Coffee and Breakfast


C'mon down for a bite to eat before we get rolling. Food and seating will be available in Great Room 1 right next to the main sessions.


Welcome and Opening Remarks


Bureau of Digital Staff


Where Values Lead, Good People Follow


Nancy Lyons
Clockwork Active Media

Values are one of the most important ingredients in an organization’s business and yet they’re frequently underdeveloped and underused. When centralized and institutionalized, they can be forceful drivers of revenue, retention, and reputation. When done right, they can shape every department and process, from business development to HR.

In this talk, Nancy discusses why organizational values should be elevated, how to integrate them into the operational side of business, and when to use them as decision checkpoints.


We Must Change the Way We Design


Bryan Zmijewski

As a service industry, we're leaving a lot on the table as our collective stock rises in organizations. Companies' knee-jerk reaction to become design centric have left many design organizations scrambling to figure out how to put the pieces together. Designers are still mopping up implementation problems — still shaking the label of window dressers. Quite frankly, we've gotten really good at these problems and service firms have perfected the art of making money on this effort. We're designing for deliverables, not necessarily better business or customer results.

The current approach is short sighted, especially in a connected world where design work is so temporary. Service companies need to re-think how they approach design when most of the work quickly becomes obsolete. If we're only left with design artifacts, most of the design thinking becomes lost. Pixels or artifacts don't effectively influence future decisions for users or organizations. Design organizations must stop designing for artifacts, as this produces only temporary results. We must instead shape the entire organization's collective understanding of the design problem to improve the next result for the people we serve.

I'll share the changes we made at ZURB through Progressive Design to meet these new challenges and provide ways to improve client satisfaction and increase the profitability of your work.


To Grow or Not to Grow


Wil Reynolds
Seer Interactive (interviewed by Greg Hoy)

When Wil started Seer Interactive, he told his employees that the company wouldn't get over 10 people. So he built a company for that. Today, Seer is over 100 people strong.

Wil and Bureau of Digital/Happy Cog's Greg Hoy sit down and discuss what Wil's experience has been like—from the early days of sharing a small office together, to Seer's growth into a bi-coastal SEO/SEM powerhouse named one of Philadelphia's Coolest Companies.

Wil will share some of the most important lessons he's learned along the way.




A buffet lunch is served right next door. Take some time to grab some food, chat with your colleagues, even answer an email or two before we kick back into gear for the afternoon.


During this time slot, choose between two different Breakout Presentations or a Camp Session.

Differentiate or Die! Effective Brand Strategy for Digital Agencies


Matthew Schwartz

In an industry increasingly crammed with new digital agencies, and in an era where online collaboration tools have dissolved geographic boundaries of the client/design firm relationship, the competition for work is greater than ever before. And with more and more digital agencies for clients to chose from, not only are firms expected to compete on price and deliver on aggressive schedules—the competition to attract the top talent needed to produce great work is just as tough. 

To succeed in this environment, digital agencies need to move past defining themselves through subjective measures like design quality, claims of a more effective process that leave most clients confused, and fluff bios listing their team's hobbies and favorite foods. 

In this session, Matt Schwartz will explore the challenges digital agencies face in developing a strong brand and explain how many of the ways firms position themselves are subjective, undifferentiated, and difficult to defend. Owners will learn the principles and methods of developing an effective brand strategy that resonates with those inside and outside their firms so they can stand up, stand out, and stand for something.


How Transparency Empowers Your Team to be More Productive


Chris Quinn
eHouse Studio

The behavior of transparency can simply be defined as being honest and easy to understand. Easy, right? Then why can it be so hard to implement a culture of transparency in a company?

In this session, we will talk about how to implement some of the behaviors of business transparency and the potential benefits that can make a team stronger and empower them to be more successful.


Scoping and Estimating


Jack Skeels and Carl Smith
AgencyAgile and Bureau of Digital

Camp Sessions are exactly what you would experience at one of our Camp events like Owner Camp. They are moderated discussions where everyone contributes.

Camp Sessions are exactly what you would experience at one of our Camp events like Owner Camp. They are moderated discussions where everyone contributes.

