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European TAAN Meeting Report: Reykjavik 2008


I traveled to the “Land of Fire and Ice” last week to represent DigitalDay as the only U.S. agency at the recent European Transworld Advertising Association Network (TAAN) Meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland October 2 — 5, 2008.

A lava field after a light snow the night before, just west of Reykjavik.

A lava field after a light snow the night before, just west of Reykjavik.

This European TAAN Meeting was well-attended with agency principals from Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Turkey and the host agency ENNEMM of Iceland.

Our hosts from Iceland's ENNEMM Ad Agency during Friday night's dinner at Domo Restaurant in Reykjavik during the TAAN Europe Fall 2008 Meeting in Iceland.

Our hosts from Iceland during Friday night's dinner at Domo Restaurant in Reykjavik during the TAAN Europe Fall 2008 Meeting in Iceland.

Highlights from the meeting included:

TAAN as a Global Network: Peter Gerritsen, TAAN’s President, led the discussion on how the TAAN member agencies can best harness our global capabilities to deliver value to each of our clients. Through our relationships in Europe, Asia, Africa and both Americas, we can offer clients coordinated local market support “above and below the line.”

Donovan Hawker of Opinion Valley, Paris, Gregor Lof of X-Ingredient, The Netherlands and Peter Gerritsen, TAAN President during the TAAN Europe Meeting in Reykjavik, October 2008.

Donovan Hawker of Opinion Valley, Paris, Gregor Lof of X-Ingredient, The Netherlands and Peter Gerritsen, TAAN President during the TAAN Europe Meeting in Reykjavik, October 2008.

The New IcelandAir: Helgi Björgvinsson, CMO of IcelandAir, treated the group to an inside look at how this innovative, global marketer positions itself in the highly competitive airline industry market. The presentation included a peek at IcelandAir’s new advertising campaign which has yet to be released to the public.

Peter Gerritsen, TAAN President introduces Helgi Mar Bjorgvinsson, CMO of IcelandAir during the TAAN European Fall 2008 Meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Peter Gerritsen, TAAN President introduces Helgi Mar Bjorgvinsson, CMO of IcelandAir during the TAAN European Fall 2008 Meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Art of New Business: Morgan Shorey, Director of New Business for BERLIN CAMERON United and a lifelong new business specialist, presented a seminar on her new business approach and creative ideas on how to improve new business efforts. Interestingly, many of the European agency owners felt her tactics were “too American, too hard-sell” whereas I found her approach creative and personable.

Morgan Shorey, Director of Business Development at BERLIN CAMERON United presents "The Art of New Business" during the TAAN Europe 2008 Fall Meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Morgan Shorey, Director of Business Development at BERLIN CAMERON United presents

The Outing: On Saturday afternoon, the TAAN members boarded a fleet of 4-wheel vehicles for a guided adventure tour of Southwest Iceland. We sampled dried fish chips at an outdoor fish drying rack, hiked through the lava fields to descend into a lava cave, drank schnapps on a black sand beach and ended the evening with a traditional lobster dinner in the seaside town of Stokkseyri.

John Reisky du Dubnic, The Duffy Group, and Hallur Baldursson, ENNEMM, pause in front of drying fish racks during the TAAN Europe's 4-Wheel Outing in Southern Iceland, October 2008.

John Reisky du Dubnic, The Duffy Group, and Hallur Baldursson, ENNEMM, pause in front of drying fish racks during the TAAN Europe

Svetlana Protasova, Aviator, Bernd Loschenbrand, Kieswetter, and Artur Slawnikowski, Oskar Wegner, prepare for take off on the TAAN Europe's 4-Wheel Outing in Southern Iceland, October 2008.

Svetlana Protasova, Aviator, Bernd Loschenbrand, Kieswetter, and Artur Slawnikowski, Oskar Wegner, prepare for take off on the TAAN Europe

In addition to the valuable business meetings, I was able to build stronger relationships with all of the European agency principals — relationships that will help both DigitalDay and our clients. I also had the opportunity to spend some free time exploring Iceland. The following are some photos from this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Landscape near Mosfellsbær, Iceland. This time of year, Iceland is green -- it's Greenland that's Icy.

Landscape near Mosfellsbær, Iceland. This time of year, Iceland is green -- it's Greenland that's icy.

Barbara and Mark Vitullo at Þingvellir, Alþing, the site of Iceland's Viking government in 930 AD.

Barbara and Mark Vitullo at Þingvellir, Alþing, the site of Iceland's Viking government founded in 930 AD.

The Great Geysir in the Haukadalur valley, Iceland, is the oldest known geyser and where we get the English name for this phenomenon.

The Great Geysir in the Haukadalur valley, Iceland, is the oldest known geyser and where we get the English name for this phenomenon.

A view down a downtown Reykjavik side street, with its typical metal-clad buildings, leading to the harbor.

A view down a downtown Reykjavik side street, with its typical metal-clad buildings, leading to the harbor.

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