March 22, 2017

#BigBookCrit Top Tips

Last night I was a critter at the DMA / IDMGraeme Robertson Trust Big Book Crit in London. There are a few more happening in Manchester, Norwich, Edinburgh and Bristol TOMORROW. So if you’re reading this and haven’t registered, head here.

We had 15 minute crits with student/grad teams – which isn’t a lot for someone like me who waffles on – but it did throw up a few thoughts that I thought might be good if you attend something similar in the future. *Cough* a bit like our R/GA Speed Dating in a couple of weeks.

Here are a few ideas to get the most out of your quick-fire crits.

Work out what you want show
You can’t get through a whole folio in that time. So do you make a special 3 campaign wonder specifically for the night? Or do you show the first 3 campaigns to the first CD. The next 3 to one after… and so on. But then do you get short-changed when you’re potentially showing your three worst ideas to a CD? Or do you want feedback x3 on the same campaigns. Is that helpful to you? Have a plan for the night. What do you want to get from it?

Stop presenting from your website
OH MY GOD. This is a pet hate of mine. Stop relaying on wifi too. Tell a story through your work. Start in one place and take me on a journey. When we present to a client we don’t dot all over the place. We have a Keynote/PowerPoint presentation to start at A and end at Z. Don’t make me go C, H, J, A, M, T, K, O, M, G. That’s why a printed book is good. It also means you spend less time on a computer and more time doing ideas. We see scamps every day. You don’t have to show us a Photoshopped thing, just make a Sharpie your friend.

Make notes
I had 7 crits last night. About half made notes. I doubt you’ll remember all the bits of advice 7 CDs gave you (after you’ve had a few beers) by the morning. It's just common sense.

Get contact details
Last night, NOBODY asked me for my details. I had a bunch of business cards on the table too. Either you thought my advice was terrible, or you weren’t plucky enough to ask. It’s a networking night. Make sure you network.

Try something different
What if you do a trial book of random ads – created for the evening based on the brands that agency has? Or you show your work on playing cards? Or do you treat each 15 minute crit like an interview. What do you show? What do you say? How do you impress? But make each one being different.

Treat each event/crit as an opportunity to try something new. Everyone was doing the same thing last night. Yet if one team had just done something out of the ordinary, they would have been remembered by everyone. Just a thought.

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