Bad Party Planning Makes For So-So Wednesday Night
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.
Bar oddities aside, ad:tech VP Don Knox took the stage around 6:30 PM and welcomed the crowd while a couple of men dressed in white and wearing goggles pranced around him like a pair of Blue Man Group dudes. The crowd had no idea what was going on until the two headed over to an adjacent stage on which there were two giant block of ice. The pair took out a couple of chain saws, picks , crobars and proceed to whack and carve the ice block until it morphed into the ad:tech logo. Don Knox dealt the final blow which reveled the finished product. He was then placed on a big block of ice and whisked away by the two men in white.
A bit after the ice capade, famous San Francisco cover band The Cheeseballs took the stage and several people figured it was time to hit the dance floor and did just that. Since we're not much of a dancer, we hung with COGBOX's Chirs Eaves and 360i's David Berkowitz and watched grown men and women turn into the dorks they once were in high shcool. Oops, sorry, that was harsh. Everyone had fun. It was all good. Around 8PM, I wandered out of the room and met up with Bratton, iMediaConnection's Brad Berens, Masha Gellar and Kevin Ryan. We all decided to go to dinner but as is always the case, the people who said they would show for dinner were very different that those that actually did.
We walked to Coco (I think that's where we were) where six of us finally met up - Digital Voodoo VP Dave Evans, Powered Senior Manager Brian Massey, Bratton, myself, Meredith Medland and another gentleman who I truly apologize to for not remembering his name. We had a great dinner and talked about everything from RSS to podcasting to blogging to future ad:tech shows to social media to how many social networking sites we all belong to.
After that, we all headed back to our respective hotels but, unfortunately, my job was not yet done. Afterall, I need to tell all of you non-attendees what's it's like to hang out in a city with 9,000 of your industry co-workers. As I returned to my hotel for a bit, I pulled the hypermedia-sponsored Girls Gone Wild party invite out of my back pocket and said, "Hmm...this is just going to be a cheesy sausage fest with people name dropping and pulling all manner of pompous 'I'm the president of...,' 'But I have an invitation...' and 'I'm with her...' to get inside to see a bunch of not-so-attractive Girls Gone Wild dancing on the bar. But, I said to myself, "I have a job to do here and it's my duty to stand in this line and endure this idiocy so others can share the experience of a company that would sponsor an event that was held in a venue far too small, that would allow only women to enter because there were too many guys and that would use such a tired ploy to get people to attend." One guy summed it up best, shouting, "hypermedia doesn't want your money but they'll take your women.!" Whatever. We never got in. We felt stupid trying. But we were able to snap a shot of the Girls Gone Wild bus and a really bad photo from the line.
In disgust, many people headed across the street to another bar. Anyway, what we should have done and what we hope several of you did was attend the Outrider/Offermatica Bay cruise which, in hindsight, sounds like it would have been a lot more fun than not-so-hot Girls Gone Wild bar dancing. Also missed was the [x=1] (formerly Pointdexter) party at The Cellar. Likely, that was far more enjoyable than standing in a sausage-fest line. Sadly missing from this week's party scene was Bluelithium. Now there's a company that knows how to host a party. Actually, they did host a smaller party last week but we weren't here to attend. Hopefully, Thursday night, we'll make better party planning decisions.