7pm, Manchester Conference Centre, back row, as far away as possible from the stage - that's a self-preservation involuntary reaction to the Rocky Horror Show when some of the actors were in the audience and Andrew Cheetham of CheethamBell kicks the proceedings off and we settle in.
Well, didn't we get a telling off!!!??
He introduces onto the stage Alexandra Taylor (Alex to her friends which following the bo**ocking everyone got reduced the number to a couple of fingers). To quote the D&AD events site "A multi-award winner" while at Saatchi & Saatchi Alexandra waded into us all, suggesting she almost decided not to come up to Manchester.
Four para's down in the intro copy and quoting again "Alexandra will give her opinion on whether the art direction lived up to the promise of the original idea. Please send in your work by Friday 28 October" Well . . . no one did and her 'eight golden rules' were never going to be shared with the audience. She was far from happy and remained that way for at least 30 minutes.
Having in the last seven years stood up and 'talked' for a living, having drummed into students when they present work to an audience not to read off cards, but learn the detail of what the are presenting so they can maintain eye contact rather than talking to the floor, I was personally surprised that Alexandra (reading from her notes) delivered her session with the same difficulty a first year student who couldn't read their own writing would.
Okay, okay, she has achieved more in her lunch hour than I have in my whole life of design. Our 'mantras' are basically the same and she still draws ideas rather than hitting the computer straight away - and the only pencil I have is the 2B I do my Morrisons list with and Alexandra has loads, there is no doubting the quality of the Silk Cut and British Army campaigns, and the total commitment that went into every project Alexandra was involved with - but maybe with this being my first D&AD President's Lecture, not knowing what to expect and having watched online Brody, Saville and Peters I left feeling a little unfulfilled.