This morning when I examined the pile of business cards I had collected Thursday night at ad:tech in San Francisco, I found a card from a company called My Car Service and wondered if I had somehow awakened from a drunken stupor only to realize I had mistakenly gone to some limousine driver bash instead of an ad:tech party. But, as I went through the rest of the pile, the familiar company names brought me back to reality along with the fact I didn't drink much the night before. Anyway...
On the second day of ad:tech around 6PM when the exhibit hall was closing, a group of us gathered at the bottom of the elevators below the very cool DoubleClick stairway and discussed what we'd do Thursday night. As always, there were far too many parties for any one group of people to hope to attend in a single night. So, we didn't try. Some went to dinner, some back to their hotels and some over the to SF BIG (Bay Area Interactive Group) party at 111 Mina. The place was packed with friendly, familiar faces and, unlike many parties, the bar staff actually kept up with demand. There, I caught up with Noreen Sullivan who writes for the ad:tech blog and a few people from Tribal Fusion including Lindsey Frankenfield and consultant John Nguyen. It really was one of the better ad:tech parties. Not too crowded. Not too loud. Not too bright. Not too dark and just the right amount of red hair.
iPressroom Founder and Chairman Eric Schwartzman moderted the session entitled "Podcasts and vidcasts for marketing and public relations. The panel consisted of CP+B VP/Director of Communications Katie Kempner, TNC New Media Founder and CEO Tim Borkquin, The Gilmore Gang's Steve Gilmore and Kelly Wagman. The goal of the session was to inform the audience of the benefits of the podcast as a medium and Schwartzman set the stage by saying podcast advertising revenue will hit $327 million in 2010, up from $3.1 million in 2005.
Somehow the schedule of parties on Monday night at ad:tech San Francisco didn't make it very easy to slide from one to another with ease. Following the exhibit hall closing at six, prior to which a few booths were serving a random beer or two, unlike former shows when Tribal Fusion would serve the whole hall, the ad:tech opening party began in a big room adjacent to the Moscone center exhibit hall. Crowds of 2,000 or more swarmed the food tables where one could find mini-burgers, all kinds of pasta - which was very good, finger food and cookies. The bar was open for the first hour or two and served pretty much anything anyone could want. Oddly, when they decided to convert to a cash bar, they minimized bar service down to a quarter length of the bar but left all the former bartenders standing there twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do but point people to the end of the bar where beer and wine were being served. In fact, the human bar mannequins wouldn't even serve ad:tech chair Susan Bratton a glass of water.
Just as we finished commenting on the amped up exhibit floor booth attractions and the lack of booth babes, no sooner did they show up en masse, roaming the hall, promoting the hydramedia/Girls Gone Wild Bash taking place at The Rouge in San Francisco beginning at 8:30. So if girls gone wild are your thing, get your wet t-shirt on and head over to the party.
If for some reason that's not your thing, there's always the x+1 hosted after party at The Cellar beginning at 10 PM. Or, if you want to skip both those parties as well as the "official" ad:tech after party at Moscone, you can head over to the Outrider/Offermatica Bay Cruise. The ship sets sail at 6PM. Do we detect some sort of water theme here?
With the larger Moscone center venue this year for the San Francisco ad:tech show, there seemed to be a bigger collection of booth attractions and we don't mean booth babes. Everything from games, to performances to drawings to back massages to women dressed like the numeral eight were everywhere inside the Moscone center. Those women dressed like the number eight were promoting 888.com, the self proclaimed "World's No. 1 Online Casino & Poker Room," which was hosting some sort of drawing. Monday afternoon, there was also a marshmallow eating contest and a blackjack game. See more here. Of course, we have no problems with booth babes and this, in no way, advocates their retirement.
As a prelude to the first ad:tech keynote given by Sequoia Capital Partner Mark Kvamme, ad:tech chair Susan Bratton welcomed a packed room of attendess to ad:tech San Francisco 2006 and told the audience there would be 9,000 attendees to this years show, breaking all former ad:tech attendence records. In addition, she mentioned there would be 300 exhibitors, 200 speakers and 55 sessions, more than any prior conference. Noting the conference's tenth tyear anniversary, Bratton, calling the show the "biggest, deepest and widest" to date, told the audience ad:tech would be expanding its conference series to Sydney, Hamburg and Paris this year and, in 2007, to Mumbai, Dubai among others.
Following her introduction, Bratton introduced Kvamme who quickly followed the ten year theme Bratton had begun by telling the audience the next ten years will see growth in the Internet space that will make the first ten years seem trivial. Noting all media expcept the Internet is declining in use, Kvamme pointed out the disparity between adspend and consumption comparing television to the Internet. Thirty two percent of people are reached by TV and 38 percent of ad dollars are allocated to TV. In contrast, the Internet reached 32 percent of people but only receives five percent of ad dollars. With TV CPMs hovering around $64 and $10 to $30 for the Internet, Kvamme sees huge growth potential for Internet advertising.
Out since March 1, perhaps you've seen this already but we haven't so, while Bert Fields might not like it, we thought we'd share since sneaker man Al Cabino sent it our way. Inspired by the Nike Awake commercial in which people wake up, grab their Nike Air Max 360 trainers and hit the day running, this spoof by Curiousfury pays homage to the Tom Cruise running trend. The spot weaves together the many Tom Cruise movie scenes in which he's always running with some pained look on his face. Curious fury promises another clip called "Tomarathon." It's supposed to be a longer, 26 minute version of this spoof crafted as an exercise video.
For those attending ad:tech in San Francisco, search marketing firm Outrider and web optimization company Offermatica are hosting a Bay Cruise Wednesday night, April 26 from :6:30P to 10P. It will be aboard the San Francisco Spirit and feature cocktails, dinner, jazz and more. ad:tech attendees can register to be considered for the Evening Bay Cruise or the Outrider/Offermatica VIP Room by visiting www.outrider.com/VIP.
Sometimes the best part of going to an industry trade show is the unexpected get togethers that occur. I knew 360i Director of Strategic Planning David Berkowitz would be at the ad:tech San Francisco show but I didn't expect to run into him on the corner of 4th and Howard after leaving the exhibit hall heading back to the hotel. He was on his way to meet a few folks prior to catching a ball game. So we both headed over to some burger bar where he was meeting the others.
Tuesday evening before the storm known as ad:tech San Francisco hit, ad:tech hosted a party for all the exhibitors who have been hard at work planning for the event, putting their booths together and generally making sure all expected 9,000 attendees have something worthwhile to see as they saunter through the exhibit hall. the event was held in the center of the exhibit hall in an area dubbed the "experclick cafe." Beer, wine and munchies were served while ad:tech VP Don Knox graciously welcomed the exhibitors are revved them up for the next two days of action.