Choose Your Own Adventure: Why Creativity Thrives at Independent Agencies

Speaker(s): Jeff Sweat, Lisa Bennett, Marcus Wesson, Katy Hornaday, Gaelan Draper

Time: 3:30pm | Room: Forum

Independent agencies have been on the rise in recent years, responding to the pressures of a fast-changing marketplace. But while most of our focus on indie agencies has been from a business standpoint, can agencies be more creative when they’re independent? What hidden advantages should brands and creatives consider when choosing between a holding company and an indie-owned shop? How are indie shops dealing with the challenges they face in a shifting marketplace? And how can independent agencies make the most of their freedom?


Jeff Sweat Founder & CCO Mister Sweat
Jeff Sweat Founder & CCO Mister Sweat

Whether covering tech for InformationWeek, serving as a social media lead at Yahoo!, leading PR for Deutsch LA and 72andSunny, or the author of two novels for Macmillan, Jeff Sweat has always believed one thing: It's the story that matters. He led the content marketing team for Yahoo and pioneered its use of social media. He directed PR for two of the top advertising agencies in the country, Deutsch LA and 72andSunny. His first novel, Mayfly, debuted in 2018; its sequel, Scorpion, is due out in 2020. He now runs his own Los Angeles–based PR and marketing agency, Mister Sweat.

Lisa Bennett CCO Laughlin Constable

Marcus Wesson CCO Dailey

Katy Hornaday EVP/Executive Creative Director Barkley

Gaelen Draper Creative Director and Partner Quirk Creative