Studio Brunstrum

Chicago Ideas Week 2018

November 2, 2018

We’re feeling inspired by the seminars and workshops we attended as part of Chicago Ideas Week and want to share the highlights of the presentations we attended and the key messages that resonated with our team!

This was my fourth year attending Chicago Ideas Week, thanks to the introduction by friends Nina, Carrie, and Jan; this year, the Studio Brunstrum team each attended 2-3 presentations of their choice. The 2018 program of Chicago Ideas Week consisted of 200 programs, 410 hours of content, and 250 speakers from across the country. Studio Brunstrum attended 7 of the programs and workshops!

Photo via: Chicago Ideas Week

The Consumer Experience: When Business Got Personal

Moderated by: Cal Fussman

Speakers: Carolyn Tisch Blodgett (SR VP Marketing Peloton); Daniel Pink (Author of “When”); Amanda Slavin (CEO Catalyst Creative)

This seminar focused on the concept of “the consumer experience”, with the speakers sharing their experiences on captivating an audience and creating a community through marketing. From generating “snackable” content and knowing the most impactful time of day to share it, to joining together individuals and creating your own community of “bees”, we were fascinated at the psychology behind the best branding.

Our biggest takeaways:

  1. The best time of day to make decisions: If you’re a morning person, you’re primed to make analytical decisions earlier in the day and creative decisions in the afternoon. Vice versa if you are a night owl.
  2. How to get consumers to pay attention: Traditionally, it’s assumed that media consumption is intentional and that it has the full attention of the intended audience. However, the way society consumes media has changed with the rise of social media and the shortening of attention spans. Most people consume media in the “interstisis” or “in-between moments” while working out, on the morning commute, or waiting to board a plane. Creating “snackable” content to penetrate the attention gap and make your message more digestible is a must.
  3. Create a “beehive”: Connect with your consumers at their most core beliefs will create a loyal community. Your “bees” will generate buzz for you and convince others to join the community on a more authentic level. Sounds a lot like customer evangelism to me!

Be A Crisis Management Warrior with Edelman PR

Moderated by: Edelman Crisis Management Team, Pam Selman

This presentation was an interactive lab that allowed us to test our crisis management skills; broken up into teams, we got to act as the PR branch for a hypothetical sports team that needed to deal with a flurry of PR crises.

Our biggest takeaways:

  1. Never let someone else write your narrative; doing nothing is doing something.
  2. With the rising influence of social media, preparing for a crisis has become a matter of “if”, not “when”.
  3. Being fully prepared for a crisis is impossible; instead, develop a consistent strategy that embodies your core values and allow the central principles be the foundation of your solution.
  4. You’re judged by the company you keep- vendors, partners, sponsors and clients are all a reflection of your brand.
  5. 280 characters can change everything.


Speakers: Masih Alinejad (journalist, author, and founder of My Stealthy Freedom); Chris Gethard (comedian and author of “Lose Well”); Anjali Pinto (photographer and author); Loy A. Webb (playwright)

This seminar explored the personal stories of four creatives and the experiences that led them to write a book, start a photo campaign, become a comedian, and share their story with the world. The presentation focused on overcoming fear and how to stay true to yourself and your story in an era of uncertainty.

Our biggest takeaways:

  1. Inspiration can come through a small series of epiphanies; the power of positive change can start from a simple photograph.
  2. You must have some fear everyday- it is fear that drives us to change.
  3. Give up on knowing your long-term plan because it will change.
  4. No means better.
  5. Be your own hero.
Susan Brunstrum
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