We started our day at the Gorki Apartments, the very cool hotel model where we are staying, made up apartments in the former East Berlin. After gathering for a welcome lunch at Sauerkraut Restaurant next door over beer and typical German Tapas (an oxymoron of sorts), we went upstairs to the penthouse apartment of Gorki and had our kick off meeting with the group of 27 consultants by AdForum.
Here we presented the agenda for the week, viewed the highlight video from last October’s Summit in New York City, heard from Oliver Klein of Cherry Picker enthusiastically share his vision of the German Advertising landscape, followed by Cesar Vacchiano of Scopen who generously provided us with deep insights on research he had conducted for our first agency of the day, Havas.
We arrived at the Soho House Berlin just after 3:00pm for the first ever AdForum CoolLab, a collaborative laboratory wherein the consultant community and agency share an interactive session of ideas, vision and feedback informed by the pre-workshop questionnaire and analysis led by AdForum in advance of the session. Havas bravely embraced this new model and was a part of its maiden voyage. Chris Hirst (CEO Europe) and Tracey Barber (Global CMO) took us through their vision and learnings and engaged the audience in a seamless way and demonstrated how Europe, with Chris in his new role, was going to set the example through the platform of culture for the rest of the Havas family around the world. And this seemed to work so well that Chris is going to deliver this content next month to his Global CEO Summit back here in Berlin.
Our next stop was to the Berlin Philharmoni, where we were hosted by the German agency Scholz & friends, and agency I had the pleasure of visiting while in Hamburg last month to meet their head of Business Development, Sophie Bourgin. Not only did they open with a beautiful cocktail gathering, they also succeeded at weaving in the true culture of their agency through a presentation that did not feel anything like the typical creds we so often see. It was all at once impressive, understated and full of humor. Percy Smend, Partner and CIO, hit every touch-point in the most subtle and appealing manner. He created an experience for us rather than tell us what we should feel. The crescendo came when we were brought into the concert hall for a live performance from the Berlin Symphony. During intermission we were served a lovely dessert and then ended the evening with an invitation by S&F to a beautifully appointed bar for a nightcap. Bravo to the Scholz&friends team!
What a great first day ; can’t wait for tomorrow …