A new event from Ad Lounge has people guessing who’s coming to dinner.
DishCourse, taking place Nov. 6 in Toronto, will bring together 12 leaders in the marketing, advertising and media industries for a kitchen table conversation. Ad Lounge sent out 25 invitations and the first 12 to respond got a seat at the table. The event organization is not disclosing the guest list and hasn’t yet announced the location of the event.
“Ad Lounge typically does larger-scale events, 150-300 people in size,” said Trina Boos, founder and president of Ad Lounge and president of Boost Agents, a recruitment firm for the marketing and communications industry. “We thought it would be a nice opportunity to hear what some of the big thinkers of our industry are saying in an unmoderated environment, where there’s no pressure really to sell anything and no pressure to impress.”
When guests log on to the DishCourse website – which is only fully accessible to invitees through a pass code – they can see descriptors of who is attending, but not their names. For example, “Beer guy turned advertising agency president who slides into work every day,” “This pharma wunderkind may or may not be a closet Spongebob fan” and “A master of design whose award-winning work is probably somewhere in your home.”
Ad Lounge shortlisted 25 business leaders in the marketing world who have accomplished certain things in their career, contributed something great to the industry, or have a unique story or a dynamic personality that would make for great conversation. In addition to the 12 attendees, two additional “featured guests” have been announced: Buz Sawyer, president and CEO of Cheil Americas, and Leslie Ehm, founder of Three Training and president of Combustion Creativity.
The event will take place in one of the guests’ home with executive chef Eric Wood preparing the dinner. Boos will start off the discussion by posing a question on one topic and “let it just free flow” from there, she said.
“There are so many huge industry events out there, and there is not that intimacy anymore when it comes to connecting,” said Boos. “It’s a very competitive industry and this is a chance to let your guard down, talk about the issues at play or some of the interesting topics that we can all relate to in our industry.”
Ad Lounge will film the event and produce a video showing highlights from the evening.
The organization plans to hold more DishCourse events, with the next one taking place in the home of one the attendees at the inaugural event.
“The idea is out of the 12 who come, they then have to volunteer their home to host the next one,” said Boos. “What makes it unique as well is there’s a different list of people invited every time, so there’s never going to be the same people in the room twice except for this host.”