AdForum Worldwide Summit: What’s on the NYC schedule
by Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) NEW YORK CITY: On Saturday, I arrived in the Big Apple for the 2013 AdForum Worldwide Summit New York City, 6-11 October, a “by-invitation-only” programme for agency search and management consultants and global agency CEOs. Our role is to listen, ask questions and keep ourselves informed about what the agencies are doing to identify and embrace new trends, to give feedback and to bring our news back to our home countries to share with our clients and agencies there.
The week coming up is probably the fullest agenda that I’ve seen since I first came on one of these summits some six years ago!
We are seeing all of the holding company CEOs, either in person or via video conference, as the big issue under debate this year is the Ominicom/Publicis merger and what the industry thinks about it and broader implications.
The other big theme this week is shopper marketing – the last mile. Very topical, and our quest is to discover what agencies are doing about it.
On Sunday, after a few hours of leisure and time to look at New York (and catch up on some work, as well), we met in the evening at the hotel with all of the consultants so that AdForum could preview the week with us.
Day 1 on Monday — always the first of a stimulating five days of discussion and this will be no different — looks like this:
8am: Meeting at hotel with AdForum and the 40 other consultants coming in from all over the world
9.15am: Breakfast session with MediaCom CEO Sash Savic at MediaCom
11.15am-1.15pm: Lunch with Grey Group Worldwide CEO Jim Heekin
1.45-2.30pm: A perspective on shopper marketing with Aidan Tracey, president of Acosta Mosaic Group
2.30-3pm: Panel discussion on shopper marketing: agency reviews
3.15-3.45pm: Mars CEO Ken Barnett
3.45-4.15pm: Creative Realities International CEO Paul Price
4.15-6.15pm: Maxus CEO Lindsay Pattison
7pm: Dinner hosted by Huge CEO Aaron Shapiro
And we will be finished (literally) by about 10pm — that’s a 14-hour working day, from start to finish! I’ll make sure to do my summary of the day before I fall into bed on Monday night.
The position of our hotel, between 5th and 6th Avenues on 38th Street, makes it the ideal spot to start each day of meetings at ad agencies. AdForum always tries to select hotels which represent the new trends in New York, and the Refinery is no exception. A new hotel created in New York’s garment district, it has been renovated from the old Colony Arcade Skyscraper. It is brand new and surrounded by small interesting shops and diners, the shops often being in the garment and accessories trade – heaven!
Autumn is also only just starting in New York; it has enjoyed a late summer and New Yorkers are still in summer clothing and all looking quite relaxed. The government shutdown does not appear to be affecting daily New York life, although it is early days.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at #adforumsummit
PS Arriving in New York on Saturday morning after a 17-hour flight was, as always, an exhilarating experience. Kennedy Airport was at its most efficient (whereas last year they were on a go-slow), and more than 300 passengers went through immigration (finger prints et al) within 40 minutes of landing. Impressive.
— Currently MD of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS), Johanna McDowell has been in marketing and advertising since 1974, with experience both on the agency and client side of the fence. She held directorships in South African and British ad agencies until being appointed MD of Grey Phillips Advertising in 1988; and built Integrated Communications, a PR-driven marketing communications company that went from zero base in 1991 to an R8-million-fee turnover by December 2004.
After graduating in marketing and business studies, Johanna’s experience spanned large corporates, including UK and SA banking, manufacturing and retail, along with a 15-year stint in two of the largest ad agencies in SA and in a medium-sized agency in the UK. As such, she is well-placed to offer commentary on marketing and advertising from a local and international perspective. Follow her on Twitter at @jomcdowell.