Find Your Creative Muse

So you’re thinking about attending some of the events at the AAF National Conference this week? I can tell you its a great idea because I had my first AAF/Ad 2 conference experience in April and it was awesome.

Jennifer Gammichia, Susan Watts, Lindsey Levy, and myself all made the not-so-far journey over to Tampa for the 4th District AAF Conference: Find Your Creative Muse. I was a bit nervous and wasn’t sure what to expect, what to wear, what to bring and all the other things girls worry about before an event. I was pleasantly surprised by the fun, casual nature of the conference. Everyone was so friendly and willing to exchange ideas. The speakers were excellent as well.

To kick off the conference, Friday’s luncheon speaker was Sally Hogshead and many of us had already taken her personality assessment online to find out our Fascination Score. Currently, I am reading her book and would recommend to anyone looking to make themselves more fascinating.

Now to the stuff you really want to know… what happened Friday night when all of the crazy ad geeks took over Ybor City in Tampa…

Too much booze plus bad singing equals an awesome night of kareoke….

Even our new friends from the US Virgin Islands got in on the act…

Of course, Tiffany couldn’t be out sung and had to represent for her old stomping grounds with some “Chinese Chicken” style kareoke!

Saturday morning was a bit rough, but all of the excellent workshops and speakers made it completely worth getting up for. Murray Izzenwaser from Bitztegra did an eye-opening workshop on social media as a tactic to drive revenue for your client’s business. Our lunch speaker was full of comic relief and insightful ways to reach consumers through non-traditional means. Cal McAllister, from Wexley School for Girls kept the whole room laughing throughout the meal.

Finally, it was time for the district ADDY Awards and we had to clean ourselves up. As you can see we clean up pretty nice.

However, our behavior through dinner wasn’t so nice as we began to find our creative muse through some creative boozing…

And our dinner table decor only improved throughout the evening…

All in all, it was a great experience. I cannot wait for the AAF National Conference this week where I am sure there will be much to learn and much to drink…

If this sounds like its up your alley than please come out with us and the other conference attendees this Friday for A Starry Night Out !

-Amy Mierzwinski


Since my last Ad 2 event, I’ve given up caffeine and carbs. No more coffee and bagels for me for the time being. However, what I have not given up is kicking serious advertising ass and working hard at ECHO Interaction Group. We’re a youngish, newish digital agency right in the heart of Downtown Orlando at the Plaza. We specialize in digital, interactive, social media and multicultural marketing. The company was born at a trade show exactly one year ago. Last weekend, a few of us returned to the advertising motherland, New York City, to attend the Ad:Tech conference as a fully operational entity. Two of the ECHO partners, Carlos Carbonell, Mat Gaver and myself left Orlando on Tuesday afternoon and before I knew it, it was Friday afternoon and were touching back down at MCO.

The Ad:Tech conference was a natural disaster of information, networking and exposure to what the rest of the industry is up to. Walking the show floor was a bit of sensory overload. Exhibitors of all types were showing off their products, services and trade show gimmicks. I wasn’t even sure if some of them knew they were at an advertising conference, but they went all out anyway. Booth Babes? Free Beer? Don’t mind if I do.

The meat and potatoes of the show were the focus sessions and roundtables. We split up and attended as many as we could, presenters included executives from Facebook, CNN, Mazda, Pepsi, Nielsen and some of the biggest and brightest agencies in the land. It was highly educational and interesting to see some of the case studies and projects that have been successfully executed (or not so successfully) on national and international scales. I worked in NYC during the summer before coming back to Orlando to work for ECHO so when the show was over for the day, there were friends to catch up with outside of the Ad:tech sponsored parties (although somehow we made it to those too).

All said, it was an extremely successful and enjoyable trip. We didn’t sleep much, but in New York City, who needs it? I returned with some leads, plenty of industry perspective and a massive appreciation for a quite night sleeping in my own bed.

Jon Miller | Associate Marketing Director
ECHO Interaction Group | |