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


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

Posted on August 5, 2010 and read 2,675 times

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

To see what happened on Day One, click here.

To see what happened on Day Two, click here.

I didn’t really need that 7 AM wake-up call from the hotel front desk this morning; instead I was awakened by the pounding of rain against my window. Yeah, this weather is truly leaving a lot to be desired. Oh well, I’m only a block away from the school, so with umbrella in hand, I headed out for Day Three of the Executive Education course.

Bacon, sausage and eggs were the order of the day this morning, but most of the attendees had more than food on their minds. This is because that assignment they received from Rob Rasmussen yesterday was due in mere moments, to be presented in groups in front of the whole class and with Rob and Brian Collins on hand to critique.

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While the entire class chose excellent products and problems to tackle, and everyone put forth a tremendous effort, there were those little problems that come up when you’re presenting new material in a new group on short notice. Fortunately those problems could be rectified after Peter Coughter’s presentation skills class later that afternoon.

The presentations took up quite a bit of time, and by the time everybody was finished, lunch was ready to be served. Because of the delay, our penne and salad was combined with an even tastier treat, in the form of our first guest speaker of the day. Jerome Austria, recently named co-ECD of Wieden + Kennedy New York (and past kickass digital guy at Razorfish, R/GA and AKQA) gave a lengthy, in depth and very candid presentation on what I would call the “digitalificatio” of W+K. After all, while they’ve been a creative powerhouse for what seems like centuries, Wieden + Kennedy has only recently been loading up their awards shelf with digital treasures.

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(approx. 45 minutes)

Of course this wasn’t his full presentation; Jerome spoke at length about his own career, and how it went alongside the changing of perceptions about digital creatives, from being those banner making guys you tag onto the end of your traditional project, to an absolutely essential element to a thriving agency. But Jerome and I felt that was a story best left for ihaveanidea’s Creatives section (stay tuned!)

_________________________

The afternoon opened up to two first-class presentations from VCU Brandcenter professors. First up, Mark Avnat, the man in charge of VCU’s fairly new — and wildly successful — Creative Technology program. In his session entitled ‘Digital Engagement’, Mark spoke about the rapidly evolving digital landscape available to us ad people, but warned against using the latest technologies for the sake of using them. In what has become almost a mantra for the entire week, Mark reminds us all that being the first to use the latest gadget to come out of MIT means nothing if you don’t have a compelling story.

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The final session of the day was certainly a highlight for many of the attendees: a spirited course in presentation skills by VCU prof Peter Coughter. Now some of you might be thinking “big deal, a class on doing presentations.” Well it certainly bears mentioning that Peter is internationally renowned for his presentation skills workshops, and when he’s not teaching at the school, he’s touring the ad world, showing the folks from places like Crispin, Goodby, DDB, Leo Burnett, Taxi and Dentsu Japan just how to turn crappy presenters into good ones, and good ones to stellar ones. Trust me, Peter knows his shit.

dscn7123 ihaveanidea @ VCUs Executive Education for CDs, Day Three

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Now we couldn’t give you all of Peter’s secrets. In fact I’m sure we didn’t learn them all in the two hours we spent with him. But hopefully we’ll be able to catch the results of his session tomorrow, when each attendee must give a four minute (and not a second over) presentation in front of their peers.

This was the first evening without a group dinner, so attendees were free to go do their own thing… except that a group assignment was handed out at the door, a tricky, multi-page problem to be solved and presented on Friday morning.

No rest for the wicked, they say.






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