Seminar – Digital Media Seminar

In Seminar Reviews on October 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm

The theme for this one was great.
The red pill/blue pill decision of lollies at the start was very clever, and the costumes, set, promo material etc. was all very impressive. They even had glowsticks to raise when you wanted to ask a question.

However, unfortunately. as soon as the seminar began, the theme melted away, and it turned into pretty much every seminar we have seen so far – four people just sit there and wait for their turn to talk. The content that the guests themselves were presenting was fine, the guests were happy to speak and had a lot of information to impart upon our fresh minds. Despite this though, no knew or fresh approach was taken, disappointing for the final seminar. That’s not to say they handed the template poorly – in fact they have probably delivered ‘dry Q&A’ better to date. However I felt that our group was more ambitious with their execution than any, which is crazy to me because we were the second cab off the rank. I had thought by the time we arrived at the last seminar, we would see something new or different.

Credit where credit is due, they had brilliant promotional materials, good guests and a killer set-up…. but I still found myself looking at my watch.


Seminar – Global Media Takeover

In Seminar Reviews on September 28, 2014 at 1:51 pm

These guys did a great job reinforcing their theme at the beginning. I was greeted by a team dressed as flight attendants, an ‘in-flight’ announcement was made at the beginning, and the set was thoughtfully constructed to appear as an airport lounge, fancy coffee table and martini glasses t’boot. Moreover they had paper planes adorning the room, which I found to be very clever, due to that being the chief symbol of their marketing. They handed out goodie-bags with fancy chocolates, and postcards to promote the audience to think about distance and the concept of international opportunities.

The guests were great, and none of them were shy. I was particularly interested in the guest who worked on ‘The Mule’, and I was entertained to se a trailer that was released that same day. They told stories and shared advice, under the direction of the two hosts.

Again however I felt my engagement waning mid-way through the seminar as the format remained the same, allowing no room to play with the theme. In the end, despite the quality lengths gone to in an effort to provide a strong theme, the theme was once again dropped the minute the real talking began.  Whilst the content was very relevant, I felt that guests were often given huge amounts of talking time and that the work done to reinforce the theme was diminished by the theme’s non-importance throughout the rest of the seminar.

That being said both the hosts were pleasant and competent, steering clear of the spotlight so that the guests might shine. Navigating the pitfalls of self-indulgence, they clearly had their priorities sorted. There were only a few minor set-backs, and set-up seemed to be fully completed by the time I arrived.

I enjoyed the effort, but felt that more work could have been done on the format to enhance the seminar – plenty was done on the theme before the seminar but as it was abandoned as the seminar began, it felt odd almost to see a regular old Q&A hosted from the middle of it all. That being said the effort by the group shone through, and should be noted as excellent.

Seminar – Petty Laugh-ceny

In Seminar Reflections on August 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm

That might be my worst pun ever.

We finally had the Seminar, and it went great!

Over the week I filmed a green-screen promo with Evan and Rob, and rubbed out the final details of our performance. I would break in as a burglar, and Rob would try to apprehend me, before being tricked into being my assistant.

I had looked over the questions a few times by then, and was pretty happy with the work our team put in to keep it topical, fun and engaging.
As the team set up the equipment and stage, I found myself in charge of entertaining the guests. Jeff Shenker was first to arrive by far, and I was very pleased with the natural rapport that I established with him early on. We spoke jovially and he was primed for a fun little seminar – exactly what I was hoping for. Next was Anna Gregory, and again I was able to speak easily with her. She seemed very switched on and before I knew it Anna, Jeff and I were having a colloquial round table chat. The other guests arrived whilst I was hiding (a necessary factor in the theatrics of ‘Breaking In’) but they too were reasonably loose and excited.
One of our guests seemed averse to the idea of a silly gameshow (naming no names), but visibly warmed over the course of the preceedings.

I was very proud of myself for the work that I did in my seminar. I watched talk shows in preparation, and studied closely the technique of the previous weeks interviewer. I feel that I was able to keep the talking on track without making myself the focus – a fear I had from the start, after all I didn’t want to get caught up playing burglar and distract people from the guests the team had to work for.
I was able to politely move forward when we were running behind, I was able to tell a few jokes and keep everyone happy and having fun, and I feel I handled the later Q&A with a lot of patience and with a priority on audience involvement.  I had many compliments thrown my way both from the guests and the audience, and was even asked for my email by a seminar attendee who saw my hosting abilities as an asset.

I was very much afraid that I would be seen as pandering to my own ego, despite my reluctance to host in the first place. I believe my operation on the day proves my commitment to the work first and foremost, and I feel happy that I was able to contribute to what was a great day.
I am very happy with how the rest of the team performed too, with an absolute minimum of technical difficulties and problems.

This one was a win for me, and I got Anna and Jeff’s emails as a result. Now I will be able to contact them and use them in my Personal Networking Report, which makes me quite happy as I respect them both and look forward to their advice.