Le Book Connections hosted a mini event in Chicago last week. When I first heard about the idea from Alex Orlowski, I thought it was brilliant. Chicago is a smaller market than NYC so a smaller event, dedicated just to Chicago, was the perfect way to show off what Le Book Connections is all about.
I thought it was wildly successful. Here are the top ten things I loved most about it.
1) It was small and it felt exclusive. There were not many more than 20 rep groups showing off their work. That meant the event was manageable for anyone attending. They could spend time reviewing many different agency books, catch up with old friends and get to know people they had’t met before. This is all possible at a larger event, but when it is smaller it feels more intimate and less busy.
2) We were only allowed to bring an agency book and an iPad. I LOVED this. Our agency book is divided by Speciality not photographer, so it got lots of attention. People appreciated having only one book to look at as opposed to eight. The iPad was a great vehicle to show off a deeper collection of images and video if there was interest. And, there was minimal to set up and ship home. When you typically travel with 9 portfolios and stacks of leave behinds, this is a HUGE plus.
3) Chicago was excited to have an event all of their own. People showed up. They talked about how they were looking forward to it and they are hopeful that it comes back again. The fact that Alex visited the agencies ahead of time to talk up the event did not go unnoticed. Many commented that they appreciated him taking the time to get to know them and their agency and that he encouraged them to attend. By the time the event date arrived, there was a lot of buzz.
4) Because the event was smaller, Le Book provided lunch. This was a big draw and gave people another reason to show up. It also gave them a reason to hang around longer. Thanks Le Book!
5) The space that we had to showcase our work was small. You would think that this was a hinderance, but it was not. It allowed for a minimal presentation and minimal prep for the event. Seeing that the end of year is always busy, I appreciated being able to attend an event that required little preparation yet still was very effective.
6) It was a great way to introduce those from Chicago who were not familiar with the event or had never been to NY, LA or one of the other locations. Le Book was smart to host this in the hopes that they will recognize the value and also attend one of the other events.
7) Chicago is fortunate to have a close knit ad community. It was nice for them to have a place to gather and get caught up amongst themselves. The open bar at the end of the night didn’t hurt either!
8) It was a great place to connect with new people in the industry and get to say hello to old friends. Chicago is doing some cool creative work and it was great to meet some of the architects first hand. And, even though I have been doing this job for quite some time, I am still amazed that there are people I have talked and emailed with for years that I haven’t met yet. This event provided me the opportunity to finally meet. Hi Kim Roemer!
9) How else could I have met well over 100 art buyers and creatives after just one day? I could never do that on my own in one day, or even in a week.
10) It is also important to note that these events provide an opportunity to connect with other agents. This is a very powerful part of the event and something I really appreciate. I have been attending Le Book Connections for only 3 years now but as a result have gotten friendly with many agents that I would not have otherwise. We are a small industry so it is nice to know that we are not alone!
Thank you Alex Orlowski and your amazing staff. You provided a fantastic opportunity for so many of us and we really appreciate all the effort and enthusiasm. See you in LA in January!