ADWEEK always holds a special place in our hearts and is a week we always look forward to from the planning and preparation all the way to the night of and the stories and connections made that we get to hear about after. With a variety of events, all in one week, you’re bound to attend one (if not all!). This years ADWEEK, sponsored by Basis Technologies, included a returning fan favorite of course and a few new ones that are sure to make an appearance in 2024. Dig into the details below!
ADWEEK Day 1: Headshots & Hops
Fresh off a massive Bills win against the Dolphins, AAF set up shop in the lobby of Seneca One to celebrate Victory Monday with Buffalo Advertising’s best game faces.
The Headshots & Hops event is one of the year’s favorites; a chance to network and drink and update our LinkedIn profile pics with something way better than your onboarding photo from seven years ago.
While we chatted and clinked our pint glasses, Stephen Gabrus was on tap with some impressive glass of his own. This dude came prepared with multiple setups and gave everyone two different badass photos; one super professional neat & clean pic with traditional 3-point lighting (this is the one you show your parents and CEOs) and one rad multi-colored statement piece for the creative in all of us (this is the one you show everyone else).
Headshots & Hops was an awesome time and AAF Buffalo brought a whole new meaning to mugging for the camera. If you missed this event, you missed a good one – don’t sleep on it next year.
ADWEEK Day 2: Internship Skillshop
We spent AdWeek Day 2 at Riveter listening to a rockin’ panel share advice on landing internships. We heard from a variety of professionals including:
- Jordan Hegyi, Partner + Creative Director at Riveter Design
- Natalie Ryan, Account Manager at The Martin Group
- Makenzie Fintak, Buffalo State Class of 2020 Grad + Fellowship Participant at White Bike
- Dora Jones, Talent Acquisition Sourcing Specialist at Univera Healthcare
- Moderator Noah Herman, AAF Buffalo Education Chair, Adjunct Professor of Graphic Design at Daemen, and freelance UX Designer
Our panel spoke to an audience of nearly 30 students and ad professionals, giving everyone insight into finding—and succeeding at—internships in the marketing and advertising world. After an evening of great questions and conversation, attendees left with some important advice in their back pockets:
- Know who you’re talking to—research the company and their work, along with the person who’s interviewing you.
- Paid or unpaid isn’t everything—weigh the benefits of each including the experience you’ll get and the connections you’ll make.
- Google yourself—because employers will too!
- Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date—this is the first place employers will reference.
- Have someone you’re comfortable going to with concerns—this doesn’t have to be your direct boss, but open communication with a colleague makes a big difference.
Here’s to our attendees landing some awesome internships in the future!
ADWEEK Day 3: Spelling B-e-e
The first documented spelling bee in the United States took place in 1825, in a small town in Kentucky, organized by teachers as a way to promote literacy and education.
The first-ever AAF Buffalo Spelling Bee took place in 2023, pitting five contestants from the Western New York advertising community under the spotlight at Cole’s on Elmwood Avenue.
Ryan Weatherbee, content developer at Crowley Webb, came in as a highly touted speller and led off the order of participants. Scott Bartels, past AAF Buffalo President and senior digital product manager at KeyBank, returned to the club to join the festivities of AdWeek. AAF Buffalo VP of Communications Chelsea Carney joined the Spelling Bee along with her White Bicycle Colleague, brand strategist Jillian McGarry. Rounding out the competitors was Renee Helda, Senior Art Director at Mr. Smith Agency.
A challenging slate of opening words led to Weatherbee bowing out of the competition first, shortly followed out by Bartels.
A few words for the competition drew inspiration from our 2023 AdWeek sponsor, Basis Technologies, a digital media automation and intelligence company.
Some more familiar words led to a fast back-and-forth as McGarry, Carney, and Helda took their turns in swift succession.
An interjection of some of the hardest-to-spell words from across the Buffalo region caught the contestants off guard, leading to McGarry’s elimination and leaving Carney and Helda in a one-on-one for the championship.
The hard-fought battle lasted longer than 60 words, but in the end, Renee Helda took home the title of Spelling Bee Champion when Chelsea Carney spelled “transformative” wrong in sudden death. Let’s just say that the stage has been set for the ultimate redemption in 2024.
ADWEEK Day 4: American Advertising Awards Q & A
On Thursday, October 5th, AAF Buffalo closed out AdWeek with an American Advertising Awards Q & A over at dPost.
Eager pros looking to shine this award season showed up and our seriously insightful panelists answered the community’s burning questions about the submission process, show night, and more.
Here’s who sat on the panel:
- Caroline Buchas (past AAF Buffalo President, Digital Operations Manager at Catholic Health)
- Chelsea Carney (2x past Awards Chair, Senior Designer at White Bicycle)
- Lindsay Neilson (current and past Awards Chair, Art Director at Mr. Smith Agency)
- Adina Delmar (past Awards Chair, Senior Account Manager at Crowley Webb)
Emcee, Evan Pease (board member, Director of Post Production at dPost) kept the questions flowing for about an hour – sharing FAQs and taking live questions from the crowd.
The night ended with a bit of post-panel conversation, and attendees left with much more confidence leading up to the awards.
If you couldn’t make the event or have more questions as you start getting your entries in line, please send your questions to email@example.com. We’d love to help!
Submissions are now open and our biggest piece of advice to those entering is to start early! The platform automatically saves your work and won’t be entered for judging until you click “submit” so you can do a little here and there!
And no, the theme for the beloved AAF Buffalo American Advertising Awards was not revealed at this event. Our lips are sealed ’til Jingle Bowl on that one.
Make sure to plan for 2024 ADWEEK in early October!