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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > articles >  ihaveanidea @ VCU’s Executive Education for CDs, Day One


ihaveanidea @ VCU’s Executive Education for CDs, Day One

Posted on August 2, 2010 and read 2,592 times

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brettcreditpic ihaveanidea @ VCUs Executive Education for CDs, Day OneBrett McKenzie
Chief Writer, SBN2
ihaveanidea

A long time ago, way back when the VCU Brandcenter was called the Adcenter and was located in a considerably less swanky building than the renowned ad school is found today, I had the great pleasure of travelling down to Richmond one summer to be a fly on the wall for one of VCU’s Executive Education programs.

Entitled “Management Training for CDs”, the intense week-long program was designed to help creatives who were interested in becoming creative directors to better learn the managerial aspect of the role. After all, most CDs get their jobs by being fantastic art directors or writers, not necessarily by being great managers and delegators. Surely a course like this would be valuable to many! And it was, not only to the few dozen creative attendees who came to Virginia from all over North America to participate, but it was also great for thousands of ihaveanidea readers, as I covered every aspect of the program. Sure, you all weren’t sitting in on all of the lectures in person, and you were missing out on assignments and projects throughout the week, and you didn’t get any of the delicious pulled pork sandwiches at lunch, but you got a real sense of what the course was all about via blog posts, photos and videos.

And in 2010 we’re doing it again for you all.

Now the Adcenter is the Brandcenter, the building is bigger and so is the Executive Education program. This year, the week=long course is called “Digital Leadership and Management Skills for Creative Directors”, and as the name suggests, it will take a decidedly more future-thinking tone than the one we attended so many years ago. But don’t worry, we’re still gonna do it up ihaveanidea-style, and have some fun.

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DAY ONE:

No, it’s not the Deep South, but Richmond is considerably closer to the equator than ihaveanidea’s Canadian stomping grounds, and it is August, during one of the hottest summers on record. As the plane coasted in for a smooth landing at RIA, I was mentally preparing myself for a suffocating wall of heat and humidity to punch me in the face upon leaving the terminal. But then the pilot came on the intercom, announcing light rain and a mere 82 degrees. Doing a quick conversion to Canadian Celsius, I realized that it was only a tiny bit warmer than it was back home in Montreal. So much for the industrial sized container of baby powder I packed; looks like I’ll be able to stay so fresh and so clean (and so non-sweaty) all my own.

The weather might be similar who what we’re getting back home, but there’s at least one thing different: the airport signage.

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I’m not sure if they mean they’re not joking about weapons, or if whoopie cushions and joy buzzers are on par with Smith & Wessons and Rambo knives, but to be on the safe side, I quickly stashed any levity I had on my person in a nearby trash can.

More to come once the event kicks off later this evening.

_________________________

One by one the attendees trickled into the Brandcenter, a look of anticipation and uncertainty across their faces. They knew they were in for one hell of a week, but they were a tiny bit unsure about how it would all play out. As with most social gatherings populated by strangers, the people mingled in small groups of two or three, introducing themselves and mentioning their cities and agencies. Throw in a little food and drink on the terrace — in this case, a super casual barbecue dinner consisting of pulled pork and chicken, baked beans, mac ‘n cheese, cole slaw, potato salad and apple compote — and the conversations got more lively.

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Now the first evening of the Executive Training course is not meant to be too intensive, but rather a night to set the tone and get everybody excited. And what gets the creative heart pounding faster than the joys of dealing with the all-powerful client? The first guest speaker of the week does indeed come from the Dark Side, but luckily there’s plenty of Anakin Skywalker left in him to counter the Darth Vader-esque tendencies clients tend to possess (probably because he used to be a Jedi at Ogilvy) Our hallowed speaker: Ryan Anderson, Director of Global Brand Management for Westin Hotels and Resorts. Ryan’s presentation is entitled “Taming the Beast: the Beast’s Perspective” and we were fortunate enough to capture nearly the entire presentation for you watching at home — or at least as much as we could before we ran outta memory.

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Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

(approx 1 hour, 8 minutes)

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After Ryan’s presentation, everybody called it a night. After all, tomorrow is when all the real work begins, and it’s worth being rested for the long haul ahead.






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