GLOBAL CREATIVE CONFERENCE
How can we bridge the gap between emerging creatives and the industry?
Creative Direction Advertising
Founder/Host: Daiki Shinomiya
Creative Strategist: Leoni Fretwell
Branding: The New Kid Collective
Project Management: Felipe Melhado
125 Sign-ups. 18 Countries. 5 Continents.
1 Global Conference
Uniting students and emerging creatives in the midst of the pandemic
With the pandemic pushing everyone online, we recognized an opportunity to connect and re-inspire creatives globally.
We wanted to run a virtual event that would bring together students from around the world and help bridge the gap between emerging creatives and the industry, regardless of their background or degree – the only barrier is an internet connection.
I was especially motivated to make the creative industries more accessible to students like myself who do not attend traditionally "creative" or art universities.
Student opportunities in the creative industries are often limited to students who are enrolled in art-related degrees, and I wanted to change that.
The original format for the conference was a two-day virtual conference covering pressing topics in the advertising, design and film industries. However, as this was our first times organising a virtual event of this size, we decided to scale down and focus on three key events.
Among the initial event ideas included:
Live brainstorm workshops where attendees work collaboratively on a creative brief for an NGO
Networking workshops for a post-pandemic industry
Non-traditional entry into the creative industry
Game shows with creative quizzes
Live pitch events
Engaging panel discussions
The primary objective for any event was to make it as interactive and engaging as possible. We aimed to revitalize the current saturation of video content by emphasizing interaction over one-way speech.
In the end, we decided to run with a panel discussion of filmmakers, a live pitch event, and a speed networking session.
LIVE PITCH EVENT
Pitching skills and side-hustle (side project) development are crucial for emerging creatives. This event enabled three emerging creatives to pitch their side hustle ideas to a panel of industry-leading judges for their feedback and insights.
This event focused on courage, understanding of self-worth, and metacognition – attributes especially important for these creatives.
In the end, we secured Nicole Yershon (Founder of NY Collective and Ogilvy Labs), Dan Bennett (Consulting Director of Ogilvy Behavioural Sciences) and Bernard Yee (Asia Pacific & Canada Regional President of AT&T) to be judges for the panel.
FILM PANEL DISCUSSION
With the pandemic disrupting the film industry, we wanted to host a discussion between filmmakers from different industries and stages of their careers exploring the impacts of the pandemic and the future of film.
We secured inspirational filmmakers including Sam Bennett, Kristen Brancaccio, Simeon Costello, Madi Boll and Alex Qian,
Collaborating with industry-leading speakers to inspire a global student audience
Through the networks and friendships I have built over the past 2 years living in the UK, I ended up meeting Nicole Yershon, founder of NY Collective and Ogilvy Labs – thank you, John Harvey!
I was extremely fortunate to be supported by Nicole from an early stage of the conference, who helped bring onboard Dan Bennett, the Consulting Director of Ogilvy Behavioural Sciences UK. We even garnered interest from Rory Sutherland, who was unfortunately already booked for another conference at the same time.
We also brought onboard Bernard Yee, the Asia Pacific and Canada Regional President of AT&T.
Pitch decks were crucial in conveying the necessary information in a concise manner. These were made in Figma, using some elements from Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
I quickly realised why students do not often run global virtual events – it's a lot of admin. However, I was able to effectively organise the necessary documentation to make the onboarding process for speakers as smooth and streamlined as possible.
Liaising with and organising speakers spread across 4 time zones was made easier using tools like Moleskine Studio's Overlap, Google Calendar and Calendly.
Onboarding forms allowed me to get all the necessary information (such as speaker bios and video links for the filmmakers) in one go.
Event outline PDFs sent to the speakers prior to the conference let them have everything they needed to know all in one place, from joining instructions to the structure of the event.
Tools like Figma and Microsoft Forms were vital to these processes.
With less than a month to market the conference, we decided to stick with a predominantly Instagram-focused marketing strategy.
By outreaching to like-minded creatives around the world, we were able to build a mini-network of students to help spread the word of the event.
Bright, eye-catching graphics helped sell the event and give it a professional look. We wanted to convey to students that this was an event organised entirely by students, while also demonstrating a level of professionalism to any professionals and interested speakers.
In just two, we had 125 sign-ups from emerging creatives across 5 continents.
I was extremely proud of this as the event was made independently and entirely from scratch.
Despite this being my first ever virtual event, the graphics and promotion boosted professionalism and made it less like a student-run event.
THE LIVE EVENT
Hosting and moderating live discussions from speakers across 4 timezones
My previous public speaking skills and workshop experience was invaluable in ensuring a smooth conference and encouraging engaging discussions between the speakers.
Constantly pushing the limits
I never could have envisioned how this event would've turned out, much less with over 100 sign-ups.
I am proud of what I achieved with this conference, bringing onboard speakers I admire and inspiring many emerging creatives around the world.
Truly grateful to everyone involved for making this project a reality.