Inside C2 Montréal 2019

Taking place at Grande Studios MTL for the first time – a cavernous space usually used for TV/film production – C2 Montréal 2019 proved to be quite the show.


Brimming with their unique, infectious energy, C2 filled the innovative space with everything from Cirque Du Soleil performers hanging from 60 foot ceilings, to willing yoga partners for attendees in the form of baby goats. 

Over 40 members of the kyu Collective as well as a delegation from HDY attended the annual event, joining over 7,500 participants from all over the world for the three-day experiential conference. Many of our members hosted sessions, showcasing their expertise and impressive work from the past year. 

kyu CEO Michael Birkin was also a keynote speaker, interviewing Acer CEO Jason Chen on day two. Michael and Jason discussed Acer’s business turnaround and direction for the future, as well as their new product line designed specifically for creatives. Michael and Jason also shared their insights about the importance of open, encouraging leadership and its role in a company’s overall success. “I was thrilled to be at C2 Montreal this year. Ahead of the event there was a degree of nervousness about the change in location, but I felt that everyone at C2 did a magnificent job in managing what I felt was the best-run event,” Michael commented. “From a content perspective, this year’s edition was the most interesting one that I’ve been to ever since going to C2.” 

Back to host their second consecutive session, RedPeak led “How Cause Can Hyper-Charge Your Brand,” and discussed how brands can adapt to better fit ever-changing consumer demands and attitudes. Throughout the session, attendees learned how their companies’ decisions to take a stand and rally around a cause can position them in a more authentic light to their consumers. RedPeak CEO Susan Cantor praised: “The interactive format and the creative environment made for an engaging, high energy program that inspired lots of meaningful discussion and active collaboration around the role ‘Purpose’ can play in a company’s action plan.” 

On a similar note, YARD (a Sid Lee company) showed how brands can drive engagement by living their story and values, rather than just talking about them. The company’s two co-founders, Tom Brunet and Yoan Prat, discussed “storytelling versus storydoing,” and how brands must place the brand mission at the center of business, building it into its products and services. 

SYPartners’ session “The Value of Remembering” shared the company’s focus on “ritual,” and how ritual can be cultivated in personal and creative practices so that individuals can be fully present for themselves and others. In the face of a rapidly evolving, technology-based society, SYPartners encouraged attendees to see how what people remember and embody defines who they can become in the future. 

Closing out C2 on Friday, BEworks offered insight on how behavioral economics tactics can help nudge customers, clients, and employees to overcome behavioral biases that can prevent actual behavior change. Session participants identified how usual approaches to company awareness through education, information, and incentivization can drive awareness but rarely lead to actual behavior change.    

Photo courtesy of C2