Daily Brief: Catalyst Comes to PromaxBDA: The Conference 2016

This article first appeared in PromaxBDA Daily Brief.

by Paige Albiniak | 05.24.2016

At this year’s PromaxBDA: The Conference in New York City, PromaxBDA is teaming up with RevThink’s Joel Pilger and Tim Thompson on Catalyst, a program specifically designed for agency leaders looking to take their businesses to the next level.

Pilger is the founder and executive creative director of Denver-based Impossible Pictures, which he sold in 2014 before joining RevThink. Thompson led business efforts at several different agencies, including Imaginary Forces, yU+Co, Trailer Park and Prologue before creating RevThink in 2008.

The idea for Catalyst grew out of a conversation between Pilger and PromaxBDA President and CEO Steve Kazanjian, in which both were looking for a way to better serve creative agencies, a core constituency of PromaxBDA’s membership.

The two asked the question: “How can PromaxBDA engage agency owners and principals at their point of greatest need?”

Catalyst was the answer they created.

“At the highest level, we’re addressing two things,” says Pilger. “Most of these businesses are started by creative people who one day wake up and realize that they are running a business. And that’s way more complicated than just creating good work. We’re going to help these agency leaders run the other seven areas of their businesses.”

Pilger says he affectionately refers to these seven areas as the “Seven Dwarves” of any creative agency: entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, the work, production, finance and operations.

In addition to discussing how to keep all of those plates spinning, “we’re also going to address how to deal with the speed of change in our industry as well as the increasing competition and smaller budgets. That speed is excrutiating for these agencies, and it’s happening even faster for the creative agencies than for other sectors. Clients will come to agencies and say ‘we need people who can provide total solutions. Can you do my campaign, distribute across all of these platforms and channels and can you do it for the budgets we’re offering?’ A lot of agencies are struggling to figure that out.”

Pilger, Thompson and Kazanjian will be joined by Tricia Melton, entertainment marketing and brand strategist, and former SVP at Turner, and Gareb Shamus, pop-culture influencer and venture capitalist at Soho Capital Partners.

During a highly interactive workshop with agency leaders, the group will discuss such questions as:

— Am I offering the right solutions to help my company grow?

— What best practices already exist, so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel?

— This industry has changed so much, how can I embrace the future?

— How can I avoid the failure of others?

— Will my company be worth anything when I’m ready to sell?

— And any other concerns, issues, questions brought to the group by participants.

Pilger, Thompson and some industry experts also will be available during coffee hours each day of the conference — Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — to talk more in-depth with participants. The experts are Michael Waldron, SVP creative director, art + design, Nickelodeon/TV Land; Will Travis, CEO at SidLee USA and former CEO at ATTIK; and Andy Baker, SVP/group creative director, National Geographic Channels.

Here’s the schedule for the coffee hours:

Tuesday 1pm – 1:45: Will Travis and Tim Thompson

Wednesday 10:45-11:15: Tim Thompson

Wednesday 4:15-4:45: Joel Pilger

Thursday 10:45-11:15: Andy Baker and Joel Pilger

Thursday 4:15-4:45: Michael Waldron and Tim Thompson

Catalyst: Creative Entrepreneurs will be held on Monday afternoon, June 13, at PromaxBDA: The Conference at the New York Hilton Midtown.

For more information or to RSPV, contact Gabi Morales at [email protected]

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