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TAAN Report: Laguna Beach Meeting


It’s tough work, but someone’s got to do it. I’m talking about the Transworld Advertising Association (TAAN) Meeting I had to attend last week in Laguna Beach, California.

The four day meeting took place at the Hotel Laguna On the Beach, a vintage beach-style hotel. Upon checking in and going to my room, I was a little concerned when I couldn’t find the air-conditioning controls. Turns out the AC consisted of two large windows that opened to let in the ocean breeze and the sound of the waves hitting the shore. It was perfect for sleeping.

Laguna Beach in the early evening with a view of the hotel where the TAAN meeting was held.

Laguna Beach in the early evening with a view of the hotel where the TAAN meeting was held.

Taking a break on the beach between sessions at the TAAN Summer Meeting in Laguna Beach

Taking a break on the beach between sessions at the TAAN Summer Meeting in Laguna Beach

The business parts of the meeting took place in the beach-level conference room that provided a panoramic view of the Pacific behind every speaker. The session’s highlights included:

Protecting Your Most Important Asset — The Agency’s Talent, presented by Mike Carlton of Carlton Associates. Mike is an ad agency veteran whose career was actually started in Cleveland where he was a founding member of Carr-Liggett, one of the area’s largest ad agencies in the ‘80s. Mike explained how to best structure a creative agency and how to nurture talent within an agency, concepts we’ll try to implement here at DigitalDay.

Mike Carlton of Carlton Associates from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, explains the value of mentoring within an agency.

Mike Carlton of Carlton Associates from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, explains the value of mentoring within an agency.

Win-Win Negotiations presented by Scott Potter of Baker Communications. Scott’s workshop outlined the types of negotiation tactics clients often use and how to counter or address those tactics.

Using Social Networking as a Marketing Tool presented by Jason Kang of MySpace. This was one of the most interesting and informative sessions for me. I learned that MySpace is not just a teenager hang out but can be effective in reaching and targeting large numbers of older and professional demographics. I’ve already had a follow-up call to brainstorm possible programs with some of our agency’s clients.

The social parts of the meeting included wonderful dinners, cocktails and conversation, and an afternoon of golf at Pelican Hill Golf Resort, the most impressive course I’ve ever played.

Mark Vitullo, Bob Neville and Maike Gallagher take a break on the back nine of Pelican Hill Golf Club.

Mark Vitullo, Bob Neville and Maike Gallagher take a break on the back nine of Pelican Hill Golf Club.

It was a great meeting but now I’ve got to decide if I should force myself to go to the next meeting in Reykjavik.

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