ad:tech New York Closes: Despite Economy, Optimism Reigns
While it's said attendance was down slightly from past conferences, the New York ad:tech conference was, by all counts, alive and well despite 24/7 news reports reports of doom and gloom. It's true the economy is not doing too well right now nor is it expected to improve over the course of the next year. But, thankfully, the online and interactive market space is one of the few bright spots amongst the graying economic skyline.
In his keynote address Tuesday morning eMarketer Co-Founder and CEO Geoff Ramsey said he expects to see a 14.5 percent growth rate in U.S. online ad spending in 2009, not bad for an economy that's supposed to be tanking. Many other sources have proclaimed such health as well for the space which bodes well for those of us making our living in online marketing.
The election added a unique twist to this year's ad:tech. Normally filled with a handful of sponsored parties, the second night of ad:tech was alive in a different way with election fervor sweeping the city. When it was determined Barak Obama won the Presidency, Times Square, Union Square and the entire city erupted with glee causing one to wonder if there was a Republican anywhere on the island. Cars were honking their horns. People were shouting. And there was this amazing group camaraderie in the streets which isn't often seen.
Yes. Despite the economy, ad:tech was upbeat and full of activity. Despite what some might deem political turmoil, the city exploded with a far from subdued post-Presidential outpouring of glee and the feeling everyone was participating in one gigantic group hug.
If the optimism in the hallways of the ad:tech conference and on the streets of New York were any indication, 2009 may not be so bad after all. When we all regroup five month from now for the San Francisco ad:tech, hopefully that optimism will be alive and well. See you then.