My Top 5 highlights from the High Five Conference #high5

2014 high five conferece collageI had the good fortune to help organize the inaugural High Five Conference. The 2014 edition was held February 26-27th at the Sheraton in Downtown Raleigh. The conference and its 275 attendees explored the intersection between marketing and creative.

Here are my five highlights / takeaways from the event:

1. Great design matters

2. Influence can be bought, passion cannot

3. In a perfect world, we’d all have a Z.E.R.O. paid media budget

4. You make your own luck via planned serendipity

5. There is no “I” in ^5

I want to elaborate on that last point. This event was a team effort by a ton of people. Folks who believed that we could pull off a world class event in Raleigh. Here’s some folks I want to acknowledge:

Evan Carroll – Our Conference Director had the vision for a special event. Vision without action is merely a dream. Evan worked tirelessly to make it happen and inspired others to do so as well.

Claire Hovis – Our Head of Comm’s for the event, Claire was a steady influence. Crafting the right messages and helping the event find its voice.

Kris Matson and Evan Sanchez – Events like High Five don’t happen without sponsorship. Kris and Evan worked with our Triangle AMA partners and some new sponsors to become involved with the event.

Annie Pearce – Annie took the job of managing our exhibitors and never lost her smile throughout the process. She pushed our partners to create an experience worthy of a High Five.

Mihali Stavlas – The President of the Triangle AMA was a steady influence. Mihali supported us, trusted us and worked to forge key alliances for the event along the way. Plus, I learned he is a genius with an Exacto knife.

Michelle Petrie – Michelle of Petrie Creative made me a believer in my #1 takeaway. Great design matters. Our brand identity is top-notch and every detail was brought to life. Floor decals, the Program and the Limited Edition Poster are just a few of the awesome ways Michelle helped bring the brand to life.

Rick Satcher – Our speakers were in capable hands. Whether it was a pick-up from the airport or a drink in the Green Room, Rick made our keynote and breakout speakers feel at home in the Triangle.

Gene Pinder – Gene helped manage marketing for our event. He pushed everyone to think hard about our message. Awesome job of live blogging from the event. Check out some of his posts: 15 Trends, Word of Mouth, Social Media in a Post-Facebook World, Hero or ZERO?, Creativity + Business, The Silver Bullet, and Digital Marketing: The Right Way.

Many Others – There were countless others who volunteered there time to make the event a success. Attaboys and Attagirls to Christine Johnson, Casey Barger, Stephanie Silverman, Matt Illuzzi, Shelley Vigneau, Arik Abel, Brooks Briz, Christie Montague, Corey Post, Jennifer Urenia, Marnie Settle, Will Hardison, Emma Battle, Sheree Du Pont, Stan Bernard, Karl Sakas, Jamie Douglas, Kevin Snyder and the entire staff at the Sheraton.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here is a guy named Rob who gave over 2,000 high fives in 45 minutes: