Industry highlighted in second annual Ad Fair


    Go for the food. Go for the Mardi Gras beads. Or how about the live music?

    The Creative Crawl on Tuesday, part of the Ad Club of West Michigan’s second annual Ad Fair, is a chance for advertising and marketing companies such as Grey Matter Group to show off their offices, their work and themselves.

    “We just like the idea of opening our office and inviting people in to make them aware of what we do,” said John Sawyer, partner and chief strategy officer.  “It’s a fun place for people who are creative to come and hang out.”

    Last year’s Creative Crawl brought in about 75 people, Sawyer said, from college students to potential clients.

    “Even though we’re a marketing company, it’s hard to find the time and resources to do our own marketing. This actually helped us get the word out and created some buzz for our company,” Sawyer added.

    The Ad Club has several other events lined up for the week, said ACWM President Clare Wade.

    The events include:

    5-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23: Eve Lounge at The BOB is the scene for the Media & More Auction and the first-ever Hall of Fame inductions. Up for silent and live bids are one day on the digital billboard on U.S. 131 north of 28th Street, a live appearance by a local comedy troupe, radio spots, recording studio time, airtime, advertising space, copywriting, creative services, Whitecaps tickets and a Marilyn Monroe poster. Cost is $10 in advance, $15 at the door, with proceeds going to the Ad Club and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts’ ArtWorks children’s program.

    5-9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24: The Mardi Gras Creative Crawl, 10 locations around Grand Rapids. This is a chance to peek into local advertising and marketing offices. Participating are Clark Communication, Creo Productions, Extra Credit Projects, Hanon McKendry, Highland Group, Hunsberger-Stap, Grey Matter Group, Lawrence Productions, Reagon Marketing and Ad Fair sponsor River House. Find a map at

    7:30-10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25: “Secrets of Social Networking for Your Business,” Kent Country Club, 1600 College Ave. NE, Grand Rapids. Cost is $25; register at or by calling (616) 771-0303. The educational seminar, co-sponsored by the Ad Club and the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, features Jennifer Crowley, managing partner of The Highland Group, who will talk about MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Nike, Wii and MTV.

    5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26: Addy Awards program, Noto’s Restaurant, 6600 28th St. SE. Tickets range from $25 for students to $1,000 for a table of 10 featuring a sign with your name and logo and a bottle of champagne. The evening kicks off with a reception for Silver Award recipient Steve Frykholm, a 39-year employee of Herman Miller who created the company’s tradition of producing renowned picnic posters. Frykholm is being honored for outstanding contributions to the advertising and marketing industry and advanced creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern. At 6 p.m. is Addy award registration, exhibits and networking. At 8 p.m. is the Addy Reel and the presentation of Addy awards as well as the Silver Medal to Fryholm. A registration form is available at

    Local Addy-winning work moves on for regional and possibly the American Advertising Federation’s national competition.

    For more information, check

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