FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week Toronto: Hello 2015!



If you’re anything like me getting into a work-ready state of mind after the holiday break takes a while. Though the break was only a couple weeks, cold wether makes the mornings rough and commute particularly painful. 

Maybe we all just need a little push of inspiration…

I find conferences to be an excellent point of motivation. Aside from the potential of new learnings the ongoing discussion stimulates the mind and awakens creativity – and yes, whichever title you might hold in the industry ideation kick starts a healthy progress forward.

In Toronto the year always starts with FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week (January 26-30), a full week conference featuring talks by global thought leaders, luncheons, and evening events.

The Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA) has curated an excellent line up of over 40 talks, half-day events, and evening activities on topics ranging from big data and Internet to branding, design, start-ups and tech giants, social media and education. There is something from everyone regardless of the niche and more than a handful of reasons to attend.

Here are my top 3 picks for each day and you can see the full schedule/register for events here.

January 26, 2015

8-10AM Opening Breakfast: Kevin Newman, Correspondent and Co-Host, W5/fill-in Anchor, CTV NATIONAL NEWS, reflects on storytelling in a digital world.

12-2PM Opening Lunch: Is the Internet the Answer? Debating its Future Influence on Marketing and our Lives.

4-5:30PM Yahoo Canada Speaker Series: From selfies to cinemagraphs: The new content marketing (Yahoo + Tumblr) run by Justin Scott, VP of Brand Strategy at Tumblr AND #Special1s Campaign Case Study run by Richard Stanley, Director, Head of Marketing Services and Creative Services.

January 27, 2015

8-1PM 2015 Change Makers Conference: half day event showcasing innovative social marketing and public sector campaigns. Stephen Dubner, author of Freakonomics and Think Like a Freak, is the keynote speaker.

9-10AM Morning Master Series: Brand Concepts as Representations of Human Values presented by Sergio W. Carvalho, Associate Professor of Marketing Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University.

11:30-12:30PM Applied Arts Session: Going Steady: Successful Client- Creative Agency Relationships. Moderated by Will Novosedlik from Applied Arts, panelists: – Aaron Starkman, Creative Director of Rethink and Molsons, Matt Hassell, Chief Creative Officer of kbs+ Toronto and The Keg, Diti Katona, Chief Creative Officer & Founding Partner of Concrete Design Communication.

January 28, 2015

9-10AM Morning Master Series: Building Brands in a world of Customer Centricity

Partnership Group Session presented by Alan Middleton, Executive Director, Executive Education Centre, and Assistant Professor, Schulich School of Business, York University.

12:30-1:30PM Mintel Session: The Millennial Consumer: Understanding How Brands and Media Can Connect, an interactive session presented by Jason Praw, Head of Canadian Research at Mintel.

1-2PM Twitter Canada Session: 140 Characters and Beyond: Exploring the Power of a Tweet featuring case studies from Target, Rogers and Mondelēz.

January 29, 2015

9-10AM Morning Master Series: Mining Consumer-Generated Product Reviews to Automate Market Structure Analysis hosted by Xin “Shane” Wang is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Ivey Business School, Western University.

2:30-3:30 Sharethrough Session: Native Advertising: Is it the Answer to Driving Engagement on Mobile? – a look at the various ways for monitoring content.

4-5PM Google Speaker Series: How to Delight Users and Drive Business with Mobile presented by Adam Green from Google Canada’s Agency team.

BONUS: 8-12AM Ad Ball: Graffiti themed Ad Ball hosted by Yahoo Canada who will transform Uniun nightclub into vibrant urban space mixing traditional elements with the unexpected.

January 30, 2015

9-10AM Morning Master Series: Starting A StartUp: Theory and Practice moderated by Prof. Ken Wong, panelists: David Kincaid, Founder, Level 5 Strategy Group and Bram Warshafsky, Founder and Partner, 5Crowd.

10:30-11:30AM Visible Measures Session: Mastering Adaptive Marketing addressing the issues surrounding adoptive marketing.

12-2PM The Globe and Mail Closing Lunch: Susan Krashinsky, advertising and marketing reporter for The Globe and Mail, in conversation with Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather, New York – enough said.

See you all there!