Hello, I’m New Here.

Walking into my first IHAF Conference & Awards, although I knew the size of the event, I didn’t expect it to be as intimate as it was. I’m used to attending large conferences or industry shows where no one would notice if I walked around in a hot-pink bathrobe all day. At this event, I found my seat and found myself engaged in conversations with high-level creative leaders across a host of reputable brands.

They asked me questions. They listened. They shared their own experiences without hesitation. We found we had commonalities, regardless of industry, in leading in-house agencies and that we're all actively trying to solve many of the same problems. I felt lucky to be in a room full of successful, professional creative leaders. And, I felt even luckier that we all had the ability to be honest with one another about our careers, lessons learned and strategies to be successful.

Nine New Lessons Learned

1) The biggest advantage of an in-house agency is access to the business and its leaders.

2) Create content about the work Marketing is doing. Don’t be modest—market the Marketing team!

3) Creative is more than a knack. Speak confidently. Demonstrate that we are the experts.

4) Set clear expectations with your creative talent. Ensure marketing strategies align with the business.

5) Break the mold. Don’t do what your competitors are doing. Disrupt the category. Be authentic.

6) Be transparent with your business partners and over deliver.

7) Create project tiers.

8) Automate everything.

9) Remember that curiosity is the most valuable soft skill.

At the event, Amrock won a silver award for a corporate-event invitation we produced. The competition was more than impressive, so I was honored to accept our first IHAF award on behalf of my team. The entire event was professional and efficient—a testament to how IHAF holds its members in the highest regard.

For me, inspiration came from the multitude of bright speakers at IHAF's event. It also came from winning a creativity award and networking with equally motivated attendees. I found myself back in Detroit inspired that I share some strengths with this talented group and that I identified opportunities to improve my leadership skills and overall strategy in my current role. 

Thanks to IHAF and to all my fellow members. I’m looking forward to feeling less "new" in the future!

And thank you, Jana, for sharing your experience attending our conference. We look forward to seeing you at the 2019 event and to seeing more of the exceptional work the team at Amrock produces, with our call for entries for this year’s awards now open.

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