One of the amazing benefits of the Festival of Creativity are the auxiliary events that occur everyday in tandem to the seminars. Unfortunately, this scheduling conflict can sometimes make it difficult to know which events to attend but the networking opportunities are well worth it.
Through out the week I attended an array of networking events and visited a variety of locations to take in the scenes. By far there was one event and one location I found the most valuable: @TheGirl’sLounge and The Carlton. Both of these provided very different experiences and I enjoyed each.
The Ipsos Girl’s Lounge at Hotel Martinez was an amazing experience because it gave me the opportunity to meet high level executives in a relaxed environment. Upon entering the room, you immediately felt a sense of sisterhood which made it comfortable for you to speak to anyone in the room. I am 100% confident that many of the friendships which were ignited at the The Ipsos Girl’s Lounge will flourish into strong friendships in the future. I was very grateful and humbled to be allowed to take part in the experience.
The Carlton Hotel is a more intimidating networking environment but it is well worth it if you are able to stay up late nights. Through my past professional experiences I have learned that you never know who you might meet at the most random places. On average, people arrive to the Carlton between 10pm and 12am to meet with friends. As a student coming into this environment, I had to force my way into conversations but also had no problem doing so as I wanted to maximize the opportunity of being in the room with such power industry leaders. The first day I visited the Carlton I met an older advertising executive who took it upon himself to introduce me to top level executives at various advertising company’s. The upside to this scenario is not only did I get a soft introduction, but the next time I saw the same execs I was able to approach on my own. Naturally, they introduced me to other people within their circle.
In closing, when you attend an event of this caliber, the auxiliary/networking events are just as important at the main festival. Any person taking part in a festival like this should not be afraid to introduce themselves to any business executive, and should always stay in contact post-festival to keep their contacts fresh.