Ad 2 Austin Under Neon Lights!

Written by Becca Messenger, Ad 2 Austin Vice President

Written by Becca Messenger, Ad 2 Austin Vice President

For members of Ad 2 Austin, fall isn’t just football season and Q4 deadlines – it’s a sign it’s time for our Ad 2 National Mid-Year Retreat! This year, five of our members got to experience Las Vegas with our closest friends from across the country while geeking out over advertising best practices and soaking in tips about club operations. We spent three days reconnecting with the principles of our club in one of the wildest cities in the world, making it a trip we won’t soon forget!

After some bad weather on the way in, we rolled up to our Airbnb in Vegas at a cool 4 o’clock in the morning. After getting a few restful hours of sleep, we met up with other chapters to explore before the kick-off happy hour with the Ad 2 national board. This year we attended the retreat with the help of District 10 of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), so we were able to send five board members to Vegas – three of whom had never been to an Ad 2 National Mid-Year Retreat before!

“With this being my first MYR, I wasn't sure what to expect. But I ended up having an incredibly rewarding experience (being in Vegas was just an added bonus!) It's always nice to connect with familiar faces from Ad 2 chapters from around the nation, and the roundtable discussions on Diversity and Inclusion were particularly engaging for me. Leaving the Retreat, I felt inspired by my colleagues and returned to Austin within a renewed sense of passion for all things Ad 2.”

–Ammar Mahesri, Diversity Co-Chair

It was easy to get lost in the sights and creative inspiration surrounding us in Vegas, and Ad 2 members from across the country were harnessing that energy for the duration of the retreat. Our Saturday was filled with thoughtful discussion and creative problem solving as we addressed obstacles faced by clubs of all sizes. We brainstormed ways to approach challenging scenarios and added ideas to our arsenal for future use.

MYR was a great experience for quite a few reasons, one being that this was my first national event with Ad 2 and it was great to get to explore Las Vegas with my fellow Austin crew. Also getting to meet and connect with all the amazing people that are involved with Ad 2 from across the country is definitely a big highlight. During the MYR we share what’s working in our chapter and how we can improve, which leaves you feeling inspired. Even though we only met for a short amount of time, I feel that I made some great contacts and friends. Can’t wait for next year!

– Alice McDougall, Education & Student Relations Co-Chair

One of the coolest experiences from our trip was the venue where our retreat was held. We set up camp for the day at Fresh Wata, an experiential agency packed full of Insta-worthy spaces and all the necessary gear for the world’s best party. Nothing is more over-the-top than a company creating wild experiences in Las Vegas, and the location certainly helped fuel conversations about our clubs’ respective event calendars. We toured the Fresh Wata stock warehouse in awe after hearing from co-founder Tricia Costello about the ins-and-outs of marketing activation.

“As a first-time attendee of an Ad 2 Mid-Year Retreat, I can say that I had the best experience in Las Vegas getting to meet people from various other Ad 2 chapters throughout the country. Having a chance to build strong professional connections with other young people in the ad industry is truly an invaluable opportunity that I have not had this far in my career. Not only was it a blast getting to meet and mingle with other Ad 2 professionals, but Fresh Wata experiential marketing agency was the perfect backdrop to the 'down-the-rabbit-hole' excess that is Las Vegas, in the best way possible, of course. We had a pretty great time taking selfies. The agency sort of flips everything on its side and offers a unique perspective on the experience of the consumer, much like Sin City itself.”

– Joey Horvath, Communications Co-Chair

The “Ad 2 effect,” an omnipresent sensation at all of our national gatherings, gave the trip a kick that’s simply unattainable at a Vegas bachelor or bachelorette party. While heading home with new ideas and fond memories - both forged with kindred spirits from D.C. to Honolulu - we realized our weekend was a winner in more ways than one. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with the impressive lineup of Ad 2ers dedicating their talents to our organization – especially at the top of the High Roller with Bellagio views!

“When speaking about Fresh Wata's origin, Tricia said, ‘Creative people are smart, not lucky.’ As I looked around at the room filled with young professionals dedicating time, energy and passion to their careers and their respective Ad 2 board, I couldn't agree more. I believe her final advice to us will be effortless for our talented group of creative collaborators: ‘Continue creating, connecting, consuming. Unleash your creative process, and continue to build one idea at a time together.’”

– Madison Scullin, Ad 2 Austin President

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