Offset was a fun new adventure for me. I’ve heard about the creative festival before but never felt the need to attend. Now I’m gutted about all the nuggets I missed out on. Thank god for Vimeo. It was lovely to see so many like-minded people under one roof raving. The atmosphere first struck me as I showed up late to the first day. Everybody seemed incredibly chilled, all attending for the same purpose. To learn. 

I didn’t know much about the speakers so I tackled Offset like I would any festival. Buy a ticket, sample what’s on offer and be pleasantly surprised. Over the three days I camped out at the main stage. I don’t feel there is a need for me to dissect each of the speakers, mainly because I couldn’t. I don’t know enough about their craft and skills. Each of them were so bespoke in their field, moving in their own way, which has helped shape their career. The speakers that really hit home for me were Mr Bingo, GMUNK, Jonathan Barnbrook, Piranha Bar, mcbess and Seb Lester, who blew the roof the Bord Gáis and earned a double standing ovation from the crowd and a few tears from me.

Adventures at Offset

I came away from Offset with a fresh mindset. I wanted to fail. All my work in advertising has been quite controlled and strategic, ticking boxes to fit brand pillars. I wasn’t pushing myself to create more. The speakers above started their projects in obscure ways but the final output was incredible. I began to wonder about my own process. Was starting at the weirdest place for a brand the wrong idea? I’m not your typical creative. I’m not an art director or a copywriter so I felt a little behind with my skills. My talent lies in good ideas and knowing how to adapt them for social media. But I need to do more, to look outside the parameters of social media, to try more immersive or experimental advertising. To start at the weird and wonderful and work backwards to fit it around a brand.

What struck me about all of the speakers I mentioned is their ability to push boundaries but remain true to themselves. Through their failings they learned more about their creativity and took that to the next challenge. In an industry driven by targets and KPIs, creativity can become an express service, but good work needs time to develop. Social content is growing and adopting new behaviours and technologies. I need to understand these changes, put them into practice and see how they work out. If they fail I want to learn, tweak and try again. But will the brand that pays the bills allow me the time? Who knows. But what I do know is I need to push my own boundaries so I don’t become stale and bored.

Thanks Offset, my eyes are open.

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