High Five Conference 2019: Brasconian Takeaways

The 2019 High Five Conference, held on March 4-5 in Downtown Raleigh, was a massive success and an inspirational couple of days for many. Filled with awesome speakers, workshops, and breakout sessions, High Five Conference attendees were buzzing with ideas and excitement for the topics discussed. Brasco /// was a High Five Conference sponsor as we’ve supported in years past.  Many of our “Brasconians” were able to attend the conference. In case you couldn’t make it, here are each of their favorite sessions and important things they learned:


1. The Evolution of a Graphic Designer’s Language – Eddie Opara


Eddie Opara’s talk was based on the evolution of graphic design. He believes if designers don’t change the way they think (as “JUST a creative person”), they will rapidly lose their seat at the “strategic” table. He suggested that the bridge between design and strategy was broken–if there really ever was one in the first place.

Further, he went on to encourage all graphic designers to look at their skill sets and do whatever is necessary for them to be positioned as “visual strategists” as opposed to “visual designers.” The risk of not doing so is to become a commodity, and lose, as mentioned above, their role as a mission-critical component of the team. We see this as a valuable approach and mindset. Eddie did a great job and was a fantastic speaker!



2. Stress Addiction: From Morning Coffee to the Cardiac Wing – Taylor Cashdan


Today, 71% of creatives are responsible for producing 10x more content than they did 5 years ago. It’s difficult staying afloat above the deadlines and expectations, especially when we thrive for the best. Taylor talked about how we fill our schedules with commitments to where we become overwhelmed and it’s important to take a step back and take care of ourselves.




Here are a few steps to follow:

  1. ASK.

    Ask yourself the tough questions, about which tasks, people, and plans in your life add stress.

  2. F*** IT. 

    Learn to say no to your circle, and your plans when they are adding stress.


    Keep your time, things, and circle close that bring you happiness.

  4. BE. 

    Be present with your choices, tasks, and actions. Being present will lead to less stress in your life.



Illustration by: Taylor Cashdan


“You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.”

Stress Addiction is very common and hard to break, but we should all work together to practice self care.



3. Use Both Sides of Your Brain to Create Your Next Great Marketing Idea – Jeffrey L. Cohen


One of the best takeaways from the High Five conference was a reminder to step outside of your comfort zone to learn and understand “the other side” of marketing. For some it’s the creative side, for others it may be learning more about business strategy or sales.

Jeffrey Cohen spoke about the importance of understanding both the analytical and creative side of modern day marketing. Today, marketers are more responsible for results than ever, giving us a tendency to ignore the creative side of things. However, 82% of buyers wish B2B marketing had the same creativity as that of B2C. It’s more important now than ever to utilize both sides of our marketing brains. In order to create the perfect balance of creative and analytical collaboration, we must do the following:

  1. Form a trusting relationship with each other.

  2. Understand that the analytical marketer knows the customer better.

  3. Respect that the creative marketer knows tactics & solutions.

Jeffrey taught us how to approach every marketing idea with the right mix of analytical thought and creative energy.



4. How Listening Can Become Your Marketing Superpower – Danny Rosin and Jeff Slater


We can all find ways to improve our listening skills. Active listening is more than just hearing what someone says and generating a response. Active Listening requires you to fully concentrate, comprehend, pay attention, give positive physical cues, and respond in a way which illustrates that you truly heard and understood what was being said. Sounds a bit exhausting, right?!  Maybe it isn’t as hard as we think.

Brandon Ives, CEO at Brasco ///, attended this session and spoke highly of the speakers: “First of all, I love Danny Rosin and Jeff Slater. They’re both vivacious speakers and very knowledgeable marketers. They speak not only from the heart, but from years of experience.”

They shared a series of stories and real life examples of how listening played a role in addressing how they worked with other people. Danny Rosin gave us some very practical listening tips, reminders and humorous examples to integrate this in your daily life. Jeff Slater shared his interesting story and professional background, sprinkling in examples of how listening helped him achieve his own “superpower.”

“The most important takeaway for me is that we all need to occasionally step away from our own subjectivity and the heavy presuppositions that litter our mind. These can limit our ability to actively listen and poison a conversation, ultimately affecting our ability to respond, help or communicate with others. Keep an open mind in every conversation,” Ives concluded.


**High Five offered many highs and very few lows. Our team enjoyed the conference and we hope to see you there in 2020!