Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Barrie Spelling IDM Summerschool 2011 27/06/2011 - 01/07/2011 (Monday)

Monday - wow that went quickly

Despite the early starts for those that elected not to stay over on the Sunday night, upon arriving at the IDM on Monday the 27th June, everyone was spritely and excited for the week ahead.  Whilst at the assessment day there had been a fair amount of nerves and uncertainty, straight from the get-go all 27 of us were happily chatting away as if we were old chums during our morning coffees.

Firstly, programme co-ordinator Janice Pickard kicked off the morning with the obligatory (but surprisingly enjoyable) ice-breaker.  Unveiling some unusual facts about each of the delgates, we discovered that among us we had :  A break-dancer, a panto performer, a green peace activist and a cheese lover (and that's just a few). 

Janice perceiving us to all be well and truly exhausted from this, it was deemed time to have the first of our many, many coffee breaks. 
During said break, sitting invitingly in the corner of the newly refurbished and brilliantly rebranded IDM's lounge, sat a shiny new table football table.  Needless to say this became the very meaning of "coffee break" for many of us, pausing only for some of the kindly provided juice and soft drinks, and to substitute out disappointingly poor team mates *cough*Katherine *cough*.

Next up we had our first talk of the summer school from IDM founder and Managing Director Derek Holder.  In this he gave us a comprehensive introduction into the discipline of direct and digital marketing, and made sure we were all on the same page for the week ahead.  Having read his chapter in Thomas and Housden's Direct and Digital Marketing in Practice I had been looking forward to what he would have to say on the area, and he certainly didn't disappoint.  Providing us all with numerous tips as recent graduates and answering any questions we had on the industry he was the first of many to instil confidence and inspiration

After this followed a lunch that surprised us all.  Though the majority of the group had assumed we would be served a cricket tea-esque sandwiches and fruit buffet, we were pleasantly surprised with chicken, potatoes and something that I'm sure none of us were used to as students...salad. 

Tummies more than sated, it was time for what we'd all been wondering about since Janice's letter of acceptance; the brief.  Though the large brand logo on the power-point as we walked in ruined any drum-roll moment, we were all still excited to find out that our project for the week was to be for Bacardi Superior.
Though a brand with an enormously rich heritage, Bacardi have clearly become out of touch with consumers, and are falling behind competitors.  As such, our task is to provide a year plan on how to make the UK proud to drink Bacardi.  Whilst uncertainty on where we stand on client confidentiality prevents me from divulging much more information than this, watch this space for more info as the week progresses.

After spending a while in our groups discussing the brand, deciding on a plan of action, and deciding to leave reading the extensive bundle of papers provided till later, we were hauled back into the training suite once more to speak to some summer school alumni.  Getting a chance to grill Claire from DMS Jessica from EHS 4D Group and Jamie 1 and 2 from Dr Zeus' lesser known book Chaps from Rapp, we were given a brief insight into agency life from people who had been in our position just a year previously.

Getting a chance to further pester the grads, we headed next door to flex our networking muscles for the first time with drinks and dinner at The Park Lodge Hotel.  Joined by Jessica from EHS (other graduates) we all had a great time listening to stories, learning things we probably shouldn't know, learning about the industry, and drinking maybe just a tad too much.

All done we eventually headed back to our roomy student digs at St Marys, complete with hilarious aeroplane bathroom style en-suite.  Whilst I'd love to say that we partied on into the night, I guess that no longer being students we're all getting a bit too old for that now, so heads brimming with information and eyelids heavy, we all soon filtered off to our bedrooms.  After forcing ourselves to read some of our case study papers, we all swiftly fell asleep in our furnace temperature rooms, none quite believing that Monday was already over.