One of the most difficult challenges that mid-size digital agencies face today is that of scoping and estimating new projects effectively and accurately. The most prevalent practices are borrowed from software development or traditional advertising organizations, and are poorly suited for today’s complex and rapid-moving integrated agency. Studies have indicated that agency-wide margin losses from poor scoping and estimating can be as high as 15% of sales and that many of the causes are systemic yet not at all obvious.

In this Camp Session, we'll discuss the many causes of poor scoping and estimation, as well as delve into the actual costs and impacts. We’ll explore its impact from many perspectives, including client relationships, project success, agency capacity utilization, worker retention and burnout, organization structure and bottom-line impact. Participants will come away with a better understanding of the many causes of poor scoping and estimation, as well as its impact across the whole agency. Best practices will also be shared along with the many poor practices that exist today.


During this time slot, choose between two different Breakout Presentations or a Camp Session.

Finding Our Company’s Voice


Jenn Bane
Cards Against Humanity

People often hear about Cards Against Humanity's crazy stunts and pranks (like the time 30,000 fans ordered a box of poop as part of a Black Friday sale), but they are left with a million questions. How did we come up with the idea? How were we able to execute it so quickly with such a tiny budget? Is it even legal to send poop in the mail?

In this talk, Jenn will share behind-the-scenes stories and explain how Cards Against Humanity discovered its voice as a business.


How to (Ab)use Your Lawyer


Gabe Levine
Levine & Baker LLP

Having a relationship with a good attorney can be crucial for any client/service business. An attorney can help uncover all kinds of issues that you might not be considering throughout the course of your day-to-day operations. And as much as you might be tempted to write or negotiate your own contracts, it might not be the best idea.

In this session, Gabe will surface a number of areas for you to look out for including:

  • Statement of Work and pricing model pitfalls, problems and solutions
  • Important contract provisions
  • Negotiation strategies
  • The dangers of the "virtual" documented water cooler chat

There will be adequate Q&A time to ensure your burning legal questions get answered.


Differentiation and Collaboration: What We Can Learn From the Craft Brewing Industry


Greg Hoy
Happy Cog & Bureau of Digital

Camp Sessions are exactly what you would experience at one of our Camp events like Owner Camp. They are moderated discussions where everyone contributes.

Camp Sessions are exactly what you would experience at one of our Camp events like Owner Camp. They are moderated discussions where everyone contributes.

Many say the digital design world is undergoing a sea change, and differentiation and collaboration are key to survival.

In this Camp Session, Greg draws inspiration from the craft brewing industry—a fast paced, rapidly changing world where scrappy craft brewers are gobbled up by monster breweries to enable them to capitalize on the craft beer explosion.

This sort of thing is happening in our industry, too.

Additionally, craft brewers aren’t precious about all of their ‟secrets.” They purposefully work together, because they realize the collective brainpower they harness and put into action will serve to increase their market share and tip the scales more quickly than going it alone.

In this session, we'll look at these parallels and discuss what we can learn from them, with a focus on differentiation and collaboration.


The Five Constraints


Blair Enns
Win Without Pitching

In this talk Win Without Pitching founder Blair Enns discusses the five constraints or restrictions he would impose upon you and your firm—if he had the magic power—that would cause your business development results to soar and your total effort and cost of sale to plummet.

With every constraint you'll do a brief exercise to reimagine the implications in your firm. Each constraint builds upon the next until yours is a Win Without Pitching firm that commands the high ground in your relationships with clients and prospects and wins new business without pitching free ideas, writing lengthy proposals or otherwise sacrificing your practitioner position in the relationship. 


Day 1 Wrap-Up



Owner Summit Social

We'll be heading over to the amazing Citizen Supply for some food, beverages, and fun, courtesy of our pals at MailChimp. Conveniently, MailChimp's brand new digs happen to be in the same building, and you'll have the opportunity to go on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour. Transportation will be provided. We'll have a motor coach running a continuous loop between the hotel and Citizen Supply from 6:30-10:30 PM.