Just one day after joining members of the BooneOakley team for a Knights’ game at the new BB&T Ballpark; I had the distinct pleasure of tagging along once again for the Bobcats’ final regular season home game. Not only that, but for the first time in my life, I got to experience it all from the comfort of a stadium suite. I don’t think I ever understood the appeal of watching a game from the confines of a hotel-like room, but I get it now. It was luxurious, hassle-free and downright relaxing. I made sure to savor every single minute, because you never know when an opportunity like that will ever come around again. The Bobcats ended up defeating the Bulls in overtime, so the night ended on a joyous high note too.
While I had a great time with the BooneOakley team, the occasion itself reminded me just how important camaraderie is to the agency dynamic. You can’t build a successful team, without strengthening the relationships that hold it together. I’ve seen it at every agency I’ve visited thus far. BooneOakley does it with events like this, Red Tettemer embarks on annual retreats, Recess Creative hosts a variety of shindigs, and so on and so forth. Sure, you have to keep the business end of things running smoothly with traffic and status meetings, but these less formal get-togethers are crucial for boosting morale, re-establishing the agency’s culture and most importantly—having a good time.
This is an incredibly hectic industry we work in. And I believe it’s an agency’s responsibility to not only foster great work, but to also nurture and stimulate those who help create it. I’m not saying every agency has to go out of their way with some elaborate gesture, but I know for a fact that every creative in the world appreciates an opportunity to cut loose every now and then. Of course, the occasion can’t be forced either. It has fit the culture. Throughout my career, I’ve been apart of several such events. Some of them were hard to stomach, feeling more like a middle school dance than an agency get-together. But some of those I attended were so delightful, I couldn’t help but brag to my friends the next day. In the end, it doesn’t have to be something spectacular, it just has to be something enjoyable and real.
What I’m trying to say is that agency life can be tough. It’s the frequent cause of sleepless nights, hectic weekends and pre-mature grays. But it’s also a place where we can meet life-long friends and find our true callings. So, the next time you’re looking for plans, why not ask the person sitting next to you? Strengthen your relationships with co-workers and encourage your agency to do the same. When you can call the people you work with “friends” the results will always be positive.