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DAC turned 50! Highlights from our Next Level celebrations

DAC turned 50! Highlights from our Next Level celebrations

Thursday, August 04, 2022

After 50 years of delighting clients, rising to every challenge, and making unforgettable memories along the way, DAC is celebrating an extraordinary milestone. And celebrate we did!

Earlier this summer, we came together in Toronto with colleagues from across all our offices for an unforgettable 50th anniversary celebration. Our Next Level events included an agency-wide conference, journey mapping sessions, and a spectacular soiree. Here’s a recap of how we toasted to our achievements—and how we’re looking boldly to the next 50 years.

The conference

After more than two years of virtual meetings, it was a breath of fresh air to meet with our colleagues in person—many for the very first time. While we’ve successfully pivoted to a hybrid work environment, we’ll always value the camaraderie of in-person interactions.

Team members from different continents joined us for Next Level presentations and panels on everything from nurturing our office culture to what the future of digital holds. Conference highlights included:

Opening remarks from CEO Norm Hagarty

From our humble beginnings in directory advertising to transforming into a leading digital performance marketing agency with over 550 employees across North America and Europe, DAC still does what we did in 1972: bring buyers and sellers together in new and different channels.

Over the years, as we navigated everything from the advent of search engines to the emergence of smartphones, we changed, adapted, and invested in our people and processes every step of the way. We are passionate, enthusiastic, and curious; we are fiercely independent; and, as Norm likes to say, “We are scrappers who care.”

Keynote address with Masai Ujiri, President and Vice-Chairman of the Toronto Raptors

A great leader is a great listener. And attracting the right talent means getting to know people, even before you work with them. Just like Ujiri and the Raptors, DAC is not in the business of losing good people. We’re continually growing and evolving together through trust and understanding—and by empowering each other to take risks. In a fiercely competitive space, we continue to take our people, our clients, and our business to the Next Level—and we can’t wait to see where the journey takes us next.

Masai Ujiri speaking at DAC's 50th anniversary conference

Forrester Research industry update with Jay Pattisall, Principal Analyst at Forrester

Staying ahead of the curve—and taking our agency to the Next Level—means understanding the forces that will shape our world in 2022 and beyond. We’re paying attention to market disruptors, leveraging technology, and tapping into our creativity to stay nimble amid uncertainty and seize opportunities as they come.

Futurecasting: a panel discussion

From VR, AI, and the metaverse to automation, the digital landscape is a shapeshifting beast—and we’re constantly feeling the pressure to keep up. However, there’s no need to panic. We see immense opportunity in capitalizing on these trends while still retaining our core focus of making data-driven decisions. We’re excited to usher brands into this new digital world by learning, understanding, and deploying technology in an informed way.

Jenna Watson speaking at DAC's 50th anniversary conference

Cultivating our culture: a panel discussion

As a people-first organization, our employees are at the heart of our success. That’s why we invest in cultivating an inclusive, diverse, and intentional office culture. It’s an evolving process that requires regular check-ins and evaluations to temperature check what’s working and what isn’t.

Navigating a pandemic over the past two years has been especially challenging, but we’ve successfully managed to connect, collaborate, and keep the communication channels open. As we adjust to our new normal, we’re actively working to strengthen our culture and take our teams to the Next Level.

Panel discussion on cultivating our office culture at DAC's 50th anniversary conference

The journey mapping sessions

After the conference, we broke out into groups to get the creative juices flowing. Team members came together to collaborate, brainstorm, and problem solve through interactive face-to-face workshops. We discussed what DAC does well, what we can do better, and how we can take our core services to the Next Level.

Some of our journey mapping and working sessions included:

  • Proove Intelligence – Understanding how to humanize discussions around data and make it more relatable to business outcomes, with Dan Temby, Senior VP of Technology & Analytics, and the Proove Intelligence team
  • Reputation management – Exploring one of digital’s most critical disciplines with Kyle Harris, Director, Local Optimization, and Adam Luck, VP/GM
  • SEO and content – How SEO and content are intertwined to a greater extent than you may think, with Nasser Sahlool, Senior VP of Client Strategy, and Oliver Tani, Senior Director of Search

The party

No 50th anniversary celebration is complete without a party. The DJ set the vibe while we enjoyed canapes, signature drinks, food stations, a photo booth, VR games—and cake, of course. We toasted, mingled, and danced the night away—and took a trip down memory lane with a dances-through-the-decades performance. We even took the festivities to the Next Level (literally!) with a mesmerizing aerialist performance. Cheers to 50 years!

Let’s take it to the Next Level

What’s next for DAC? More change, more transformation, and more growth. We’ll continue to gain a deeper understanding of the marketplace—and we’ll continue to evolve with it. And, as always, we’ll continue to invest in the success of our clients and employees.

Want to know how we can take your business’ performance to the Next Level? Let’s talk.


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