One of my life’s greatest developments in recent years has been the annual treck to Ney York City for Advertising Week: a 5 day “gathering of cutting edge communications leaders.” It really is an event like no other. While there are tons of seminars and speaker series, there is an almost equal number of social events, making it a great way to spend a week in the city while stimulating your mind and your party bug.
One of the greatest things about Advertising Week is its accessibility. We always talk about the new generation being the future, but advertising has this funny way of making things very inneccessible due to cost. Awards. Seminars. Professional Training. All of it costs hundreds. And we sit and wait, hoping the agency will shell out the cost of the seat. And they rarely do, at least not for those of us not running the ship. Luckily with Advertising Week, us “youngn’s” can actually attend. And we are grateful. The speaker series cover such an aray of topics and are filled with such forward thinking minds that you can’t help but leave completely enthralled.
A couple sessions I’m particularly excited for this year are “Marketing Green Without Greenwashing” and “Under the Tent: Inside the Cirque de Soleil Creative Laboratory” – see what I mean, huge diversity of topics. Plus, a personal favourite bonus: the panelists actually debate points and, dare I say it, argue with each other. No one holds back. Nothing is sugar coated. You get honest points of view.
And of course, the social committe at Advertising week is bar none one of the greatest out there. We have never been a party where we had less than the kind of riotuss fun you’d have at a friend’s 25th birthday bash. Seriously. And what makes it so great isn’t just the amazing venues (Times Square, anyone?) or the amazing entertainment (Eve, a must see) but the fantastic people that are out. Everyone comments on how friendly Canadians are, but how couldn’t we be? Every year, we are welcome to AdWeek with open arms. My first year there we got into the opening night concert because someone showed the door people his pass then shouted “they’re from Canada”…and we got in. Last year, we were taken to a cigar bar and offered cigars from a private box. Honestly, the hospitality we receive far exceeds expectations.
So in short, this house loves Advertising Week.
As an added bonus, this year’s Ad Week will be our second outing to NYC in the same month. We’ll be headed down for Fashion’s Night Out September 10th, but more on that later. For now, I will leave you with my absolute favourite NYC must sees.
1. Ninth Street Espresso : their store down the street from our rented apartment serves the best coffee, and the Tompkins Square dog park across the street means that I start my morning with caffeen and adorable puppies.
2. Back Fourty : unbelievably delicious southern-style food. The service staff could stand next to me and spew insults for the duration of the meal and I’d still eat here. Luckily, the staff is also fantastic.
[no picture : too busy eating]
3. FAO Schwarts : this place is like heaven for me. And the massive candy store? The cherry on top of the big old chocolate sundae living up in the clouds of heaven. (And don’t you dare sit there and act like you haven’t always wanted to run across that piano.)
6. Central Park : From the boats to the zoo, this is a place that will make you feel youthful and thrilled to be alive. The energy in that park, day or night (we once stumbled into a dance party) is like no other.
7. Bakeries : I’ll track down a cupcake wherever I can find it. Then I’ll buy it. Then I’ll eat it. It’s very simple.
8. Something New : no trip to NYC is complete without a random adventure. From Coney Island to massive flea markets, the city is so full of amazing and diverse things, you’d be missing too much if you planned a trip start to finish.