It was great to be part of IAPI’s ‘The Big Grill’ panel. It was a brand new experience for me and thought it was a great night overall.

The evening was very well organised with Kieran O’Donovan as MC. Many people getting started or looking to get started in the industry can often be unsure as the correct path for them. Having a member from each side of the house, be it client service, media, creative, planning, etc. and in particular two who have moved disciplines was a great starting point for the evening. It was also good to see that the panelists were relatable to the audience, as we are all not long removed from education. It is always important for the audience who are looking to get started in advertising to see the people on stage are just like them.

The evening was structured really well. Running through the more common questions with Kieran leading, was a simple way to get through the questions that were naturally going to arise and perfect for getting the conversation going. At these events there are lots of common questions and it’s sometimes difficult for the audience to ask the basic questions. There are so many common questions. It is was well thought out to get going with these first. I hope from an audience point of view it gave a good insight into the basics.

It was very interesting from my point of view to hear what the rest of the panellists thought of topics around getting started in their roles. Even the point of switching professions within the industry was good to hear.

The wide range of panellists was a massive benefit to the attendees. Being someone who has some experience in other disciplines it was of benefit to me to hear others’ take on their role in the advertising and wider communications. One thing that I felt came across throughout the discussion was the amount of overlap between each element of the advertising world and how we all cross paths.

I also think it was a good grounding for the audience too. There was a very open and honest number of questions surrounding work/life balance and the day to day aspects of the job. While there may be some fans of Mad Men in the audience it was important to hear that many panelists alluded to the fact there are crazy days and mental weeks. However the message was clear, there are more pros than cons in this job. The socialising being one of them.

When it came to audience questions, there’s always going to be a nervousness about asking questions but when they came through it was good to feel the genuine interest in the profession as a career.

The format was informal and conversational which made it very relaxed and easier for the audience to ask questions. The prospective admen and adwomen were keen to know about getting started and I feel there was a real curiosity in advertising.

Finally I think the choice of panellists really conveyed the passion we all have to work in this industry and the joy we all get from our contribution to the ads that people absorb every day. There was some great advice given out about what we have learned in our not too short time in the advertising industry.

The night was a tremendous success and one I hope the attendees felt was of great benefit to them. It was certainly an experience I enjoyed and I look forward to more of these events from the IAPI Future Heads.