Lessons Learned Live: A Look at Events That Inspire Us

Conferences and industry events are some of the best incubators of ideas and innovation. Not only do they encourage learning and networking, but they also provide a platform for people from different places and professions to come together and collaborate under one roof.

At Banfield, we look at conferences from both sides of the stage. On the one hand, Banfielders have attended many marketing communications seminars and trainings over the years, and always come back with new ideas to improve our craft. On the other, we are also in the business of creating summits and tradeshows for our clients of all sizes and sectors, and are always on the hunt for new presentation tools and engagement tactics to add to our services.

With these two roles in mind, we have assembled a selection of events that our team has attended and drawn inspiration from. For each of them, we have highlighted the theme or tactic that had the biggest impact on our work. We hope they will have one on yours too!

99U – Workshops help make ideas happen

Created to empower the global creative community, the 99U Conference brings together some of the world’s most productive visionaries to provide road-tested insights on how to make ideas happen.

A key feature of the event is that it lets attendees spend a significant part of their time every day in group problem-solving workshops. This active learning portion of the conference perfectly compliments the main stage speaker presentations, and gives everyone the opportunity to put theory into practice — leading to deeper engagement and longer lasting learning.

C2MTL – Build better businesses with brain dates

This immersive three-day event brings together commerce and creativity to explore major shifts on the horizon. Created by Sid Lee and Cirque du Soleil, C2MTL inspires 5,000 executives from across the globe to transform the way they do business.

Our team’s favourite element this year? The brain dates. Throughout the conference, attendees were able to set up “dates” with other C2ers in various locations and contraptions. Want perspective on a business problem? Try meeting suspended in the air. Want someone’s honest opinion? Have a close conversation with them while walking in the rain under a pink umbrella.

AdobeMAX – Head to the lab to stay ahead

AdobeMAX is known as the premier international creativity conference, holding a mashup of over 9,000 of the world’s top creatives who come together to learn, share, create, connect and play.

Let’s face it: big ideas matter, but craft is just as important. AdobeMAX not only features the big picture sessions that spark concepts — it also offers labs to develop the practical skills to bring them to life. With 90-minute hands-on technical training labs on new hardware and software, attendees walk away with the ability to add more concrete value to their day-to-day output.

IABC World Conference – Promoting process pays off

The IABC World Conference is a long-standing professional development event designed for communication practitioners. Drawing 1,200 attendees from around the world, the event features speakers selected through a peer-reviewed process conducted by top experts in the field.

From our perspective, what is most refreshing about the event is its focus on process. Each presentation is constructed to align with the IABC Global Standard and demonstrate a logical flow from research to strategy to execution to measurement. When every other conference aims to inspire ideas, it is nice to see that methodology and results are still valued.

Marcom Ottawa – Think globally, network locally

Established in 2005, Marcom is an educational forum for public and not-for-profit sector marketers and communicators taking place every year in Canada’s National Capital Region.

The nature of our work pushes us to always reach for better and better results, on a bigger and bigger stage. But that kind of national and international success can only happen with a strong local foundation. For Ottawa industry professionals, Marcom is the event where we can build the relationships and support system we need to achieve objectives — and that is why we have been involved with the event for many years!

Want to hear more of our insights from the conferences we attend? Are you looking to create a show-stopping event for your own organization? Connect with us and we would be happy to help!

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