There is a T-shirt that reads: “The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately.”
Over the course of four days more than 120 young and talented creatives with big dreams and ambitions gathered together in Las Vegas for the 2023 Creative LIAisons onsite program, which ran concurrently with London International Awards (LIA) judging.
This entire program is curated and funded by LIA, through the support of companies who enter our awards. LIA covers hotel accommodations, airfare and lunch daily for all attendees. There are no delegate fees.
As Laurissa Levy, Creative LIAisons Director states, “The program was curated so there is something for everyone in the room. As the audience is a diverse group of emerging industry talent, from different cultural backgrounds and various job descriptions, everyone has different interests and different fields they want to focus on. From the feedback we received, we feel we accomplished that goal.”
Day One: Kicked off with a Fireside Chat on Music and Sound between Joel Simon and Diederik van Middelkoop, two of the top music producers. Speakers went on to discuss design, elevating creativity, Building Your Own Brand, Becoming the Best, viewpoints of different generations and a multitude of interesting topics.
A few insights shared from the speakers include, but are not limited to:
Music & Sound Fireside Chat – “Treat every job, even the most basic, as if it is the most important job. For you, it may be just a job. But to your partners or clients, it could signify the pinnacle of their career.”
Laura Swinton, Editor-in-Chief/MD, LBB – “The key to standing out lies in finding a niche, be it through unique expertise, a passion, a cause, or a compelling personal story.”
Merlee Jayme, Chairmom/Founder, The Misfits Group Manila – “While there’s comfort in sameness, true courage lies in embracing diversity.”
Tara McKenty, Chief Innovation Officer/Co-Executive Creative Director, BMF Sydney – “Diversity breeds innovation in our business. Without diversity, we’d only have a narrow, homogenous perspective.”
Day Two: Workshop
The attendees had hands-on experience working with other creatives, on a real brief, for a real client, with a real tight deadline and presented to the client the same day.
Resources were made available in terms of music, editing and even directional guidance by a panel of judges and the client.
The exercise fostered bonding as the 12 teams of ten, who had only just met the the past 24 hours, had to work together. It also built leadership muscles as each team had to assign roles among their team members.
The brief for Rise Nation Mastermind was simple – a mentoring program for entrepreneurs featuring Daymond John, CEO/Founder of FUBU and the People’s Shark on the Emmy-award winning show, Shark Tank.
Each pitch had to be distilled down to just two minutes.
All the incredible ideas were critiqued by a panel of LIA judges and the client, Daymond John himself. The goal of this exercise was that the attendees were able to pitch to one of the world’s greatest pitch experts on what makes a pitch successful and receive Daymond’s feedback in real-time. This was designed as an exercise to do an ask and convince a client that you deserve his business in a very short time.
According to Adam Ferrier, LIA Jury President of Transformative Business Impact and Creative Use of Data, as well as, one of the judges on this panel, “What struck me was the work they produced would have taken a creative agency six weeks to produce a few years ago. Seeing sheer creativity happen really quickly was phenomenal.”
Creative LIAisons attendee, Rafael Campeao, Associate Creative Director, Ogilvy Health, New York commented “I was excited to see what I could learn from the mentors, as well as the nine other creatives from around the world on my team.
At the end of all the presentations two winning teams were selected.
Day Three: In the Judging Rooms
Creative LIAisons Attendees were assigned one of four different jury rooms, to observe statue discussions in real-time.
Once the jurors locked in their final statue choices, they did a Q&A with the attendees in each room.
Creative LIAisons attendee, Milagros Garcia, Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson, Buenos Aires comments, “Without a doubt my favorite part of the week was being able to witness the process and voting in the jury room in the TV and Online Film category. Learning why each piece of work is awarded, what the voting criteria are and listening to the exchange between the jurors was essential and a pivotal experience that has helped me begin to form, build, sharpen and nurture my own criteria. I was surprised that all the juries saw and evaluated all the work in person. That allowed a more conscious voting to be made and for each piece to have the time and dedication to be judged. I think that is a very important differential of the LIA Awards.”
Day Four: The Final Day
The balance of talks included panels on Health and Pharma, Digital & Social Media & Influencers, speakers on design, AI, How to Win a Pitch, future directions and leadership styles.
Some insights from the various speakers:
Alessandra Gomes, Executive Creative Director, McCann Health Brazil – “AI serves as a powerful creative tool. However, it’s essential to remember that it’s just that: a tool, much like Photoshop. Its role isn’t to replace your creativity; rather, it should enhance the creative idea.”
Pum Lefebure, Chief Creative Officer, Design Army Washington DC – “Emotion is the currency in our business. It’s your job to make people feel something with your work.
Dörte Spengler-Ahrens, Managing Partner Creation, Jung von Matt Hamburg – “Listen before you sell. Embrace your client’s brand with the same enthusiasm they have; let their passion infect you. If you don’t genuinely understand your client’s objectives, you’ve already lost.”
Malcolm Poynton, Global Chief Creative Officer, Cheil Worldwide – “There will always be new tools to obsess about. But ideas that move people, move business. And moving people requires a human lens and consciousness.”
The Creative LIAisons program closed with an inspiring talk about leadership from Susan Credle, Global Chair/Global CCO of FCB Worldwide.
Four intensive days of hustle? You bet.
But the pay-off was summed up so aptly by what Susan Credle said: “If you feel burned out, the answer is not to take time off. Creative LIAisons is an answer – the place to get better at your job, be around people that inspire you and make connections.”
LIA started Creative LIAisons in 2012 as a way to give back to the industry and since then over 1500 emerging talents have had the opportunity to participate in this educational, training and networking event.