2 Night Stand Interview with Jason Schwartz of Bright Bright Great by Joe Gonzalez of Miracle 21 (for NWI Creative)
How did 2 Night Stand get started?
2 Night Stand (@2nightstand) sprung from attending all the other creative get-togethers in Chicago, seeing my same creatives at every event and always walking away with everyone always saying “Oh man, we should totally work together sometime.”
This event is the lightweight platform I created (2 nights, no commitment) to have the opportunity to bring all of those people together to work collaboratively, as well as with other creatives who were interested, and looking for a creative experience. Bright Bright Great (@bbg) started discussing the details of 2NS around March. Bryant Hughes jumped on board in April and after hours upon hours of web/ideation/discussion Event 1 was born around June.
How did you pick the client?
This is a touchy subject. The concept of a “client” has seen many rounds of discussion. So the first thought it always… why would I want to work for free for a client? Even though the entire 2 Night Stand event is about the weekends worth of collaboration with creatives, we continue to return to the question of client over and over. We hit many different options in discussion, non-profits, imaginary clients, lofty clients that are not involved, but whom we create for anyway.
We try to figure out what is the best solution that works for participants as well as for the event and it seems that everyone has a different perspective on what is best. Trencherman’s Beer Co. have been friends of mine for almost 10 years. I knew Josh and Jason from back when Josh was still brewing beer under the name Flounder’s Finest (which I designed labels for) and which also took a few home brew ribbons in tasting contests.
Trencherman’s has been brewing small batch craft beers since January 2010 and are in dyer need of some creative love. Their beers are excellent and I wanted to help them spice things up. Beer as a subject matter hits close to home, especially with creatives in Chicago, so I knew small batch beer and a creative weekend worked hand-in-hand. Old Style beer was also a sponsor of this event, so we went all out on beer. In fact, a never-ending unlimited amount of beer was supplied. (http://twitpic.com/2rpm1l)
How Did You Pick The Participants?
This event was our first stab at 2 Night Stand and we considered it our “friends and family” weekend. I would say that I knew (from one place or another) 60% of the participants. We allowed everyone to sign up online on our website (https://2nightstand.com) and we selected from there.
We had more sign-ups than slots, so not everyone was able to participate in the first event. We had a lot of interest from New York City, so we are looking forward to some satellite cities for our second event. People can already sign-up on our site for the second event. If you want go check out https://2nightstand.com and sign-up. The next event will be in Jan/Feb.
What Are Your Overall Feelings On How The Event Turned Out?
I am really excited as to how the event turned out. This was our first event and we had no idea what to expect, so pretty much anything that didn’t end in a disaster, or lawsuit was a success. I was surprised that with no deliverable requirements, all three teams of creatives opted for fairly traditional deliverables. I thought for sure we were going to see some weird experimental deliverables.
We did have a few video creatives sign-up, but as we got close had to drop out for work related reasons. As we do additional events, I would love to see some video, or motion people sign-up. The creative output and collaboration from the weekend was definitely a success. The quality of creative that came from the teams in just a short day of production was actually pretty astounding. All three teams got their game together and presented solid work. No excuses. Shows amazing talent from everyone involved.
What Was The One Thing That Stood Out To You?
Hmm, I was actually pretty surprised how well the groups worked together without having any prior engagement beforehand. I was really hoping for an MTV Real World type experience with fights and crying and one guy who thinks he’s a badass, but it was really great to see a group of random creatives jumping in together and doing good work. Go teamwork!
What Are Your Plans For The Future of 2 Night Stand?
We are actually planning to hold these events every 3-4 months, so we are hoping that the future of 2NS means having an event mid-Winter (Jan/Feb). Now that we’ve rocked our first event, we’ve learned a lot from what we expected, needed to do and what the participants expected, so we want to learn from our mistakes/shortcomings to make future events even more fun and interactive.
We also plan to have satellite cities for future events. We had a lot of love from NYC when we posted the site, so possible we will see a Chicago/NYC 2NS battle throwdown for our next event. Keep your eyes peeled for that.
Any Last Shout Outs & Thank Yous?
For sure we have to thank the participants. This whole event hinges on the fact that there are amazing creatives out there who want to do something, so thanks to all the people who came out and grinded through the first event. We also want to thank Exaclair (Rhodia) for supplying the Rhodia pads and Old Style & Jason Ewers for supplying a never-ending supply of beer. Both donations were huge.
We also wanted to thank The Coop Chicago (http://chicagocoop.net) for letting us use their space. To see how the event unfolded, take a peek on the event feed at https://2nightstand.com.