HOW ConferenceSeeing as How Magazine was nice enough to bring their annual design conference to Denver, I thought it made sense to go down for the day and take in a few sessions. I’ve always been a fan of How Magazine. They tend to have business focus in a lot of their articles and are less about just showing lot’s of nice design work. I have also been to a How Conference before and felt that I got a great deal of inspiration out of the experience. I still remember David Carson’s talk and his great sense of humor.

For this year’s conference I chose to attend sessions by Tony Mikes, Sam Harrison, and John Second WindJanuary & Tug McTighe. Tony Mike’s session was titled, “Is Your Agency Interesting.” As an agency owner I was drawn to this session as we are always trying to better differentiate ourselves. I came to the conclusion that I think Imulus is interesting, but that we could probably communicate that more effectively than we are currently and we could also be doing a lot more interesting things. Tony was a very compelling speaker and I will definitely be checking out his Second Wind company.

Idea SellingNext came Sam Harrison’s session on “How to Sell Your Ideas to Bosses, Clients and Other Decision Makers.” An author of several books, I found Sam to be a very polished and interesting speaker. His ideas were well organized and I learned a lot that I can apply to how we present ideas at Imulus. The idea that he left us with, that it was “All About Energy,” really summed it up for me. If you put all your energy into preparing and presenting your idea your chances of success are much higher. If you aren’t excited about your own idea, how can you expect the person on the other side of the table to be excited.

By far the most unusual session was “Everything I Needed to Know About Advertising I Learned from Star Wars.” John and Tug were very entertaining threadlessin their cleverly constructed presentation. Utilizing lessons drawn from all the Star Wars films, they were able to show parallels where those lessons apply to the life of a creative. And while the lessons were good, the heart of the presentation was the humor and clever concept. I will always remember that there is a Death Star out there ready to kill my next great idea.

The resource center had some interesting booths and lots of quality shwag. Adobe was showing off CS5 and bunches of paper companies were hoping that designers will continue to design printed pieces for a bit longer. Threadless was nice enough to give out free drinks at the happy hour at the end of the day. Thanks for the beer!