#FFWD2015: Advertising & Marketing Week Canada

The world refers to us Canadians as polite. That’s a good generalization to have for a nation but what I’ve been noticing over the last few years is that we are more modest than we are polite. Toronto is the culture capital of Canada, bravely compared to the Big Apple but when you contrast the two Toronto is shy of the fame and the glory that New York boldly throws into everybody’s face.

This modesty applies to the advertising and marketing industry alike. Although this city, this country, is jam-packed with creative and strategic talent we don’t shout about our events, our award shows or successes.

It is time to start inviting the world to our conferences and industry events. A good place to start is Advertising Week which in Canada happens during the Winter, January 28 – February 1. This year AWC has expended their horizons: enter Advertising & Marketing Week 2013, organization’s fifth anniversary year conference appropriately re-branded to as Fast Forward Advertising Week.

The organizers of FFWD, Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA), made it their mission to embrace and drive change in the industry. Including marketing into the mix was a reflection on the changes within and the rapidly evolving business world in which advertising lives. The idea is to not only showcase industry’s best, offer a highlight of new ideas, but also to inspire discussion and create awareness of the business-building impact that advertising has on the economy.

Last year the notable speaker was David Droga of Droga5, NYC, this year the ICA has invited Rory Sutherland, executive creative director and vice-chair of Ogilvy One, UK, to drive the boat into the mystic forest.

Sutherland’s speech, entitled “The Next Revolution in Advertising Will Be Psychological, Not Technological”, will expand on his theories in regards to technological progress. He argues that technological progress will slow down in the next few years giving way to neurological and behavioral insights as key influencers of communication strategies. Needless to say this speech is built to be a good start to a week of varied activities.

The rest of the conference events will include international keynote speakers, seminars, panel presentations, networking events, the Globe & Mail Cannes reel screening, CASSIES awards, the annual Ad Ball gala as well as the Next Generation Day, a student free-for-all from my previous experience. The speaker series will feature presentations from Yahoo! Canada, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, Toronto Star, Google, and MDC Partners discussing multiscreen advertising, consumer insights, and cross-platform measurement strategies among other topics.

Whether you are in it to learn, to network, to get inspired, or to just get out of the office for a day FFWD is one of those events that will benefit anyone who works in or aspires to make a career in advertising and marketing.

The bottom line is educated industry begins with educated individuals and there is only so much we can learn by reading the Internet.

To find more information, schedules and tickets visit www.advertisingweek.ca.

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