Reasons To Be Creative Elevator Pitch
I’m not much of a joiner so I surprised myself when I applied to do a Reasons To Elevator Pitch. 20 pitchers speak on a creative topic on the final morning of the Reasons to Be Creative conference in Brighton. Or as organiser extraordinaire John Davey describes it “a festival”. Being by the seaside, combined with 3 days off work does lend itself to a bit of a jolly.
I’ve watched the Elevator Pitch session for the past few years and thought “I should do that”. It’s a bold thought whilst kicking back in your seat, mildly hungover and enjoying the spectacle unfold on stage. So last year I typed up a pitch outline, hit send…then spent the next few hours wondering if I could recall the email. Amazingly John said yes, and as months passed I alternated between feeling excited and considering emigration.
I pitched up at the conference to a brilliant free ticket and a room full of similarly fearful looking folk. One of the best parts of the experience was being thrown into the same boat as a load of creatives you don’t know. As a freelancer without a big agency crew to fall back on, my default is to sort of lurk on the periphery. Meeting a really diverse, super talented and interesting bunch meant you always had someone to chat to between sessions, sit on the beach and have a beer with.
I was sort of sad to see that only one other lady had thrown her hat in to do a pitch. We’re constantly assailed with the outcry of “not enough women in tech” but you’ve got to do more than just talk it. Thankfully my female cohort Tammie Lister was a delight and her eschewing the £1 beers in favour of ice cream stopped the experience from being a total bro-fest.
There is a reason they make you rehearse. We totally sucked on our first rehearsal. Under the glare of the lights everyone missed their cue, ran long on time and corpsed it. John sat in the audience with a look of mild horror, clearly calculating whether it was too late to pull the session and draft in some dancing girls.
The day dawned and we nervously gathered outside the stage door. We did a final rehearsal which thankfully came together after the car-crash of the night before. John gave us advice including not to use the C word which was kind of ironic, given that Frank Suyker’s talk was about vaginas.
It’s such a fast-paced session that the pitchers have to sit in a line up backstage; the atmosphere took on a sort of death-row quality. Props to my line-up buddies David Rosser and Mark Robbins who appeared totally chilled! In the final few minutes I did actively consider the repercussions of emptying my water bottle into my MacBook. The real stars are the AV, lighting and sound crew who are totally unflappable and seamlessly hold it all together. Sitting back-stage gives you a real insight into how much effort goes into making an event like this seem so effortless.
I was suddenly off, miked up and on stage. What an amazing experience, totally out of my comfort zone but weirdly euphoric. That moment when you come off stage you could take on the world!
You should submit a pitch for next year.