Driven, charismatic, and focused, Trina Boos has created a name for herself in the advertising and communications industry that most of the industry's decision makers are now familiar with. 2010 has been her year in terms of simultaneously taking her business to the next level while also giving birth to her first child. Get to know Trina Boos.
Notable: What is your Name and age?
Trina: Trina Boos, 30
Notable: What is the name of your business and what industry is it in?
Trina: Ad Lounge, the advertising industry: Industry events; Website: www.adlounge.ca; Facebook: http://bit.ly/6b9oQr; Twitter: @adlounge
Notable: Elevator Pitch (we just met on an elevator, we have 30 seconds together in the elevator, please describe your business):
Trina: Ad Lounge creates unexpected industry events that surprise, and that help marketers and agencies â€¨stay head of the curve, stay connected, and make us remember why we love the industry that we play in. We are a 5,000+ member-based organization representing executives from all walks of the marketing, communications, technology and design industries.
Notable: Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
Trina: The inspiration was simple. I studied advertising and during second year (2001), I had an epiphany. There were 3 groups in the second year ad program. We didn’t really know one another, and the only instances we ever spent together were during the rare lecture. As they say in advertising, it’s typically “who you know in the biz”, so with that, the Ad Lounge online community was formed with the goal to bring the students (my peers) together.
Initially, we had only 15 members, and the topics of conversation ranged from “what’s happening on Friday night?” to poking fun at the prof’s outfit from the day before. But, by the time we graduated, word of mouth spread like wild fire and recent grads from Seneca, George Brown, Centennial, U of T, Fanshawe from various design, marketing, communications and advertising programs began to join and membership was growing by the day.
I saw the growth happening so organically, and realized we were onto something. I began to visit ad agencies and brands and pitch them with the idea to also join. This is where it got interesting, and where community truly started to form. We had an HR Director on one corner giving resume advice. We had a Creative Director in another corner doing portfolio reviews. We had an Account Director on another side talking to recent grads about marketing strategy and giving interview tips. People began to form real relationships, though they didn’t yet know one another in person. This was when Ad Lounge evolved from a simple online community to being a mainly event-driven organization with the goal to bring people together, educate and inspire.
Notable: What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis?
Trina: People – working with some of the most extraordinary, talented, creative, dynamic and sometimes eccentric people our city has to offer. I asked myself one day, if I could bottle up everything I love and stand for what would it be? And it’s truly “bringing people together”. And the best part about it is that I get to be creative in how I do this – by constantly having to learn what’s current and relevant to marketers today (and trying to package my findings in the form of an event). It’s a lot of fun.
Notable: What is the most challenging part of your business?
Trina: There are two: 1) We’re ten years young (compared to 50+ , when looking at some of our counterparts). At the start, we had to act much larger than we were until our brand started to become more established and respected. Always a typical challenge with any start-up. But this is what makes an organization grow and stay ahead of the curve since these are the challenges that force you to really think outside of the box. 2) A very successful business person once told me that the most successful businesses in the world have seven revenue streams. I’m still working on this aspect of improving my business – as we currently only have two.
Notable: Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
Trina: We have some ideas around diversifying the Ad Lounge business to include another offering. More information to come in 2011. Please stay tuned for details.
Notable: Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Trina: Keep an idea book. Make sure to write down every bit of inspiration and idea you have. Keep all of your ideas in one place so you’ll never misplace a good idea. Try to do this every day. Look back after a few months (or even years) and see if there are any recurring themes. Thread them together, and this is likely where your passions lie. See if you can create a job from what you’ve discovered.
Notable: What is your greatest asset as it relates to business?
Trina: My understanding of people, how they behave, how they interact, and how they want to be approached. One thing that I’m able to do incredibly well is to get a meeting with just about anybody. And I love, love, love pitching and selling through ideas.
The getting a meeting with just about anybody part is likely because I spend the time getting to know them before I actually meet them. And I try to find the thing that makes them tick/what drives them to wake up in the morning. And that’s what I use in my approach. Very important skill that I learned in my years spent in sales and business development.
Notable: What does success look like to you?
Trina: 1) Finding something that truly makes you jump for joy and sticking with it.
2) Keeping interesting – and interested. This means, learning about things outside of what you do for a living. Having a curious personality will inspire you in your business and will give you ideas you never would have had otherwise.
3) Success is being able to find time for your loved ones.
Notable: What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Trina: I have to say probably this past year – 2010. Reason being, I became a mom to a beautiful baby girl in early 2010. And I have to say that I didn’t know how I would manage to run my business and care for my baby at the same time. My business had big plans for 2010, and we had committed to sponsors to continue with our event schedule. So, through the art of delegation and incredibly detailed planning and scheduling we were able to finish 2010 with a BANG. And, my baby was involved every step of the way – attending meetings with our partners, sponsors and clients. Anything is truly possible with heart and determination.
Notable: Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Trina: We work with SKETCH, a charity that creates opportunities for street-involved and homeless youth aged 15-29 by offering them tools to engage in the arts, a safe place to express and create, and opportunities to creatively integrate back into community life. SKETCH supports and facilitates community connections with education, leadership and apprenticeships in arts industries through exhibition, performance and sale of artwork.
In 2010, Ad Lounge partenered with SKETCH to challenge 20 agency and brand Sr. Execs to create an original art piece – they had 60 seconds to pitch their concept to a room of 300 of their peers. We raised $20K for SKETCH, and it ended up being one of the most fun Ad Lounge events we’ve ever done. Check it out: http://www.artfromtheunexpected.com/home.php
Notable: What is Notable to you?
Trina: Three things:
TheMoth.org – I’m a big fan of storytelling. The Moth has people from all walks of life share a story, and they’re almost always inspiring. There’s the one about the pickpocket, or the Chinese grocery store owner. Do yourself a favour and check it out.
This American Life (www.thislife.org) - Again, a big fan of storytelling. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll find yourself wanting to share with every living person around you the stories from this incredible radio show. I guarantee it.
The mesh group inc – I simply have to plug my friends at the mesh group. We partnered with the mesh group this year to co-produce the meshmarketing conference. www.meshmarketing.ca. They’re an incredible group of leaders in the tech space who produce a series of tech and marketing conferences that anyone in this industry simply shouldn’t miss. This May, they’ll be producing the mesh conference. Be sure to check them out in 2011. They rock my world, these guys. www.meshconference.com