Past Conferences

The IHAF Conference & Awards is the cornerstone of our event offerings. Attracting in-house agencies from across the country, our conferences center on universal themes such as innovation and creativity, operational excellence, internal/external agency collaboration, and client partnership. Our conferences feature keynote speakers and breakout sessions, as well as ample opportunities for networking among members, non-members, and event sponsors.

  • IHAF Conference: Inspiring a Purpose-Driven Creative Culture

    Fostering a culture of creativity encourages employees to bring their imaginations to work, adding original ideas and ultimately value in a way that may not otherwise be realized. In this colorful keynote, we’ll get to know Hallmark’s award-winning creative agency—one of the largest, most-renowned in-house creative teams in the world. We’ll hear about their journey to define a clear sense of purpose and the commitment to artistic exploration that resulted enterprise wide. With innovative initiatives like the Hallmark Creative Leadership Symposium and #My5Days as a backdrop, Hallmark’s purpose-driven creative culture has become a hallmark across the industry and one to which we all might aspire.

    Presented by Darren Abbott, Senior Vice President, Creative at Hallmark Cards, Inc.

    Category: Past Presentations, Creative, Organization/Operations, Past Conferences, People

  • IHAF Conference: Designing Time Travel

    The best way to future proof your team is to start living in the future. Creative teams who can use better process design to become more proactive, more strategic and anticipate the changes that are part of every business will be the ones who not only survive, but create the most meaningful work. Collin Whitehead talks about strategies and tactics for getting your creative team to think ahead, making time and space for new ideas to flourish while building a sustainable model for more-impactful work.

    Collin Whitehead, Head of Brand Studio and UX Writing, at Dropbox

    Category: Past Presentations, Functional Areas, Organization/Operations, Past Conferences, Process

  • IHAF Conference: A Seat at the Table

    It’s the dream of every in-house agency—to have a seat at the table. Whether it’s being pulled in earlier by our client partners or having a chance to influence senior leaders in making decisions that affect our future, we all aspire to play a more strategic role within our organizations. In early 2019, the in-house agency at Orvis decided to create an internal board of directors to stay close to company strategy and remain top-of-mind with leadership. Comprised of executives and an external advisor, this newly formed board is working to future-proof the agency at Orvis.

    Presented by Alex White, Creative Director of Brand Strategy at Orvis & Jarrett King, Director, Experience Design & Creative at The Coca-Cola Company

    Category: Past Presentations, Organization/Operations, Past Conferences, Process

  • IHAF Conference: How Marketing’s Reckoning is Realigning In-House Agencies

    The role of marketing has never been more in question than it is today. CMOs are being replaced by growth and revenue-oriented positions, or not at all. Marketing budgets continue to lag while technology budgets balloon. The agency ecosystem is permanently realigning under new leaders, new priorities and new strategies. What’s to become of the in-house model in the wake of such fundamental shifts? Hear about the reckoning marketing, agencies and related work forces are facing and the likely impact on the future of in house.

    Jay Pattisall, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research

    Category: Past Presentations, Organization/Operations, Past Conferences, Process

  • IHAF Conference: EBC & The Mysterious Case of the Iridescent Birds

    What might a stroke of creative genius, thousands of lines of media-performance data and an absurd number of CGI birds have in common? Explore the inspired world of evidence-based creative (EBC), where savvy brands meld human insight with automation to create real-time feedback loops between media and creative. Deep dive into the methods and tools that have helped global brands supercharge their media performance through agile testing, iteration and rapid creative versioning. Machines won’t replace your creative director anytime soon—but with EBC, they can help us understand how to better connect with audiences to enhance our results.

    Presented by Grant Gudgel, VP, Head of Teads Studio at

    Category: Past Presentations, Creative, Past Conferences, Tools and Technology

  • IHAF Conference: People and Process and Tech, Oh My!

    What is the one thing every in-house agency needs to do to achieve operational excellence? It’s a trick question. That’s because every team is unique and at a different point in its maturity, so each one has a different set of levers to pull in order to get there. Don’t fret, however—evolving successful operations doesn’t have to be overwhelming. This session touches on three main pillars Liberty Mutual’s Copper Giants™ concentrated on and how their focus not only helped the team grow from small to full service, but advanced their operational effectiveness as well.

