Moday Night ad:tech Party Scene Long, Busy, Fun, Loud
There were no less than seven parties, that we knew of, Monday night, the first night following the first day of ad:tech New York 2005 and we made it to six so we'll do our best to sum up the evening's activities for you if, for some unknown reason, you weren't there to experience it all for yourself.
As is tradition, Tribal Fusion hosted its Grand Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall following a very busy, very crowded day on the exhibit hall floor. There was Tribal Fusion-branded beer, various wines and finger food to enjoy along with the company of the eMarketer crew, Waisum Tam and David Murrow. While we're sure the AC was doing its best to fight the body heat of 8,300 attendees, it wasn't quite cutting it and we opted to head out of the Exhibit Hall and down to the Hilton Hotel's Bridges bar for the Partner Weekly cocktail party.
This year, Partner Weekly made the event invite only and sealed off the usually very open Bridges bar and dressed up the entrance with red velvet curtains and a red carpet to, we assume, make us all feel important. The inside was transformed into a casual nightclub atmosphere with low lighting and candles. Since the food at this party was emanating from th same kitchen as Tribal Fusion's we were less than thrilled at placing yet another ball of fried something into our mouth so we just ditched the food and headed to the bar. At this point the extended eMarketer crew was with us (pictured) along with Tia Fix from PrimaryAds and a discussion ensued about how busy this year's show is and whether the industry is still trying to legitimize itself or if that has been achieved.
Not having to travel too far, we all headed over to the hotel's New York marketplace restaurant for the BlueStreak party which offered a moderate step up in food and additional conversation with MarketingVOX publisher Tig Tillinghast, brand truth's Seana Mulcahy and BlueStreak's CEO Annette Tonti and CMO Anurag Ahuja. We all congratulated each other on what a wonderful job we're all doing for the industry. Really.
Self-congratulatory backslapping aside, we next left the hotel and headed for the Datran party held at PM, the location of last year's Tribal Fusion party. The venue, which consists of a floor full of U-shaped couches made for good conversation but, like in the Exhibit Hall, the AC wasn't cutting it. It must be the season change freaking out the thermostats. The closer to the door, the cooler it was. When we first entered, we saw a sea of orange. Datran had outfitted themselves and the entire bar staff with orange t-shirts making it fairly confusing to determine who worked for Datran and who worked for PM. Luckily, we didn't offend and order a drink from a Datran employee. We didn't stay long because, no offense to Datran, we had more parties to go to.
Next on our list was Tribal Fusion's party at Lotus, a bar similar to PM but bigger and a bit fancier. We arrived early enough to gather at the bar and share fancy martinis together. If you're ever there, definitely try the Gingerbread Martini. emarketer's David Murrow ordered a Watermelon martini, went to the men's room and, upon return, was dismayed he now had to be seen with a pink drink. No matter, he reported it tasted great and, as the rest of us witnessed its quick disappearance down his mouth, the pink didn't last long. We were joined by some folks from Time Warner and the crew from Catalano, Lellos & Silverstein led by the radiantly glowing Alice Anda. We spent some time speaking with CLS Creative Director Jason Lellos and found the agency has done some pretty great work for Porsche and Discovery Channel.
As is always the case, when the numbers in a party-going entourage increases, the speed at which that entourage moves slows greatly so it took a while for us to all get to our next destination - the Bluelithium party held at Glo. As with past Bluelitium parties, Glo was retrofitted with the Bluelitium brand with a large banner hanging from the VIP floor, which, sadly, we couldn't get up to because we left our VIP passes in the hotel room, and an entire wall branded via laser with Bluelithium sell lines. Also present and a traditional appearance at Bluelithium parties were perfect-bodied, less than fully-dressed platform dancers who gyrated, as platform dancers do, as if having sex with themselves for the amusement of onlookers. It never gets tired. After a few attempts negotiating with a very large, very stern bouncer to gain access to hallowed VIP ground, we figured, no worries, we still have one more party to attend.
We rounded up the crew and headed out to the final throb-fest over to the multi-company sponsored "Real Results" party held at Crobar next to the famous Scores. Since we're all about sharing the everyman's party experience with you, we opted not to name crop to bypass the short line outside Crobar and stood with the rest of our industry colleagues for about 15 minutes while amusing ourselves with the lame attempts by non-industry goers to negotiate their way past the velvet ropes and the power of the female form as access credentials. Perhaps a short-term, reversible sex change operation might come in handy for future ad:tech parties.
Once inside the cavernous Crobar, the music pounded and the bodies throbbed like, well, to borrow a well known company's name, a tribal fusion. A sympathetic friend slipped us a wrist band so at least one of us could gain access to the ever important and hallowed land of the VIP. We can say this whole VIP thing is just a sham which perpetuates our world of haves and have nots. That said, we're happy we scored access - not that we couldn't have prior but we're too lazy to call all these companies prior to the show - because the upper level of Crobar gave is two things: great pictures and a humorous encounter with a gentleman from a company which is "doing some really great things" and who thought handing out business cards to people on there way in and out of the bathrooms was good corporate salesmanship.
The night ended with a mass dispersal outside Crobar and neighboring Scores, a cab ride home and a late night IM conversation with a fellow party goer about the evening's activities, how little sleep would be had and how much coffee would be consumed the next morning. Be sure to join us again tomorrow for another virtual tour of the ad:tech party scene. We're off to bed now. Be sure to check out images of the night's activities along with several really bad, low quality videos in a photo album here.