#TogetherStronger. And so goes the call-to-arms (and unavoidable hashtag) of the Football Association of Wales for this, the most unpredictable Uefa European Championships in memory. The tournament has been Wales’ coming of age from a footballing sense and has bubbled along, occasionally erupting to life with the best and worst of the beautiful game delivered in equal measure.
The Wales national team has been inspired, cheered on to the sound of a melodic and all-too-fitting soundtrack bellowed out by its delirious supporters. “Don’t take me home,” they sing, and as Wales heads further into uncharted waters for tonight’s semi-final against Portugal in Lyon, home seems a long way away.
As I’m Welsh (and half-French), it fills me with immense pride and happiness that we have made it this far but I have to believe we can make it to the final in Paris, hopefully against my second team, the hosts, France.
But the call-to-arms has added poignancy for me as, in the past month, I have experienced an incredible example of togetherness at the Confrad AGM in Chicago along with the saddening lows of a country torn apart in the aftermath of Brexit.
Whatever your view on the EU, we must all surely agree that the level of vitriol – including outright racism – that has surfaced can be nothing but negative for the country as a whole. We need unity. We need to be #TogetherStronger.
And that’s exactly what we are within Confrad, and this attitude was exemplified at the Confrad AGM, which embodied everything that Brexit was not.
At this year’s event in the Windy City of Chicago, partner agencies from across Europe & North America came together to share expertise, supply thought leadership and promote success. These included lessons learned from delivering projects for clients – the many successes and the few failures – and how to address the growing challenge of staffing and morphing skill-sets.
We learned how to utilise advice and feedback from clients including enthralling talks by Dana Anderson from Mondelez and Jeff Yoo from MillerCoors on what they look for from agency partners in terms of helping them deliver coherent messages in an increasingly fragmented media landscape.
Above all we welcomed new members and created new bonds with like-minded professionals, who – let’s not forget - were taking time out of the day to day running of their businesses to spend time talking, collaborating, debating, arguing and laughing (oh – and drinking!).
Ultimately the event highlighted the importance of people of all walks of life coming together to understand how to manage change, to discover common visions and explore collaborative partnerships across borders, both physical and imagined.
Indeed, this led me to conclude that the spirit of Confrad draws directly from the Wales Football team’s battle cry. We at Confrad are also #togetherstronger.
Go Wales! Go Confrad!
Confrad is an international network of independent marketing agencies who work together on client campaigns, and share knowledge and resources to better our individual service offerings. Find out more at confrad.com. Connect with us @Confradadvertiser.