2011 has been, in many ways, an eventful year for all of us at 22squared. So the opportunity to represent our agency at the iMedia Agency Summit and the 2011 iMedia Agency Awards came as a much-needed experience to network with industry peers and refresh my perspective on the industry landscape. The best part of the experience, however, was having the incredible honor of accepting our award for Best Agency for Social Media.
While it absolutely humbles me to think that just two years ago, I was just a college kid sitting in advertising class, that same thought also invigorates me as I consider just how far I’ve come since then. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to begin my career than at 22squared. As the second hire to come aboard a budding social media department, being honored with an award that declares 22squared as the Best Agency for Social Media speaks volumes not only in regard to how much impact our social team has been able to have on the industry, but also to the agility and innovation of an agency with a rich history in traditional advertising. What excites me the most about 22squared being recognized as a leader in the social media space is that, as a team, we all know that this is only the beginning. The best is, truly, yet to come.
This year’s iMedia Agency Summit was my first iMedia experience, and I must say, the event was very well organized. Here are three things I appreciated most about the event:
1. 1:1 networking sessions coordinated ahead of time. I appreciate it when reps do their homework and try to approach me as an individual, as opposed to just another agency with money to spend. But ultimately, I’m a sucker for efficiency. The quick, 10-minute format for the 1:1 sessions was just the right amount of time to develop rapport and provide information regarding the agency’s needs and the seller’s offerings. Often times at industry events, I’ll end up being conversationally pinned down by a single sales rep that will not let me go. The 1:1 rotating format at the iMedia Agency Summit allowed agency people to be free of any obligatory conversational pressure and instead, get straight to the chase. At the end of the 1:1 sessions, I ended up with a three-inch stack of business cards from various companies, many of which I plan to follow up with in the coming weeks.
2. Seller variety. I’m in the middle of my transition from a strategist working purely in the social space, to one who works across digital as a whole to ensure cohesion and connectedness among brand experiences. Throughout this process, I’ve been introduced to all sorts of technology companies. As someone whose role it is to act as a strategic bridge among the various departments within our agency, the variety of sellers—from mobile ad networks, to location-based behavioral targeting, to cloud-based creative optimization—present at the iMedia Agency Summit allowed me to immerse myself in many different sectors of the digital advertising landscape.
3. Collaboration among buyers and sellers. This event truly brought both sides together. There was a sense of mutual appreciation among buyers and sellers that pervaded the entire event. This collaborative atmosphere isn’t promoted enough in the industry, and the folks at iMedia Connection deserve much appreciation and respect for the types of relationships they’re striving to foster among agencies and vendors. It’s apparent they understand the importance of developing strategic partnerships among sellers and agencies, and I applaud them for all the hard work they put into organizing the iMedia Agency Summit.
I didn’t even go into how beautiful the resort was, or how decadent and lavish the receptions were, because content and business opportunities are much more important when evaluating events like this. I’d definitely consider attending more iMedia events and wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to recommend it to any of my peers. Be sure to check out iMedia’s upcoming summits.