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So it’s over … and it’s been great.
I had a thoroughly good time and despite being pretty blunt about what adland – and adland in Australia – needs to look at, I’ve not been slagged off too much. Hell, I even won – rather embarrassingly so, as Justin @ Google was fucking awesome – the Big Thinking Of Business.
Have these people got no shame. Or brains?
Anyway, as I wrote yesterday, I saw some fantastic speakers and got to meet some old friends as well as some lovely new ones, but I just want to quickly talk about two things that happened that took this conference to another level.
[New Dad Scott & BBH Asia CEO, Chaz. Those crazzzzzzy ad types.]
After my ‘Specialisation Is Leading To Limitation’ preso, I had a few people come up to me and very kindly say they liked what I’d said.
That felt brilliant by itself, but when the singer from the seriously fucking brilliant house band came up to me and said how much he liked it – a guy who had nothing to do with adland and wants nothing to do with adland – that made my day.
Apparently he liked that I said schools should never be run as a profit centre – which is absolutely true – however I wonder whether he’d of been so impressed with my passion if he’d heard my speech from the previous day where, according to Matt from BWM, I said about Qantas:
“If Qantas are the spirit of Australia, then we’re fucked”.
Who knows, but that genuinely meant a huge amount to me.
[I'm talking about the guys compliment, not my anti-Qantas jibe]
As for the second best thing that happened to me at the conference?
Well, I met Lauren.
Yes, THE Lauren.
After 4 or 5 years, we finally met up and – at least for me – it was awesome.
After getting over the initial shock that a woman I’ve spoken to almost every weekday for years and years on end [even though we had a disagreement on when/who/how we first ‘made contact’] was right in front of me, it was like a couple of old friends catching up, except it meant more to me than just that, it meant the absolute world.
This is not because she got me a Queen 45” record [“I Want It All”] but because she is one of the most wonderful, clever, inspiring, kind, rude, opinionated, passionate people I know.
What I especially love is that at a conference full of planners, this tattoo’d artist – a woman who has never worked a day in adland in her life – is smarter, more aware and more focused on issues and opportunities than many of the people plying their trade with that title on their business card.
To say I was wrapped to meet Lauren is a vast understatement and for some mad reason, when it was time to say goodbye, I started feeling I might cry.
How fucking weird is that?
Almost as weird as when the very, very lovely Katrina Wong @ Droga5 announced …
“I follow you on your blog”.
Lucky for me [and for Katrina] we both pulled ourselves together before we embarrassed ourselves once and for all, however I can honestly say it felt a real and genuine privilege to meet such an amazing and sickeningly talented person and I want to say right now how grateful and happy I am I saw her and I look forward to the time we can do it again and for much longer.
Final point, the people in Australian adland are very fucking gorgeous … way to fucking gorgeous … 4 in particular, but a gentlemen would never reveal their names, mainly because I don’t know them and I’d rather not be greeted off the plane by my wife with a divorce petition in her hand.
Thank you Sydney and to the Comms Council who invited me, it was wonderful and you did a top job.
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