Use Diligence and Smarts to Discover Your Professional Sweet Spot(s)

When I graduated from college, I wound up earning two B.A. communications degrees instead of one, without really having to take any extra classes. After studing the degree requirements, I saw that the ones for a Bachelors degree in Film were close enough to the ones for the same degree in TV/Radio that by taking the right classes and submitting the paperwork properly, I could earn them both. That experience taught me to look for overlaps between the various areas represented by my interests… in the hope of finding more advantages and synchronicities. This week, I’m happy to share some tips with you that have grown from these confluences of my interests.

Last week I wrote about the AICP Show in New York, an event that has had a lot of impact and influence on my career over the years. By attending the AICP Show starting in 90s, I noticed something that connected back to the time when I was earning those degrees, and trying to move forward in the worlds of film and television production. The AICP Show has a Student category, and by attending year-after-year, it became clear that the category was being dominated by students from Pasadena’s renowned Art Center of Design. During my college years, I would have done just about anything to get the attention of the type of crowd that gathers each year in New York City at the Museum of Modern Art to view the AICP Show, which is well known as “The Art & Technique of the American Commercial.” Since making this discovery, I always encourage young people interested in filmmaking to seriously consider the field of advertising, and to produce and submit entries into high-profile events like the AICP Show while they are eligible to win as students.

I was introduced to the AICP by Tim Street — a very talented producer friend I first met at Disney/MGM Studios in Orlando soon after graduating. At the same time I was learning about commercial production from and with Tim, I also gained a hands-on education in part of the entertainment industry that seems a lot like commercial production, but is quite separate. When Tim hired me as marketing director for The Spark Factory in 1999, it was an up-and-coming Santa Monica-based creative shop specializing in on-air promotions for film studios and TV networks. I was mostly hired to help Tim make in-roads into commercial production, but he also brought me into this very rich niche where so much great, creative work is done… which winds up presenting some of the best business opportunities for professionals like me who studied communications, production and arts in college.

This week, the on-air promotions industry in North America will have its largest gathering at PromaxBDA: The Conference 2015. Happening June 9–11 at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, The Conference 2015 promises to unite the world’s most innovative creatives, marketers, strategists, designers and thought leaders to offer unprecedented insights, business secrets and revolutionary tools. You can find out more about The Conference and how it can play a critical role in your professional career here: http://promaxbda.org

And in Las Vegas on June 10–13, the American Advertising Federation will present ADMERICA, its national conference on advertising. With this year’s seminars, workshops and keynote sessions focusing on education, inspiration, innovation, collaboration and celebration around new digital technologies and creative content development, I’m sure you can see how lessons learned at these two different events are highly complementary.

With that in mind, if you are focusing on your career in the creative industry, I feel that each of the organizations and events mentioned above are well worth your further exploration. Good luck and keep in-touch.

Featured Video: Featured Video: TNW — David Shing — The Art of Storytelling | The Next Web

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