    Presented by Michael LaBerge, Strategic Operations Director at Liberty Mutual

    Category: Past Presentations, Organization/Operations, Past Conferences, Process

  • IHAF Conference: Purpose-Built Creative Teams

    The growing number and complexity of marketing channels has increased the demand for agile, multi-functional creative groups that can support an assortment of needs. Aiming to scale the business through continuous, meaningful consumer engagement, HelloFresh recognized the essential nature of developing complex-yet-integrated plans, which sent the in-house agency on a journey to restructure. The result? A team that’s better able to confront near and long-term challenges. A team that evolves as the business evolves. A team that’s always engaged while increasing efficiency. A team of multi-skilled creatives, built for purpose.

    Presented by William Weiss, Director of Brand Operations, at HelloFresh

    Category: Past Presentations, Organization/Operations, Past Conferences, People, Process

  • IHAF Conference: Future Proofing: Talent Development for the 2020s

    The more we learn to reflect critically on the role of automation in our society and economy, the more we will be prepared to shape the future. In what areas should we invest as marketers? The answers will surprise you. In a digital world where tech seems to be the upfront focus, this session will explain why critical thinking, art, coding, emotional intelligence, inclusiveness, questioning authority, self-learning and entrepreneurship are the building blocks for the success of future marketers.

    Presented by Geoffrey Colon, Head of Brand Studio, Microsoft Advertising, at Microsoft 

    Category: Past Presentations, Digital/Social, Past Conferences, People, Tools and Technology

  • IHAF Conference: Saying No to the Status Quo

    From working with Lady Gaga on the Super Bowl halftime show to being named Ad Age’s Internal Agency of the Year, the team at Intel is on a roll. Add to that a changing media landscape and the call for endless innovation and you’ll understand why Agency Inside is relentlessly focused on emerging trends while remaining true to their core capabilities. In this session, we’ll hear about how the award-winning internal agency at Intel is demystifying tech and disrupting the status quo—contributing to an all-time high in sales and stock performance while advancing the corporate brand.

    Presented by Teresa Herd, VP, Global Creative Director, at Intel

    Category: Past Presentations, Creative, Digital/Social, Partnership, Past Conferences, People

  • IHAF Conference: Panel Discussion: Shift Happens

    In this panel session, we examine the new face of marketing, what’s prompting disruption, and what companies are doing to keep pace and remain competitive. From integrating brand touchpoints to overcoming corporate silos, we’ll address the challenges inherent in today’s modern marketplace. Featuring esteemed panelists Dave Klay of CIGNA, Sangeet Pillai of Verizon and Wendy Zajack of Georgetown University, and facilitated by Jen Cortner of Discovery Inc., Shift Happens is a candid discussion about the unexpected changes and unrelenting surges that are redefining the industry.

    Presented by David Klay; CIGNA, Jennifer Cortner; Discovery Communications, Sangeet Pillai; Verizon, Wendy Zajack; Georgetown University

    Category: Past Presentations, Past Conferences

  • IHAF Conference: Digital Disruption: Play to Win

    No one can dispute the power of social media, particularly as a catalyst for ingenuity and success. With relentless creativity and unwavering determination, the underdog story of Avocados from Mexico, has continued to make headlines across the marketing industry. In this session, we’ll go behind the scenes to hear how this once-fledgling brand leveraged the power of digital to win the most competitive social conversation in U.S. advertising with its #GUACWORLD campaign—named the top digital campaign of Super Bowl 2018 and beating out some of the most powerful, popular brands in the marketplace.

    Presented by Alvaro Luque, President, Avocados from Mexico

    Category: Past Presentations, Creative, Digital/Social, Past Conferences

  • IHAF Conference: Mastering a Global Brand Expression

    Starbucks is an international company with 25,000+ stores in 75 countries. Marketing materials and store sets are updated every 6-8 weeks worldwide. At such a large scale, with so much change, how is Starbucks able to maintain a consistent, relevant global brand while keeping pace with shifting trends and target markets? In this keynote presentation, Dena Blevins, Creative Director of Global Promotions and Brand will walk through the Starbucks brand journey, including how the coffeehouse connoisseur establishes global guidelines and principals that not only ensure a consistent creative expression but deliver an elevated, evocative brand experience.

