Your survival guide to Advertising Week 2014

celtra_logo_updated-black-(1)smallThis is the first installment in a series exploring Advertising Week. This series is sponsored by Celtra, provider of the first cross-screen HTML5 technology for brand advertising.

BeroccaIt’s here. Advertising Week — four whole days of panel discussions, schmoozing and parties — begins today. But how do you survive without being too sick, sober or sorry? We’re here to help.

Don’t pretend to know it all
Many people approach Advertising Week with an attitude so strong you can feel it all the across the room at B. B. King’s. “You don’t know shit,” said Pat Lafferty, CEO of BBH North America. “OK, you know some things, but you don’t know it all. Be open to new ideas and new people.”

Don’t try to do it all, either
Many Advertising Week attendees approach the event like an American Ninja Warrior course: do it all, and do it fast, even if that means you just hit everything superficially and learn nothing. A good tip is to spend some time figuring out what you want to go to. Gina Grillo, president and CEO of the AD Club of New York, said to curl up with the guidebook or the online calendar and map out your own strategy. “Plan in advance and think, who do you need to connect with? What subject matter interests you? What looks like a fun time?” she said. “I promise if you read through the agenda all those questions will be answered and in some cases multiple times.”

Essentials include Berocca and whiskey
When asked what his one survival tip for the week was, KBS New York’s new co-president, Jonah Bloom, said, “Two words. Flask. Glenfiddich.” Deutsch Los Angeles chief creative officer Pete Favat added Berocca to the list. We would also add breath mints. Stacy Elliott, senior director marketing and strategy at Microsoft, also packs Splenda away for breakfast meetings. “And pick-me-up coffees throughout the day.”

You don’t always have to be at panels
Elliott said that The Times Center lobby is the best place to network. “Everyone who is anyone makes their way through there,” she said. And networking is key: “You’ll have to wait till next year to get all these people in the same place at the same time. It’s one of the reasons I love Advertising Week.”

Carry a tote bag — and your reading glasses
“There’s always free goodies at Advertising Week,” said Elliott. “But where to find them is different every year, equivalent to a treasure hunt.”

Image by Pete Favat

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