Everyone in Adland Aus has heard (or said), “We don’t get together enough”. Now we can. Limehouse is hosting a series of industry events to make it happen. The series launches this Thursday with a party. After that, Creative Circle will be quarterly with opportunities to discuss what matters in the industry and what might make it better. Here is what the series is, why it is and what’s in it for you, from Limehouse co-founder and managing director, Duncan Harriss.
The Stable: What is Creative Circle 2022? Where does it come from?
Duncan Harriss: The short answer is that it’s a series of casual industry events where everyone in creative and production is welcome. We’re not planning to change the world, but we hope to open some discussions that might make the industry a better place for all. The truth of the matter is we’ve been thinking about this for a while, having some sort of industry event that is completely open house for everyone involved in making advertising. Traditionally these events have been for select groups and often they’ve been for those who’ve “made it”. We wanted to really open it up. It seemed to us that the industry was missing a trick. We’re hoping that people who don’t normally mix – agency creatives to stylists, directors to production interns – get a chance to know each other at these events.
TS: Why did you decide to launch it?
DH: With work spreading out into new realms, everyone can benefit by getting to know more people. Great things can come from new connections. We know that because knowing a lot of people and collaborating with the ones the fit each job best is how we work. We don’t rep anyone and specialist freelancers boost our core talent. So even from a selfish point of view, we started to think, how do we meet new people? How do we keep that creative spark going, the spark being creative conversations and ideas? The best way to do that was to run an event and there weren’t any events in the industry that ran regularly, were fresh and weren’t about going along and sitting there for a long time listening to someone talk about things. We wanted to create a natural setting for people to meet and greet and chat and share ideas.
We also wanted to create something that didn’t pick and choose those it invited. Right from the get-go, we wanted it to be an open event that everyone, all adpeople, could come to – from runners to executive producers, interns to CCOs – people on their first day in the industry to people on their way out of the industry and everyone in between. Not just old boys who like a drink. Even those who consider themselves competitors – although we don’t think of anyone that way. I think everyone’s a bit tired of that old us or them fixation. Collaboration is making work richer and enabling all of us to spread our wings. With work being made now for a mix of channels, it makes sense for people to work together a bit more. We thought our event could be a small gesture that goes towards helping that to happen.
TS: How will Creative Circle work?
DH: We’d had an idea for an event series like this for a long time. And we planned that it would be open like the way we work – with people from other production companies and freelancers up and down the food chain.
We’d actually proposed the same open invite idea for our 10th birthday party, to invite not just those we’d worked with but also those with who we’d like to work. Covid came along and that died but we realised that with the same theme they were much of the same. Then we had a lunch with Campaign Brief who said they had been thinking about restarting an event series called Creative Circle and it all came together. It seemed to us that we should combine them all and kick off the series with a bang.
Creative Circle will be casual and we’ll have a different location every three months to give different people a chance to come along. There will be some limit to the numbers because of venue capacities so we will try to make sure that different people get to come along to each. (Yes, we’re hoping to have one in Melbourne.) And the first one will have it all – we’re paying for the bar (we’ll be putting an amount towards the bar at every event after that). There will be music, a DJ, dancing and something fun and inventive to get conversations started.
TS: What’s in it for adpeople?
Meet new people, catch up with old friends, make new connections, share ideas and have a great time. We’re so keen that Creative Circle will be where people get to meet people they didn’t know before and make connections that are valuable while they’re enjoying themselves. We don’t want to set an agenda and make it stodgy or formal, but we do hope people will share ideas and opinions. Maybe we can make the industry a bit better by providing a positive place where talk is welcome? We’d love for these events to become a place where people can talk about the things that matter to them – perhaps even the difficult topics affecting the industry. When I think about the events I’ve been to, they’re not often inclusive. I don’t see the print and film worlds merging very much. I’m hoping we can bridge that gap a little bit especially as we do production and post for both. Knowing more people in wider fields of work has to be a beneficial thing for everyone now, to have a broader group of people to work with. We think it’s really important for us. In fact, we have a space set up that people can share. We get the benefits that come with meeting new people – new sparks for jobs and new ideas about how to approach things.
When we started ten years ago, we found the industry was quite clique-y about who they worked with. That’s OK because there’s shared experience there and teamwork; you know how to work together. But sometimes you also need to get out there and mix it up. Hopefully, these events will give that opportunity to the industry. We want to see artists across disciplines talking to each other – an ECD chatting to a VR designer; directors and DOPs talking to photographers and their camera assists. That used to happen in pubs. Not so much anymore. Award shows get people together but they’re expensive. That excludes small independent companies and juniors. At parties, you invite people you already know. We work with some smaller branding and design agencies and there are some amazingly talented people in them, but you don’t see them at typical industry events. We’re hoping to bring together a whole lot of interesting people and have a whole lot of interesting conversations. And because that’s how we like to work we’re happy to put some organisation and money into this industry event series.
Here’s the link to the event where you can register to attend.