NEXT GEN Dinner Series – Connecting with Talent

Ad Lounge had another first with their Next Gen Dinner Series which took place last night at Brassii in downtown Toronto. The Next Gen Dinner Series was created with two main audiences in mind students in communications and design from across the GTA and organizations looking to connect with emerging talent.

What made this event unique is that it represents a creative way for potential employers to connect with new talent. Students had to apply and were expertly screened by Boost Agents (Which our own Fred covered here) who launched their website and service at the Next Gen Dinner Series. Boost Agents took a deep look at who these students were, their education and what they have done to make sure that they represented the best the region has to offer.

Trina Boos the Founder of Ad Lounge created the organization as a community for students and communications pros and has taken on new responsibilities as the President of Boost Agents. The goal of the event, according to Trina, is to offer “a space where employers and students are able to engage in a conversation that will result in a job or mentorship opportunity” that’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Those lucky enough to take part in the event went to a sit down dinner (dress, tie and all) and each company was given 5 minutes to make an impact on these students who will be the future of communications in all its facets. The formal nature of the event and the limited number of students and organizations participating gave the evening an intimate feel that allowed everyone involved to converse and get to know each other over dinner.

Tables were organized around themes from all things digital, integrated communications, communications & PR to product/brand marketing to everything in-between. Some of the sponsors included Pattison Outdoor Advertising, Traffikgroup, Oddly Studios, Talentegg, CP+B Canada, FreshBooks and Spoke among many others with the full list available here.

This allowed the students with similar backgrounds to be matched with companies they would be most likely interested in. When I asked Yujia Wen one of the students attending what she thought about the event she said that “it was a fabulous opportunity for students to see how the Creatives behave when they let loose of themselves… away from their shop”.

Ben Belluz a self-proclaimed marketing enthusiast another student said that he enjoyed getting the “chance to sit across from someone (Enbridge) who has been in the business for a very long time. What Ben liked was that you had to compete to get noticed by the companies but at the same time the competition was smaller. At the same time the only suggestion Ben had was to get the chance to talk to some of the other organizations.

Tony Chapman the Founder and CEO of Capital C who was a sponsor of the event said that they believe that the next generation of talent “will become the lifeblood and leaders of an industry undergoing a prodigious transformation”. He went on to note that the entitled would be washed away by those with curiosity to seize the day which is what the Ad Lounge’s Next Gen Dinner Series was really all about.

Note: Thanks to Trina for letting us cover the event and to all those who participated companies and students alike for talking with The Ad Buzz as I made my way around.