This evening I attended the networking reception at the Academy of Art student gallery. To start with, I was just blown away by a lot of the work the students in the advertising school are doing. The focus of the exhibit sought to define humanity, a broad and esoteric cat-chase that is really what advertising is all about. While the point of advertising is to sell, great ad people manage that by telling a story about society or the person encountering the product.
In many ways advertising helps relate our values to us, tells us what we want and lends a glimpse of who we want to be. Just ask an Apple fanatic or a Google employee. That's not to say there aren't two edges to that sword.
This networking event notably marks my first group encounter with other members of the marketing and ad community. I started to get pretty stoked about the panel I'll be moderating tomorrow, a dialogue between professionals on what it's like to work in the ad and marketing industry. I got to speak with the panelists beforehand and a lot of hot topics promise to rise to the forefront. A few button-pushers include the issue of diversity and the upsurge of women, who are shaping the industry as both consumers and advertising entities.
I have to say there's probably never been a more exciting time to get involved in this industry. It literally seems to be rebuilding itself: conversing more with consumers instead of at them, and marrying the technical with the creative. It's like the wild wild west all over again, except with no horses and better media.
I'm also inclined to think people smell better now too, not that I'm all leaning in and checking or anything.
The job fair is free for students or people looking for work. If you're in town, drop in.