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Elevate Returns to Sundance Mountain Resort

Jordan P. Kelley, Content Director, BrandStorytelling

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For the second year in a row, Elevate: A BrandStorytelling Summer Retreat, took place at Sundance Mountain Resort in Sundance, Utah from July 17th through the 20th. While this year saw the return of some familiar faces, the event welcomed many new representatives of the brand storytelling community. Brand representatives, filmmakers, agents, producers, and more gathered for several days of inspirational screenings and stage presentations, insightful workshops, exciting outdoor activities, and incredible networking.

The heartbeat of Elevate is the exploration of the most salient topics relevant to today’s brand storyteller – and those topics were explored through screenings, stage presentations, and workshops.

Screenings included everything from short, intimate films like Hilton’s Rogers of the Roosevelt to feature length films like Patagonia’s The Scale of Hope. Films like Tribeca X winners Earthbound and Full Bleed and Tribeca Official Selection the Right to Joy screened to a full house, with the films’ respective filmmakers taking the stage for Q&A after. A new film from John Deere spotlighting volunteer firefighters titled Odd Hours No Pay Cool Hat screened for a combined audience of event attendees and local volunteer firefighters, followed by a wonderful community barbecue.

Insights and case studies from major contributors to the brand storytelling space were shared on the Elevate stage, like Freethink’s their approach to the careful incorporation of AI into creative processes and Google’s analysis of home reno brand Angi’s success creating native ad style content on YouTube. Fireside chats and individual presentations set the tone for how to lead with purpose, channel hope, and capture the true spirit of stories told. The Elevate stage also saw the return of the brand storytelling innovations group working to develop nomenclature and measurement practices to unify the industry in its pursuit of a uniform way to talk about and measure brand funded content and entertainment.

Attendees engaged in a variety of interactive workshops hosted by leaders in their respective fields. Subjects included conversations on strategic programming, telling stories that drive business results, the power of hope-based leadership, strategic methodologies for implementing social to grow your brand story presence, building brands with A.I., unlocking the power of measurement, and insights into the journey of brand film production.

Elevate wouldn’t be complete without communing with the outdoors. Participants in the event took their learnings out into the elements and discussed while ziplining, hiking, and on horseback. The many acres of the Sundance property served as the perfect backdrop for introspection and reflection on the days’ events.

Brand Storytelling’s return to Sundance was met with top-quality participation and reverence for the unique environment created by BrandStorytelling and its community. The wholly unique retreat experience left participants refreshed, revitalized, and armed with new knowledge and ideas to bring back and deploy in their respective roles.



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