    Presented by Dena Blevins, Creative Director, Global Promotions & Brand, at Starbucks

    Category: Past Presentations, Past Conferences

  • IHAF Conference: Building Brand at a Breakneck Pace

    The world of branding used to be a sane place. Brand managers worked with agencies to craft images that were pushed out to the marketplace in a steady, easy-to-consume flow of communication. Today, that easy flow has turned into Niagara Falls with the majority of consumers overwhelmed by the volume and velocity of messaging to which they are exposed. As a technology company that advertises to everyone from teenagers to CIOs across 160+ markets, Lenovo has sharpened its ability to successfully navigate today’s complex, fast-paced environment—which is one of the primary reasons for the success of its internal creative team. In this session, Quinn O’Brien, global head of branding for Lenovo, will talk about the genesis of the company’s in-house capability, why it is a critical strategic asset in their brand arsenal, and where the organization is headed over the next five years.

    Presented by Quinn O’Brien, Vice President, Global Brand Marketing at Lenovo

    Category: Past Presentations, Past Conferences

  • IHAF Conference: Global Study | Earned Brand 2017

    Ideology dominates the cultural conversation. Around the globe, consumers are putting their personal convictions front and center. From the grocery aisle to the car dealership, they’re buying on belief. Willing or not, brands of all types and sizes are navigating this new reality. And in a lightning-quick digital world, the rewards and risks are equally high. In this session, Mark Renshaw, Global Chair of the Brand Practice at Edelman will present the results of his firm’s recent global brand study, revealing that 30% of consumers worldwide say they make belief-driven purchase decisions more than they did three years ago and why Edelman is calling this “the new normal” among today’s conscientious consumers.

    Presented by Mark Renshaw, Global Chair – Brand Practice at Edelman

    Category: Past Presentations, Digital/Social, Past Conferences

  • IHAF Conference: Stop Branding—Create a Mental Mark

    Fuzzy input, revision cycles, crushing deadlines...when do we ever get around to building a strong brand? Boeing’s ECD, Laurie Schiada, believes the solution is to stop branding and start making a mark. In this special session, Laurie will explain how to avoid chasing the latest trends and instead, apply a few secret-but-universal truths to building brand in a way that leaves an indelible impression in the minds of your consumers. One counter-intuitive strategy Laurie teaches at Boeing: invite your clients into the creative process early and often, and watch the magic happen.

    Presented by Laurie Schiada, Executive Creative Director at The Boeing Company

    Category: Past Presentations, Creative, Past Conferences

  • IHAF Conference: In-House Media In the Tech Age

    We’ve all heard stories about fragmented media and the divided attention span of today’s consumers. That’s why savvy media planners are making smart use of big data and tech platforms to influence strategies and optimize solutions. Dive deep with Seth Goren, SVP of Media Strategy & Analytics at Discovery Communications, as he explains how to leverage data to drive decision making and why the media-buying paradigm has shifted to carry more weight than ever. He’ll also share his team’s journey from working alongside external agency powerhouses to taking ownership for all media buying in house, managing millions from their laptops and the lessons they learned along the way.

    Presented by Seth Goren, SVP, Media Strategy & Analytics at Discovery Communications

    Category: Past Presentations, Past Conferences

  • IHAF Conference: Power Brands: Accelerating Alignment, Growth & Impact

    In-house agencies have never been more important to the fate of brands. Alignment is the key to engagement. Advocacy is critical to growth. Together, they ensure a brand becomes a movement that compounds sales and impact. So, how do we get there? What steps must we take? What mistakes must we avoid? In this keynote presentation, Simon Mainwaring, CEO of We First, will unfold a roadmap based on insights from today’s top purposeful brands including how to build your brand’s culture, community and cultural leadership.

    Presented by Simon Mainwaring, Founder & CEO at We First, Inc. 

    Category: Past Presentations, Past Conferences

  • IHAF Conference: Restyling the Brand

    Since its inception in 2009, Trunk Club’s sales-driven approach has fueled its growth—despite limited investment in brand strategy. Originally a personalized styling service for men that expanded to include women, Trunk Club found it was not only facing multiple new competitors, but a downturned retail environment. The need to scale, and do so efficiently, while maintaining a customer-first focus was key to attracting a broader audience. In this session, CMO Linda Bartman will share her experiences over the past year evolving Trunk Club’s value proposition to reposition the business up for increased success. Her balanced view on what it takes to embed marketing team DNA into the culture while building a scalable infrastructure and strategy is the story of how to fashion a more-competitive corporate brand.

    Presented by Linda Bartman, Chief Marketing Officer at Trunk Club

    Category: Past Presentations, Past Conferences