The High Five Conference in Raleigh, NC, hosted by the Triangle AMA, was a major attraction this past week. This fifth annual conference was started in 2013 and designed to bring Triangle marketing talent together to collaborate. Forbes Magazine called High Five “One of the Top Marketing Conferences to Check Out” and Marketers are paying attention. “Marketers and designers have ample opportunity to gain insight into one another’s processes and work together to drive impressive results for their teams.”
Marketing strategists, digital marketers, creative directors, designers, product managers, media specialists, writers, and communicators came from 20+ different states to attend workshops, keynotes, and 24 + breakout sessions. High Five, an intentionally different event, is not just about marketers learning marketing or creatives learning creative. It’s about learning how each of these experts work and think – in order to improve innovation and increase creativity.
Kindness is free so sprinkle that stuff everywhere was Brand Fuel’s marketing message to conference participates. Other conference messaging from speakers included Stay Humble, Foster Trust, A Team is a group who trust each other, It’s not about being known, It’s about being known to make a difference, Opportunities are in the gaps, and Generosity should be a super power.
This year’s 2018 High Five Conference featured Keynotes from Aaron Draplin, Amanda Valentine, Jackie Huba, Spike Jones Tamsen Webster, and Will Reynolds. Guest presenters included Rebecca Heiss, Doug Stewart, Adrena Sawyer, Jake Bohall, David Lesue, Alan Hoffler, Gary Clinger, Neen James, Hank Hoffmeier, Robin Samora, Stephanie Scotti, Evan Levy, Mack Garrison, Greg Harbinson, Brian McDonald, Geoff Ables, John Newall, John Lewellan, Robin Colangelo, Mike Huber, Allan Maule, Glen Fellman, Saul Colt, Chad Solomonson, Tom Cole, Meredith Oliver, Ed Roberts, Will Reynolds, Nikki Villagomez, Ellie Mirman, Jonathan, Hildebrand, Reid Bryant, Ryan Robinson, Brian Onorio, Keith Nixon, Jedidiah Gant, Jeremy Wingle, Scott Calderwood, Van Carpenter, Amy Climer, Thomas Triumph, Nicholas Sailer, Karin Wiberg, Samantha Stone, Amanda Stockwell, Jeff Nischwitz, Jonathan Opp, David Burney, Chris Sim, Michael Barber, Jody Oakley, and Danny Rosin.
The High Five Conference, conceptualized by Evan Carroll and led by a team of volunteers, is hosted by the Triangle AMA, Silver Award in 2016-2017 for Chapter of the Year and Gold Chapter of the Year Award in 2015-2016. Triangle AMA has provided the marketing community a forum to learn and grow through professional development and networking for over 35 years and has over 700 members making it the largest marketing association between D.C. and Atlanta.
The orange jackets were back as well the graphic recordings by Drawing Insight. BrandFuel managed to outdo their previous booth SWAG Lottery Machine with their creative prop, The Kindness Container, which can best be described as a phone booth contraption complete with an air tunnel that propels dollar bills in the air. A participant has 30 seconds to grab the velocity driven bills which they turn around and donate to their favorite charity…hence the kindness factor.
The Best Swag award goes to RDA for the cute fuzzy stuffed puppies for which I have two of them. No one was quite sure what puppies and RDA had in common but…RDA certainly had the highest retention rate and repeat booth traffic paws down.
New to the conference this year was the Marketing Collegiate Jam competition which provided university students an opportunity to participate in an interactive, real-world simulation by addressing a business problem with a marketing solution. Working in teams, students developed a presentation and submitted collateral pitching their creative solution to the business issues presented by the client. The was designed and led by AMA board member Catherine Locke. The winning team received $2,000, conference attendance, and a chance to network with professionals and thought-leaders, and a huge resume boost. If you are looking for interns be sure to check out these future rockstars.
My High Five favorite this year goes out to Sarah Finnerty, a Triangle marketing professional in job transition who was also an AMA High Five volunteer working the conference. She met Keynote speaker, Amanda Valentine who competed on Season 13 of Project Runway, now runs her clothing line, and has been voted Nashville’s “Best Fashion Designer” from 2012 – 2016. Sarah’s story goes like this. “I spoke with Amada for about 20 minutes when she checked in to the conference. We talked about various topics and I learned that she was managing most of her marketing and was short on help. The next day I found a front row seat to her presentation and afterward, I invited her to lunch, which she accepted. I just went for it and told her how I could be of value to her marketing needs and we ended by toasting to our new partnership. Volunteering at High 5 provided the opportunity to meet Amanda and now I am going to be working with her. Wow! High Five speaker, Jackie Huba spoke about tripling down in her presentation. So that’s what I did! I tripled down—introduced myself, made the ask and invited her to lunch. Sometimes it’s just that easy and High Five made it possible. “
Best Cameo goes to Catherine Locke and Journalist, Katie Couric, who just happened to be dining in the hotel while working on a film project. It was rumored that Catherine pitched her to be a High 5 guest next year…wait and see if she was successful. See ya’ll next year!
Tricia Lucas has over 25 years of demonstrated success in recruiting, marketing communications, and social media and helps technology companies recruit more efficiently by focusing on Recruiting Efficiencies, Employer Branding, and Social Media.
At Lucas Select, based in Raleigh, NC, we are passionate about technology startups and about sales and marketing as professions and have built extensive national networks of top-performing executives and managers. Unlike typical staffing agencies and headhunters, our recruiting services ensure that your company maintains a sustained growth model that is supported by strong sales management, talent recruitment at scale balanced by on-going people development while aligning with your Company’s core values.