The 2021 Ad Age Small Agency Conference & Awards starts today, Monday, Aug. 2. The three-day event, which is once again virtual, is dedicated to the needs of independent shops with fewer than 150 employees, giving practical, actionable advice to help build their businesses.
For the small agencies that weathered the storm of 2020, this year has brought about its own set of challenges and opportunities. Talent across the industry is leaving en masse; burnout is a real issue agency leaders need to address; practices that were troubling before lockdown have become so bad industry associations are exploring creating a code of conduct, and leaders across every industry are still trying to figure out what the post-pandemic workspace and work life will look like.
This year's keynote is Keith Cartwright, whose eponymous agency landed on this year's A-List and has made a name for itself with high-profile campaigns for Procter & Gamble and the National Basketball Association.
Among the topics being discussed through workshops, firesides, case studies and panels are:
• Checking your bias and walking the talk of diversity, equity and inclusion
• How a big client can change the dynamics of a small, independent shop
• Understanding what the culture of your agency really is and how it impacts your business
• What it means to sell your shop
• How to structure a contract that works for both you and your client
• Why burnout, diversity and inclusion aren't just buzzwords that will disappear in 2022