's Advertising Week prove to be something worth attending?

At first take at the schedule, the answer looks promising. It picked up Creative Week's panel about minority recruiting, with Goodby and TBWA/Chiat/Day (Tuesday). It has a discussion about LGBT awareness as well as developing young creative talent. Monday looks to be focused around metrics and research (and it has a panel featuring Arianna Huffington, a personal favorite).

There will also be a panel about agencies being run like tech/startup companies, a topic that has been gaining momentum this year. As the agency revenue model continues to shift to something different, the industry and its leaders are feverishly trying to figure out the best "something different" model.

I guess what is most important to consider are the action items that come out of the week. What will be announced, discussed, and argued that the industry can act upon? Will there be a blueprint released for the next agency model? A call for the abolishment of agency model blueprints? How will we in the agency world tackle pitch compensation? We all talk about it, but is Advertising Week the time we get together and create a Madison Ave Manifesto, declaring a value for pitched work? I'd love an answer. 

Instead of making this a week to simply network and party (which can always be done) let's make sure Advertising Week accomplishes its goal of getting a bunch of smart people in a room and forming a cool idea that can be implemented for the good of the group. Regulators are breathing down the industry's neck and consumer groups are constantly shooting fire at us; let's make Advertising Week a chance  to regroup, sharpen our aim, and answer our critics.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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