Sweetgrass pavilion, Palms FOYER 


Sponsored by Media Temple

Palms Foyer


Welcome and State of the Industry Report


Last year the Bureau conducted the first State of the Industry research to find out how things were going for digital agencies. The results were extremely well received, so we thought we should do it again and see how things have shifted in the last 12 months.

In January of 2018, we’ll be sending out a survey to over 1,000 digital agencies in the Bureau Community. By asking them questions about their business methodologies, project management philosophy, tech stack, digital product focus and other criteria we’ll start to see a picture of what’s changed.

What are the trends across different characteristics of the industry? How did specialists do versus generalists? Were agile shops more successful than waterfall shops? What were the regional trends across North America? Did a shop’s approach to billing make a difference in whether they won business?

In an Owner Summit 2018 exclusive, Carl will share the findings of the 2017 Bureau State of the Industry survey.


The Grass is Always Greener

PALMS Ballroom

Owners always think employees have it easier...and employees always think the owners have it easier. Sound familiar?

As CEO of Know Your Company, Claire Lew has spent her working life studying over 15,000 employees and business owners in over 25 countries. From these almost four years of research, she'll share what she's learned about the disconnect between owners and employees and how we can all work better together.

In this session you'll:

  • Uncover the biggest myths your employees have of you as an owner – and the biggest myths that we, as owners, have of our employees.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of why these misconceptions happen in the first place, and how dangerous they are.
  • Learn what both owners and employees can do to bridge the divide and work better together.


From Agency to Acquisition



Marty is working on his talk description. Check back soon for more detail.


Partners Counseling - 5 Strategies for Harmonious Partnerships



If you work with other people, you are a partner. Whether it’s your clients, your employees or your actual business partner, you need to collaborate. You need to communicate. But that’s easier said than done. Sometimes you have to push back on a client who may be steering the project the wrong way. Sometimes you have to talk to your business partner about shifting responsibilities or the direction of the business.

What can you do to ensure these difficult conversations are productive and leave both partners not only in consensus, but feeling heard and appreciated? Bright Umbrella’s Lea Alcantara and Emily Lewis will share the strategies they’ve cultivated over seven years of a successful partnership. You’ll learn ways to communicate and offer feedback, while bolstering respect, trust and camaraderie.


Sponsored by Accelo

Palms Foyer

Camp Sessions

If you've attended Owner Summit before, you know about our camp sessions. These are opportunities to connect and share with other owners on important topics. This means you'll get to talk about real issues you're facing and get input from your peers. To keep things simple, we'll break up into groups and head to our designated area. Rather than have you keep moving from place to place, this will be your spot for all of the camp sessions. And this will be your group, so make friends! Each of these sessions will be moderated by an experienced camp alumni.



Tools and Resources

Group A: 
Tides A


tides b, c


palms 6, 7, 8


palmetto hall


Business Development

Group A: 
Tides A


Tides B, c


palms 6, 7, 8

Palmetto Hall



The New Tax Laws and Your Business



The new tax policies have left a lot of us scratching our heads as our CPAs have given us new marching orders. As with any major change, there are a lot of questions. What your accountant did for you in the past, just got a lot more complicated.

In this session, Summit CPA will take us through the basics of what’s changed and strategies for making the most of the new tax codes. 


  • Impact for digital agencies
  • Change in deductions for sole proprietorships, partnerships and S Corporations
  • Lowering the corporate tax rate
  • Timeline for seeing change


Q&A: Let's Get Real About Getting Big




As an alumni who started going to Owner Camps when he was 25, Wil remembers thinking how insanely large some of the other shops in the room seemed. Shops with 45, 50 or 60 people seemed unthinkable.

He told his company they’d never get over 10, but now they’re at 150 people and he’s not afraid to look at growth as a good thing. So much so that when he was recently offered an eight-figure offer for his company, he said no. 

How do you go from wanting to stay small to turning down life-changing money? That’s what we’ll find out when Carl asks Wil your questions as well as some of his own in an Owner Summit exclusive interview.

Have a question for Wil? Please send it on over.


Day 1 Wrap-Up



Owner Summit Social: Movie & Mingle
Sponsored by MailChimp

Village Amphitheater

Head over to the official Owner Summit social to continue the conversations you started earlier in the day and to get to know your fellow attendees better. There will be an open bar and hors d'oeuvres served.

Made Possible by Our Wonderful Sponsors