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Elevate Workshops Guide

Jordan P. Kelley, Content Director, Brand Storytelling

Want to attend Elevate? Click here to request an invite.

BrandStorytelling has been hard at work conducting community research to determine the most salient topics for exploration at this year's Elevate. The input received from the Elevate Live Forum, a weekly gathering of industry participants, has helped shape the subjects that will be explored during the workshops at Elevate.

As a result of your input, we've selected several topics for this year's workshops that are a direct reflection of the needs and interests expressed by our community. Workshops are still in development, but we couldn't wait to share with you what we have in store so far. Take a look:


Strategic Programming: Navigating Channels and Engaging Audiences

With an array of emerging platforms at their disposal, brands have seemingly endless opportunities to disseminate their programming. However, the challenge lies in determining how and where brands can locate the appropriate audience. Posing this question after the content has already been produced proves futile - instead, it is imperative that brands create a complete plan for production and success from end-to-end. And while it shouldn't be expected that brands have all the answers to determine what it takes to reach their desired audiences and achieve programming and distribution success, the savviest among them will recognize that delegating to and working with a great partner can make all the difference. Leading this interactive peer-to-peer discussion on cultivating strategic partnerships, navigating available channels and reaching the right eyes and ears are Brian Newman, Founder of Sub-Genre; John Baez, Head of Brand Solutions and Strategy at Fuse Media; and Jon Scarlett, VP of Content Studios at Fuse Media.

Workshop Leader:

Brian Newman

Founder, Sub-Genre

Workshop Leader:

John Baez

Head of Brand Solutions and Strategy, Fuse Media

Workshop Leader:

Jon Scarlett

Vice President, Content Studios, Fuse Media


Brand Storytelling 2.0: How to Tell Stories That Drive Business Results

As brand storytelling models continue to evolve, it is paramount that the stories we tell not just drive emotional connections with customers and employees, but drive actual business results. Particularly with the proliferation of creator-led and social-led storytelling as part of the mix, and with economic models in flux, tying brand stories back to the bottom line ensures that they remain a critical component in any communications/marketing mix. In this interactive session, led by a top advertising agency founder, author and filmmaker along with an in-house content and creative lead at one of America's largest and most valued brands, we will explore how to identify the right stories/narratives for your brand to pursue, how to build a framework to ensure those stories achieve your goals, and how to think about distribution and success metrics after the work has been released. Audience participation will be required throughout and attendees will leave with clear takeaways for their brands, agencies and production companies.

Workshop Leader:

Lou Dubois

Senior Director - Content, Creative, HD Story Labs and Home Depot TV, The Home Depot

Workshop Leader:

Jeff Rosenblum

Co-President, Questus


The Power of Hope-Based Leadership

This workshop explores the science of hope and its impact in personal, professional, and social domains. Participants will gain insights into evidence-based strategies for cultivating optimism and resilience within teams, resulting in improved mental and physical health, increased productivity, and enhanced problem-solving abilities. The workshop delves into the importance of adopting hope-based thinking patterns and habits to achieve personal and professional goals, fostering overall well-being. Attendees will learn how to harness the power of hope as a tool for motivating others, fostering collaboration, and driving innovation. The workshop also highlights the role of hope in community development and collective action, empowering individuals and communities to create a more just society. By leveraging their leadership influence, participants will discover ways to promote hope and well-being within their communities. This workshop offers valuable insights and strategies to enhance personal and professional lives while contributing to the greater good of society. The workshop is led by Molly Kawahata, an undying optimist, former White House advisor, and subject of the Patagonia film, THE SCALE OF HOPE (2022).

Workshop Leader:

Molly Kawahata

Founder of Systemic Impact Strategies

Former White House Climate Advisor

Using the Science of Hope to Help Transform Organizations


Social Out: A Strategic Methodology for Growing & Sustaining Brand Story Via Social

Social media is the biggest driver in culture and brand relevance today, defined by a complex web of social engagements and cultural pervasiveness that drives marketing concepts, creative, and performance across ALL channels. This requires a foundational prioritization that reflects the new media realities marketers face, where social platforms have displaced traditional media as the largest and most scalable platforms for creative distribution. Using an innovative approach called the ‘Social Out' Methodology, brands can position the content they want seen so that it drives social impact first, leading to effective impact elsewhere. Learn about the 'Social Out' Methodology - how successful brands are being built and grown on social, and leveraging those efforts to impact other forms of media – in this workshop.

Workshop Leader:

Charles Ifegwu

Managing Director, THE FIFTH

Workshop Leader:

Brett Brown

Head of Creative, THE FIFTH

Workshop Leader:

Barret Bowman

Director of Content, goodr


Build-A-Brand Identity with A.I.

With the emergence of more advanced AI tools, developing a brand identity and getting a product to market has never been easier or faster. In this session, Brandon Kaplan, Chief Innovation Officer of next-gen agency Journey, will host an immersive session calling on the audience to help crowdsource and create a custom new brand identity using the most advanced AI tools available, in record time. Kaplan will provide tangible insights on the newest AI platforms along with a step-by-step breakdown of how businesses can integrate AI resources at different entry points to effortlessly create compelling brand elements– from values and messaging to the visuals that bring a brand’s story to life.

Workshop Leader:

Brandon Kaplan

Chief Innovation Officer, Co-Founder, Journey


Unlocking the Power of Measurement: Insights, Naming Conventions, and Activation Strategies

While traditional advertising has established best practice frameworks for performance modeling, there’s no standardized measurement by the industry to assess how and why brand-funded entertainment content works. In this engaging session, the Brand Storytelling Special Projects Team will share invaluable insights gathered from leading figures in the world of branded entertainment. The team will introduce a set of naming conventions designed to unite the entire industry and streamline communication. Attendees can expect concrete examples that illustrate each of these newly coined terms, facilitating a common language for discussing various formats of brand-funded entertainment. Finally, the session will explore effective strategies to activate these content initiatives, aligning them with the entire customer journey and supporting brand Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Prepare to gain valuable insights and practical knowledge on leveraging brand-funded entertainment to its fullest potential using metrics and measurement.

Workshop Leader:

Megan Wells

Metrics Project Lead

Workshop Leader:

Andy Cooper

Co-Founder, One Minute to Midnight


Brand-Funded Blunders: Insights Into the Journey of Brand Film Production

Mistakes happen, but they don't have to be repeated. In this enlightening workshop, we invite you to explore the realm of brand-funded film production through a comprehensive discussion of past blunders and the invaluable lessons learned from them. Join us for an engaging session that delves into mistakes made in the world of brand-funded films. Benefit from the collective wisdom and experiences shared by agency professionals as they provide insights on the dos and don'ts of embarking on a brand film journey. From the intricate process of pre-production to the challenges of post-production, from film festivals to streaming platforms, this workshop covers every aspect of brand-funded film production. Gain valuable knowledge and practical tips on how to navigate this journey successfully, avoiding the pitfalls that others have encountered. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from the missteps of others, ensuring a smoother path towards creating impactful brand films.

Workshop Leaders:

Amy Slotnick

Senior Vice President, Passion Point Collective

Marcus Peterzell

Founder, Passion Point Collective


Each participant at Elevate will have the opportunity to attend 4 workshops.

Please use the Elevate 2023 Workshop Selection form to choose which workshops you would like to attend. You'll find it in your inbox or in the Elevate Attendee Newsletter.


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