TrendsTalk Toronto 2015

On February 20th, 2015, one of the coldest days on record, twenty students from the Advertising and Marketing Communications (aMC) Program, as well as from the Interactive Marketing Communications (iMC) Program, invaded Toronto and joined forces with twenty alumni of Advertising and Marketing Communications. The code name for the mission was "TrendsTalk Toronto." The purpose of this mission was to network, and share ideas and trends in marketing communications. The result was a victory for all. 

Alumni Panel: Adam Fraser, Brook Johnston, Brett McDonald, Wendy Bairos

Trendstalk Toronto  launched with an agency tour of two of the more progressive advertising agencies in Toronto, FUSE Marketing Group and The Hive.  Alumni Brook Johnston and Taylor O'Neill hosted an insightful discussion about the challenges and opportunities of working in an agency environment. Lots of questions were fired at the hosts and they, along with the president of FUSE fired back about what sets FUSE apart from other agencies. FUSE is an integrated marketing agency specializing in digital strategy, social media marketing, XM and CRM.  Familiar words, such as "integrated marketing"  and "digital strategy” …  words that describe what’s unique about the curriculum in our Advertising and Marketing Communications programs. There is a surprising alignment of our curriculum with the USP of FUSE.  Perhaps that is why so many of our students and graduates get internships and jobs at FUSE. 


Following FUSE, Alumna Stephanie Dowhy hosted the students at the Hive - where the discussion turned to discuss what the difference was between "boutique" agencies and "full-service" agencies. 


And that was just the start of a full day of "talk" about trends in marketing communications.  Later that afternoon, Grant Goodwin from All Roads in Kingston explained "Authoritative Branding" in a keynote that was interesting and a real work-out for the brain as he delved deeply into strategies to brand organizations and companies as "Authorities" in their product or service categories.  Immediately following that was an Alumni Panel discussion featuring: Wendy Bairos – Google Canada, Adam Fraser – Rapp,  Brook Johnston – FUSE, and Brett McDonald – Zulu, Alpha,Kilo.  The alumni panel provided the students with job search techniques and career planning for the fast-paced advertising field. 

Cathy Aneno, Katia Valisolalao, Becky Seath, Leslie O'Sullivan

Cathy Aneno, Katia Valisolalao, Becky Seath (Alumna), Leslie O'Sullivan

The day wrapped up with a student, alumni, agency mixer where students were able to exchange good advice for business cards—and that was just the first day. The second day students took advantage of a wide range of seminars and workshops in digital marketing at Podcamp Toronto which was held at Ryerson, just a 3 minute walk from the hotel. 


TrendsTalk Toronto was a tremendous victory for the faculty, students and alumni of aMC/iMC @ SLC.  It really gave meaning to the rally cry of "Proud to be SLC!"