Local Ad Club Hosts Week-Long Fair

February 23, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — The Ad Club of West Michigan is hosting a week-long celebration of all things advertising during the first week of March, with the annual ADDY Awards gala as the centerpiece.

The Ad Club’s first-ever AD Fair, similar to Ad Week in New York City, offers a mix of fun, information and showplace for the local industry, with some events open to the public.

Clare Wade, Ad Club vice president, said the idea came about as a way to provide more value for the club’s 150 members, from north of Grand Rapids to South Haven.

“We thought it would be a great idea for West Michigan, to make sure people are aware of the terrific creative community we have,” Wade said. “I think it’s an opportunity for business to increase for ad agencies and design firms, as well as for businesses in West Michigan who work with them.”

The week’s events begin at 5:30 p.m. March 3 with two advertising-themed movies at the Wealthy Theatre, an event sponsored by Hannon McKendry. It’s a double-bill, featuring at 5:45 p.m. “Crazy People,” starring Dudley Moore and Darryl Hannah, and at 7:30 p.m., “Nothing in Common,” with Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason. Cost is $3 for a single show or $5 for both.

From 4 to 7 p.m. March 4 is the Creative Crawl. Members of the Ad Club of West Michigan will throw open their doors for local businesses, community leaders, students, clients and the public. Participants include advertising agencies, design firms, and photo and video production studios. Maps are online at www.theadfair.com. The event is sponsored by The Polishing Center, AD2 and the GVSU Ad Club.

From 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. March 5, local experts in advertising and branding will gather at the Kent Country Club to talk about business-to-consumer and business-to-business strategy, interactive and digital marketing, and the agency-client relationship. Cost is $25; register for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event at www.grandrapids.org.

At 6 p.m. March 6, local advertising glitterati will converge at the Steelcase Town Hall for the annual ADDY awards gala. Entries will be on exhibit and the winners will be announced, as will the individual being honored by the local club. Winning work will move on to district competition, from which entries are chosen for the national ADDY competition in June. Wade said she expects 500 to 600 people to attend the hors-d’oeuvres-and-beverages event. Following the presentation, Grand Rapids indie pop band The Icicles will perform.

Beginning Feb. 22, the public may join Ad Club members in voting on the Web for the Blue Ribbon People’s Choice Awards at www.theadfair.com. Here will be posted advertising and design entries born and bred in West Michigan.

Gravity Six, a coalition of six West Michigan advertising and design firms, is contributing marketing prowess for the events.

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