At Direct Agents, we foster professional growth through dynamic learning experiences. By attending external conferences, our employees are able to grow their industry knowledge, learn directly from industry leaders, and improve their networking skills on a greater scale.
Fall 2022 presented many diverse learning opportunities for the Direct Agents team. Members from both our New York and LA offices attended some of the largest industry summits across the country, including Indeed FutureWorks, Digiday Media Buying Summit, Adweek, Amazon unBoxed, and YPO EDGE.
We asked our team to share some of their top takeaways from each summit. Here are their responses!
Indeed FutureWorks (New York, NY; October 12th-13th)
Indeed FutureWorks is an annual thought leadership conference that aims to improve the world of work through cross-industry collaboration and insights.
- Recruitment Strategy: Each speaker we listened to at Indeed FutureWorks emphasized the importance of implementing “fair chance” recruiting and non-traditional recruitment strategies. This means assigning much greater value to culture and diverse perspectives than a candidate’s credentials on paper.
- Team Collaboration: We had the amazing opportunity to hear Ryan Reynolds, award-winning actor, writer, producer and entrepreneur, present as this year’s keynote speaker. He said the most life-changing advice he could give when it comes to collaborating and working with others, is to focus less on the win or outcome and more on learning about the people on your team.
- DEI Focus: We attended the session on season 2 of Rising Voices, Indeed’s initiative that celebrates films created by Black, Indigenous, and BIPOC storytellers. The presentation – and Rising Voices in general – recognizes the different experiences of various identity groups in a workplace and highlights the value of diverse perspectives. As DEI is central to Direct Agents’ core values, this session strongly resonated with us.
Digiday Media Buying Summit (Palm Springs, CA; October 12th-14th)
The Digiday Media Buying Summit brings together leaders from the marketing and technology industries to discuss trends, themes, and leadership insights with agency professionals.
- Data & Measurement: Moving forward, data will no longer be able to tell the entire story of the marketing impact due to more data privacy regulations. Marketers will need to be comfortable with the fact that not everything will be directly attributable, and there will be no one perfect data source. Focus may need to shift to attention metrics.
- Automation: There will always be a need for humans in the industry, but the role of automation is to remove tedious manual tasks required to maintain ad campaigns from humans so that more team members have the space to think strategically.
- The New Consumer: There is no going back to the pre-pandemic consumer. Social and political unrest are major factors that shape the new normal. As marketers, it is important to find what motivates your consumer and how that has changed in the last few years.
AdWeek (New York, NY; October 17th-20th)
Advertising Week is a global marketing and communications summit that brings together leaders and innovators from across the marketing, advertising, technology, and culture industries. This year’s event centered around “Celebrating the Confluence of Culture, Commerce, and Creativity.”
- Leadership: Although not a new concept, one of the biggest takeaways from AdWeek was hearing executives stress that empathy is one of the most powerful leadership qualities and something every company should strive to install within their company culture.
- Industry Perspective: It’s important to take a step back from your day-to-day work every once in a while and tune into the macro views of this industry – whether that be by attending a conference, communicating with other personnel in the industry, etc. Listening to the conversation that CMO’s, CCO’s, and other executives of powerhouse brands are having can provide new perspectives on the ever changing digital landscape and teach you ways to improve your own business strategy.
- Women in the Workforce: I loved hearing from women leaders in the advertising field as it provided me with a greater perspective in terms of company culture on the personal impact I can have in the workplace. It reinforced the importance of lifting up both myself and other women in the industry and revealed next steps that I can take to break the glass ceiling.
Amazon unBoxed (New York, NY; October 25th-27th)
The Amazon unBoxed conference is composed of a series of keynotes lectures, immersive breakout sessions, hands-on demos, and networking opportunities. Attendees hear firsthand about new Amazon products and tips to improve their Amazon strategies from leaders in the business.
- Testing: Although this was not necessarily a new concept, the majority of speakers at unBoxed urged their audiences to prioritize testing when working with different tools and ad types. It was recommended that advertisers use measurement tools and metrics in addition to ROAS (ex NTB%) to show brands the overall impact of multi-media strategy.
- Recession Tactics: As recessions are often caused by different reasons, marketers cannot compare them directly and should consider the possibility of buying intent. That being said, customers will be less brand loyal and more price conscious as a result of the current recession, so marketers should take advantage of the lower spend of their competitors.
- SBV Best Practices: Some SBV best practices are keeping your message clear and focused, building an emotional connection with your audience through visuals, and showcasing quick product demonstrations to increase engagement.
YPO Edge (New York, NY; November 2nd-4th)
YPO Edge is the largest premier event for CEOs across global industries. The event serves as an opportunity to engage in conversation about collaboration, business strategy, leadership, and communal progress.
- Qualities for Success: We had the opportunity to hear Eileen Gu, olympic gold medalist and freestyle skier, talk about fearlessness and resilience. She shared that you sometimes have to be fearless when confronting challenges. There is opportunity in adversity, and it is ok to step outside of your comfort zone in the pursuit of success.
- Preparedness & Innovation: Another guest speaker–clinical professor of marketing at the New York University Stern School of Business and acclaimed author Scott Galloway–encouraged the audience to look for high growth areas in a fast-paced economy and prepare yourself for change. Leaders should constantly look to innovate and add value in their business relationships.
- Reaching Goals: Author of Atomic Habits, James Clear, discussed the importance of setting up micro goals in order to achieve larger milestones. The end goal should not always be the focal point, but rather the daily steps necessary to reach it should be.
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