Heather Elder Represents
Reps Journal

Over 100 People, 27 Agencies, 1 Best Friend and a Reminder of the Power of Connection

After the success of my Chicago trip in August, I was energized to get out there and do it again.  And, since I recently became an empty nester and the team at Heather Elder Represents works remote 100% of the time;  I had a freedom I had not had in a long time.  Not needing to be in any one place made it very easy to pick up and head to NYC for the fall.

Enter into that equation, one very best friend (Hi Marianne Campbell!) who has the same career as I do and we have co-marketed for years - it seemed like a no-brainer.

While in New York, we connected with upwards of 150 people from 27 different agencies, we hosted two amazing parties, incredible dinners, lunches, coffees and hugs.  We shared new work, gave presentations, caught up with old friends and made new ones. We drank and ate and walked and took in the energy that was NYC and our great ad community.  Together we felt even more energized.

Here are some of the take aways:

• People were hungry to get together.  They were so appreciate of us hosting year 10 of our annual party and were thrilled to see people they had not seen in two years.  Everyone from new art producers that we had not met, to legends in the industry to even a retired art producer showed up.  A testament to the NYC art producer community! They show up!

• It is no surprise but agencies are not back full time.  Many have a hybrid model and are  coming in 1-2x per week.  It was fun to see the agencies buzzing a bit and those that were in the office were talking positively about it.    

• Portfolio shows have given way to actual presentations.  The quality of the screens are not great but having a printed group portfolio was the perfect supplement.  While they follow along with the presentation, the book brings it to life.   And often times people are also on zoom so instead of the 10 or so people in the room - there could be another 20-30 watching from home.  

• Agencies are busy with projects and most if not all of those projects involve motion.   

• There was also a lot of talk about shooting in Europe and South America for cost reasons.

This trip has gotten me thinking a lot about how things have evolved over the last two years.  Since we started emerging from the pandemic, we were very committed to getting out however we could. At first the options were limited, but we remained committed. Le Book was a big part in us staying connected in person.  The Workbook and Le Book also helped us stay connected via zoom.  But we all know that zoom fatigue was real so once people started going back to the office more regularly at the end of the summer it became much easier to see people in person. Being able to go to Chicago for a week and then NYC for this extended time has given back to me the best part of my job that had been missing for two years.  Personal relationships are the corner stone of what we do so being able to catch up, make new connections and share inspiring work was very much appreciated and something I am going to do lots more of in 2023.