Guest Post: Savannah Unleashes The “Geek”

Editor’s note: This article is by Sloane Kelley, a former colleague and current friend. She stepped in to my shoes when I left BFG Communications last year and is now the agency’s Content Director. She’s also a mover and shaker in Savannah (and beyond), as this guest post clearly indicates.
SAVANNAH–Say the word “Savannah” and it typically conjures up visions of Spanish moss, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Paula Deen. But to many folks in the know, Savannah is less about fried chicken and more about being an up-and-coming creative hub. People in the Southeast even have a name for it – the Creative Coast.
Nowhere was this hotbed of creativity more apparent than at last week’s three-day Geekend conference, which brought out close to 700 people, all of whom “geek” some form of design, content, gaming or technology.
A quick disclaimer: I’m a Geekend founder and I work for a company that helped make Geekend happen, BFG Communications.
The goal for all of the Geekend founders and partners was to create an event that would support the area’s creative scene and put a spotlight on some of the great work and thinking coming out of the Southeast.
For BFG, it also meant some creative freedom with the chance to brand an event from the ground-up. BFG designed everything from the logo and signage to the T-shirts, social media strategy and also a chunk of the programming.
We wanted the conference to be informative and inspiring but also a lot of fun. That message came across loud and clear as we started things off with a cocktail hour complete with an inflatable Velcro wall, followed by a comical keynote talk by Portland-based designer Aaron Draplin.
Day two brought standing room only sessions by the likes of Eric Snowden of Atlantic Records, Joey Hasty of Disney, Matias Corea of Behance, among others. Major Nelson of Xbox talked gaming and social media in a Saturday evening keynote, which was immediately followed by a huge block party with Rock Band in the street and video projections on downtown buildings.
The third and final day of Geekend 2009 featured an unconference, giving attendees the chance to dig deeper into topics brought up throughout the weekend.
With the first year of Geekend under our collective belts, we’re looking to 2010 and beyond. Our hope is to make Geekend an annual creative conference that only gets bigger and better.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.