Jeez… has it really been 10 years since everybody got together for Syracuse Sync? Where does the time go and why haven’t we done more of these little neighborhood events?
For those unfamiliar with this delightful little conference, Syracuse Sync is a one-day community event that brings local creatives into the same house with the goal of sharing their stories of creative projects, passions, and yes, sometimes pitfalls. Founded by at that time recent transplant Dan Rose, now a partner at adjacent, Syracuse Sync ultimately ended up being Dan’s introduction to several creative cohorts, as well as introducing Syracuse to a new type of networking.
And here we are one decade later – a little older, a little wiser, and as Tommy Lincoln pointed out in his presentation, some of us are a little grayer. After the last few years of teams shifting to working remotely, and in-person events seemingly in an endless cycle of canceled and rescheduled, several of us jumped at the chance to take a Friday away from our desks and do some good ol’ mingling.
The day’s format was simple and straightforward. Dan and Sarah scheduled a few hours of local designers, developers, and illustrators sharing their projects. Weaved in between presentations were a couple of quick snack breaks, gallons of complimentary Salt City Coffee to keep everybody charged up, followed by a panel discussion about the state of our local design scene, and some playful banter.
Throughout the day, creatives shared brief narratives of recent design or campaign work with the group. Dan and Sarah encouraged all speakers to use their allotted time for whatever topic they felt the most proud of, or passionate about. Pretty loose format! And for our contribution, we were able to share a little bit of our process and storytelling work that we produced for Emerald Cocktail Kitchen.
This flexible format allowed our studio to explore some of the iterations and thought processes for developing the brand, rather than focusing on the finished product and visuals. The lack of a formal Q&A after each presentation was something that encouraged discussion with other creatives during the lunch break and afterparty – which made questions feel more natural and conversational as opposed to be asked in front of a larger group.
Always nice to sneak out of the office for a day of connection, and even more fun to get the regular gang back in the same room with some fresh faces since the last event. Looking forward, I know many of us are eager to have more opportunities to meet up and share experiences. So I’m hopeful that this year’s Syracuse Sync is the first of many social opportunities for creatives in Upstate.
Thanks to local agencies and brands, like Stay Fresh and Tiny Fish, for supporting social outings like Syracuse Sync. And a huge thank you to Dan Rose, Sarah Miller, and Ken Woodward from Create Upstate, for always keeping the community engaged with local events and opportunities for growing. ‘Til the next one 🍻!