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Your first time at Advertising Week? Here’s what you need to know.

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

 

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You’ve booked your travel. Your hotel is lined up. You’ve reserved your delegate badge. Now you’re counting down the days until you land in the Big Apple to experience what is one of New York’s most exciting (and exhausting) week-long adventures: Advertising Week.

 

Any seasoned Advertising Week attendee can tell you that this week is not for the faint of heart. It’s four solid days of non-stop stimulation in the form of sessions, thought leadership, networking, brand activations, events, parties, and so much more! And for first time attendees, it can be downright overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together an “insider’s guide” to help you tackle Advertising Week before your plane ever touches down at JFK.

 

Here are a few tips to make sure you make the most out of your first trip to Advertising Week. 

1. Rest up

This may sound obvious, but there’s a reason why people refer to New York as the city that never sleeps. That’s because the city never really shuts down. But that same rule doesn’t necessarily apply to you. During Adveristing Week sleep is essential. Start your week off right by getting a solid 8 hours or whatever amount keeps you at the top of your game. Arrive a day early, order in a nice meal, take a bubble bath, and hop into a bed at a decent hour. Your body will thank you when Monday rolls around.

2. Plan, plan, plan

There is no shortage of things to do during Advertising Week. With over 200 sessions, nearly 300 events, and 90,000 attendees to occupy your day, there will never be a dull moment. But one person can’t do it all. You need to pace yourself. And the only way to do that (successfully) is to plan your days in advance. For those over-zealous types out there, go ahead and plan your week in advance - but be sure to do a daily check-in to make sure you’re covering all of your bases. Some sessions that pique your interest will be at overlapping times. Sometimes you’ll have to trek from one venue to the next. That thing called work doesn’t go away either; you’ll likely need to schedule a few breaks to catch up on emails or take a few calls. And as you transition from daytime conferences to evening dinners and events, you may need to block off time to get back to your hotel to change your clothes and freshen up. The net-net: planning your days in advance will ensure that you get the most out of every hour of every day.

3. Advertising Week Curator

While we’re on the topic of planning... The Advertising Week team has made it so easy to know about everything and anything that’s going on during the week with the Advertising Week Curator via desktop or mobile app. It is your ultimate planning tool. Use it.

4. Get out of your comfort zone

There will always be those sessions, panel discussions, or keynote speeches that fall squarely in your “interest” wheelhouse. Make sure you’re first in line to attend those. However, don’t stop there. The really incredible thing about Advertising Week is the breadth and depth of the topics covered. One moment you can be listening to a panel discussion about the future of programmatic ad buying, the next moment you’re participating in a fireside chat about the impact of women rising to leadership ranks in advertising and marketing and the implications on recruiting new talent. And that’s just scratching the surface. There are so many different (kinds of) conversations being had at Advertising Week. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You may be surprised - and excited - by all the new and interesting things you learn.

 

In fact, this year the Advertising Week team is rolling out a handful of new in-depth tracks that will allow attendees take a closer look and drill down into some of the most timely and pressing issues facing the ad industry today. Those topics include, but are not limited to: Celebrity and Lifestyle, Dynamic Women, Health and Fitness, Big Data, Programmatic, Retail, and more. 

5. Check out what's new

Advertising Week gets bigger and better every year - and 2014 is no exception to that rule. This year’s conference has a few new additions aimed to inspire, educate, surprise, and delight.

  • Advertising Week Experience – At the ground level of Times Center HQ you’ll have the opportunity to see a rotating exhibit of hand-picked start-ups, all of which showcase the future of advertising technology. Each day has a new theme with new vendors on display.
  • Agencies at BB Kings Blues Club – BB Kings is being transformed into agency headquarters where you can tune in to speakers, panels, discussions, and events hosted by agencies and with a focus on the issues facing the ad industry today.
  • Streaming Content – If you aren’t able to attend a specific session in-person, now you can watch one of 180+ seminars live via MLB Advanced Media. And if you missed a session you were dying to see, you can find it on-demand at #AWXI Replay.
  • WebMD Wellness Lounge – Not only will this be the headquarters for all conversations about the convergence of health and data, but also the home to a wellness lounge where attendees can relax and reenergize after a long day.
  • Advertising Week Social Club – Anchored by the official Advertising Week Blog, but bringing together all the best content from partner and industry blogs, social streams, and so much more, the Advertising Week Social Club is the content and entertainment hub for everything and anything before, during, and after Advertising Week.

6. Say “Hi”

Unless you’re a tried-and-true salesperson, there’s a good chance you may be a little shy or not a fan of big crowds. We’re right there with you - nothing more intimidating than trying to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. But here’s the deal: whether you realize it or not, at any given moment you could be shoulder-to-shoulder with one of the ad world’s biggest influencers (or, better yet, someone who will rise to those ranks very soon). Sure, you’re at Advertising Week to attend sessions, enjoy events, and soak up as much as you possibly can. But don’t forget that it’s one heck of a great place to network – so take advantage of every opportunity you have. It could lead to a new client, a new job, or a new friend. You’ll never know if you don’t muster up the courage to say hi and introduce yourself.

 

(And while you’re at it, prepare a quick 20-second elevator speech that you can use over and over to introduce yourself. This will make it easier to tell your story, especially when dealing with busy executives who have limited attention spans and/or are constantly be pulled in different directions. Think of it as your 20 seconds of fame.)

7. There is no such thing as having too many business cards

Bring more business cards than you think you’ll actually need. Once you’ve given your dazzling 20-second elevator pitch, you’ll want to leave your new acquaintances with something that makes it easy for them to connect your face to your name. So bring plenty of business cards and seize every opportunity to get your card in someone’s hand. And, on the flip side, don’t be afraid to ask the people you meet for theirs, too. Just be sure to shoot them a quick email within a week after the conference to make sure you stay top of mind. 

8. Start spreading the news…

Although this bit of advice isn’t necessarily Advertising Week-related, it’s rooted in what makes Advertising Week tick: New York City. Ride the subway. Get a slice of famous New York pizza. See a Broadway show. Dine at one of the city’s hippest (and most delicious) restaurants. Squeeze in some time for shopping in Soho or along the famed 5th Avenue. Pay a visit to the Statue of Liberty. Pack an umbrella (you never know when a storm will roll in!). What we’re saying is this: you’re in the city that never sleeps so take advantage of it.

  

Lithium | Klout will be participating in a panel discussion at Advertising Week during the Influence 2.0 track entitled, “Turn the World Into Your Publisher” on Thursday, October 2 at 2:45-3:30pm ET at the NASDAQ MarketSite.

 

Will you be attending Advertising Week? Let us know in comments!

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