After I attended Le Book Connections in NYC this June, I wanted to share my insights with our readers. When I sat down to write something, I realized I was saying much of what I have said in previous posts. And, while it was relevant, it was something readers had read here already. I thought that instead, it would be helpful to get the point of view of some of the attendees. Suzee Barrabee of Goodby Silverstein and Partners was so gracious to answer our questions. Here is what she has to share.
Which Le Book events do you attend? If you attend more than one, how do they differ?
I attend the New York LeBook event.
We all know that there are numerous vendors at Le Book and some would say that it could be overwhelming. Do you agree with that? Do you have a strategy to see the work and meet the agents?
LeBook can be overwhelming when you first get there, but it definitely helps to have a strategy. You have to decide that you are going to target and then be pretty strict in keeping to that area of interest. In years past, I have concentrated on “lifestyle” photographers or car photographers. This year, I was looking at illustration and agencies that specialize in illustration, animation, etc. My colleague was looking at cgi artists and vendors so when we get home, we share our findings with our group.
Besides introducing you to new talent, what are some of the other benefits to your agency of you attending?
The greatest benefit is seeing and meeting people in person. So much of our work is over email, Skype or on the phone. Just to put a face to a name really strengthens a relationship.It is the one time of year I know I will get to see people in our business.
When you know an agent already, do you still stop by the booth?
Oh absolutely. LeBook is called “Connections” for a reason. To me, it is as much about connecting with people as it is connecting to the artwork.
Did anything stand out as original to you at the event? Anything surprise you?
I like the lectures at LeBook and I think the Branding talk on Wednesday was very interesting. It really highlights the idea that we don’t live in a silo-ed world and we are content creators for all different media outlets.
Do you expect to discover new talent or get updated on talent that you are already familiar with at the event?
Yes, I do expect to discover new talent. Sometimes it takes a while to for a project to come about that is right for a particular talent, but you never know what might be needed and when. It’s like planting seeds and hopefully one day they blossom.
How do you share what you learned with your agency when you return home?
We are trying to put together a posting for our internal blog. (Still working on it.) We also will have a department meeting where we share our top picks. It’s a nice way to sort through all that we saw as it is easy to forget in the blur of books.
Did you notice any trends while you were reviewing?
There is definitely a trend for people to be not just a photographer or not just an illustrator. People are extending their talents into video, cgi, animation as the demands for content extends across a range of media needs.