Ramsey Rants, Carla Charms, Double Clicks, MySpace Matters
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.
After dumping the laptop and all the crap I had accumulated during the show at my hotel, I took a trip over to the very old but very classy Drake Hotel where Skylist was having their party featuring a quick presentation by Mark Naples on email marketing. This party falls into the well-lit cocktail party category. There were great drinks, amazing food, a giant slab of salmon and eMarketer's Geoff Ramsey. Oh wait, he wasn't on the menu, he was just clarifying all our misconceptions regarding the penetration of broadband into homes in the U.S, and abroad. Along with digital voodoo's Dave Evans and powered's Brian Massey, we debated the role of broadband in growing the Internet medium.
The party was organized by the wonderful group from blast pr including the charming Carla Vicens with whom I spent the last half of the party talking, thankfully after two days of conference overload, about everything and anything except online marketing. Sadly, she had to leave early to catch a flight home so I left with her and made my next stop at the DoubleClick party at Terra on 511 Harrision, home to many past ad:tech San Francisco parties.
When I walked into Terra, interestingly, it looked very different from any time I had seen it prior. It's one of those warehouse clubs but it had received some sort of makeover. Maybe I was just sober this time. The place was about half full and, no surprise, there was food everywhere. A while after I walked through the place and met up with a few folks, I ran into 3outcomes CEO Meredith Medland and Experclick CEO Bill Urshel who were on their way out and headed to the MySpace party at the Clift Hotel. We grabbed a cab together and were on our way.
Over at the Clift, just as it is at every ad:tech, the place was very crowded. Thankfully, the party wasn't in the crowded lobby bar where those creepy, moving pictures stare at you making you wonder what you just drank. The party was in some suite on the second floor so we made our way up there and were greeted with, yes, more food along with master trend-watcher Michael Tchong and well, everyone. Indeed, everyone was at this party and it was nice to see MySpace come out of hiding and join the party.
As Meredith, Bill and I wandered through the crowd stopping every once in a while to chat with a familiar face, I ran into Tribal Fusion's Lindsey Frankenfield again along with some more of her Tribal Fusion co-workers. We also met up with MySpace's Shawn Gold who was visibly gleeful at the turnout. After a while, there's only so much talking and schmoozing you can do so I headed to the elevators to leave but just as the doors opened, in walked ad:tech "regulars" Masha Gellar, Kevin Ryan, ad:tech Chair Susan Bratton and...her husband who I've never met before but is a great guy. So, once again, I was sucked into the swirling schmooze-fest for a while.
I walked back to my hotel and after a few wrong lefts and rights, finally arrived and ran into yet another familiar face. Sadly, since I suck at matching faces to names, I can't tell you who it was. So that's it. I never made it to Fight Night but ad:tech blog writer Chris Eaves did and you can read all about it here. You can also check the night's photos out here.