In 2012, the 4A’s strengthened its portfolio of conferences and events, especially on a national scale. The goal was to program and execute world class events that offer professional development, strategic networking and partnership opportunities, and deliver relevant industry data presented by thought leaders.
For the first time in the association’s history, the 4A’s annual conference, Transformation, was held in Los Angeles in March 2012. The community welcomed the 4A’s by turning out nearly 300 attendees throughout the state of California. Highlights of the conference included Lee Clow, TBWA and Steve Hayden, Ogilvy and Mather who reminisced about Apple and the making of the “1984” spot, as well as presentations by Martin Sorrell, WPP; Carolyn Everson, Facebook; Miles Nadal, MDC Partners; and Anthony Zuiker, creator and executive producer of the CSI television franchise. The feedback from post-event surveys and conversations lead to a big increase in advertiser speakers and additional dedicated programming for the agenda for Transformation 2013, scheduled March 10-13 in New Orleans.
Public Relations Conference
In April, the Marketing & Communications division along with the 4A’s Agency Communications Committee staged the Public Relations Conference, “Managing Brand Reputation in An Agile World – An Uncensored Conversation.” The 2-day conference in New York, held for the first time since 2005, featured topics of critical importance to industry communications professionals and senior leaders including social media and digital content, earned versus owned media, brand building, sustainability, brand evangelism, and reputation management.
The Creative Technologies division expanded on the success of the first-ever 4A’s CreateTech Conference held in New York in 2011 by holding a two-day CreateTech event in Los Angeles in September 2012. Attendance grew significantly from the inaugural year to nearly 200 attendees who heard panelists address the evolving needs and roles of technologists and creatives in the industry today.
The third annual Strategy Festival, "Bringing Agility to Strategy" was held in October. A sold-out crowd of 350 attendees gathered in New York’s SoHo to glean insight from advertisers, creative luminaries, entrepreneurs, Jay Chiat Gold award winners, planners-turned-clients, and young planners. The goal of the event was to provide participants with both inspiration and practical tools that they could apply immediately to their daily responsibilities. Featured speakers included Jeff Goodby, David Droga, Sarah Robb O’Hagan, Tim Malbon and Eliza Esquivel.