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#Paid’s Creator Marketing Summit: Shaping The Future Of Influencer Marketing Through Innovation, Collaboration, And Human Connection

On May 2nd, #paid’s Creator Marketing Summit brought together industry leaders and innovators to discuss the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in the creator economy. Topics included best practices for connecting with Gen Z, legal guidelines in the creator economy, and how marketers can amplify diverse voices beyond tentpole campaigns. #paid’s speaker lineup included IAB Canada president Sonia Carreno, macro creator Jason Tartick and AI creative director Omar Karim, as well as representatives from TikTok, Meta and Snapchat. 

“Summits are more often than not boring, and the same cookie cutter recipe that has been used for decades,” said #paid’s Director of Events Kerry-Anne Hamilton, who brought in puppies with custom hashtag bandanas to break up the day. “We wanted the event to be educational, but also a place where people could meet and enjoy a unique experience together.” 

Traditionally, #paid’s events focused on facilitating casual conversations between creators and brands, but with the introduction of the Creator Marketing Summit, #paid is expanding its scope to include an editorial, conference-style element that engages a broader audience.  The brand plans to bring the summit to New York in the fall.

Roger Figueriredo, #paid’s CMO, said beyond quantitative metrics, a sure sign of success was looking around to see attendees taking pages of notes. “In front of decision makers from Canada’s largest brands, we aligned our brand with all three major social platforms, elevated ourselves by having the IAB and Ad Standards and set ourselves apart by having a creator first and storytelling approach,” added Jeanette Rees, director of enterprise sales at #paid. 

Emmy Liederman, Editorial Lead at #paid, emphasizes the importance of human connection in an often remote and isolating digital marketing environment. “Beyond work, it’s always nice to meet the team, creators, and brands, and bounce ideas off each other,” she explains. “What happened on stage was so valuable, but it was also about the connections and conversation between sessions”, she adds. 

#paid’s events team (from left: Kerry-Anne Hamilton, Danielle Addesky and Sophia Randinone) 

Spotlighting Diverse Perspectives

When selecting speakers for the Creator Marketing Summit, #paid prioritized diversity and fresh perspectives. Liederman, emphasizes the importance of curating a lineup that includes a wide range of voices from within and outside the creator marketing space. “I think it’s about getting creative with your speakers and not just saying, ‘Oh, I saw this person talk at South By Southwest or Creator Economy Live, so I might as well tack them on,” she said. 

This diverse range of perspectives helped to highlight one of the key themes that emerged from the Creator Marketing Summit: the importance of involving creators throughout the entire campaign process, rather than treating them as an afterthought. “We had a speaker from a traditional creative agency who agreed that marketers shouldn’t just execute a campaign or product and hope it resonates with creators,” says Liederman. “They should be involved from the start.” 

Photo credit: Irving De Jong 

Celebrating Creativity and Empowering Non-Traditional Career Paths

“The reason I love being a part of this industry is that it gives opportunities to people who may not have wanted to pursue a traditional career path,” Liederman explains. “And I think the space  really celebrates creativity as something we can monetize versus something that we can just enjoy.” The Creator Marketing Summit embodies this spirit, celebrating the value of creative work and the push and pull between marketers and creators.

By embracing the opportunities presented by AI while prioritizing human connection and creativity, the summit worked to help shape a future in which influencer marketing thrives, drives meaningful partnerships and empowers creators to succeed. 

“Conferences  don’t  have to be super stiff, and  can just be casual conversations that give people a little bit of extra motivation,” Liederman adds. “That’s really important when protecting the industry from burnout and investing in mental health. 

Photo credit: Irving De Jong 

The Future of Creator Marketing: Balancing Spontaneity and Strategy

The Creator Marketing Summit followed #paid’s launch of its Creator Calendar, which gives brands early access into creator life moments—which could be planning a wedding, moving into a new home or adopting a dog. From there, marketers can plan partnerships more authentically. “We gather extensive life insights and frequently update the Creator Calendar. Our team is committed to maintaining up-to-date information by actively engaging with our trusted network of creators,” says Adam Rivietz, Chief Strategy Officer at #paid. “Our goal is to enable brands to be the first—or only—partner for creators during key moments, fostering long-term, impactful relationships.”

This approach, which balances spontaneous partnerships with scheduled collaborations, has the potential to revolutionize the creator economy. Kahlea Nicole Wade, a creator and founder of talent agency Alora Society, moderated #paid’s summit on tapping into these life moments. Reflecting on the event at large, she spoke to the execution of the space and attention to detail, as well as the panel content and conversations. “One of my favorite parts of the event was how immersive it felt,” says Wade, speaking to the space’s immersive wall of content.  “I felt like I was IN the content rather than just watching it on a screen. It’s truly brought all the speaking sessions to life and every content transition perfectly set the stage for discussions.” 

As Hamilton plans future events for #paid, she is focused on maintaining that balance of education and entertainment. “At #paid, we don’t plan events, we build experiences, and our summit was no exception,” she said. “Planning this summit was nothing short of a feat, and I’m so incredibly proud of what my team created. We look forward to our Creator Marketing Summit this October in New York.” 

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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