Lest anyone accuse us of ignoring negative publicity about a company we're in bed with (which we very much are when it comes to ad:tech), it's our duty to let you know about a little pay for play snafu ad:tech found itself in when it offered "key influencers" free or discounted access to its New York conference in exchange for three pieces of media coverage. The media coverage could take the form of a blog post, a Tweet or a mention on Facebook.
We went for the parties but we stayed for the sessions. Oh wait. We mean we meant for the sessions and stayed for the parties. Yea, that's it.
So the Blogworld Conference and Expo happened last week in Las Vegas. There were sessions. There were learnings. There were connections. There were crabs (no, not that kind). There was swag. There were celebrity sightings. There were burger eating contests. There was karaoke. There was dancing. There was a guy in a Snuggie. There was pole dancing. There were legs - miles and miles of them. There was tongue (Ted Murphy's). There was cleavage (Bellagio Boobs). There was Chris Brogan. There was Scott Monty. There were no lost iPhones as far as we can tell.
But you don't care about any of that. All you want to see are the pictures so here they are. More on the conference later
Perhaps we should call this conference The No Bullshit Conference because the man behind it, Loren Feldman, never bullshits. He of 1938media fame is a straight shooter. With all the hyperbolic insanity, otherwise known as social media, flailing about like a gaggle of primadonnas scratching your eyes out in an attempt to get your attention, Feldman's Audience Conference, conversely, aims to deliver some meat. Some usable information you can take away and immediately put to use.
Pardon the conference-related commercial interruption but we feel it's our duty as a respected advertising industry media outlet to make sure everyone knows where the wilds thing are during a conference. Oops, bad movie pun but there will be wild things and there will be parties. They'll be in Las Vegas and they'll be during BlogworldExpo occurring this week Thursday through Saturday.
Aside from the fact it's a great conference (you can read about last year's here), there will be many, many social events where conference goers can go to kick back and relax or, conversely, get so inebriated they find themselves in a hotel room bed the next morning with a person whose name ever so awkwardly escapes them.
You decide how you want your night to play out but the least we can do is tell you where you can get your night started. So, here's the list of parties to be held this week at Blogworld. No doubt there will be more added but here's a starting point.
So be good. Or be bad. It's Vegas. It's your choice.
This is part two of our IZEAfest coverage. Part one is here. After the Icebar party and late night hotel room shenanigans, day two of IZEAfest in Orlando kicked off to the more subdued (and late) start. We'll be blunt. We missed the entire first half of day two having slept a bit late and getting caught up in picture editing and work. Though we hear the speakers were great.
Aaron Brazell gave the keynote and spoke to the issue of finding an audience, cultivating that audience and becoming a leader in one's area of expertise. Next Liz Strauss covered the area of leveraging relationships. Akin to building yourself up and establishing yourself as the go to person in a particular space, developing and maintaining relationships with others in the space is key to your continued success.
After lunch Brett Bumeter moderated a panel which included George Smith, John Andrews, Joseph Jaffe and Zena Weist. This panel dove into the realm of advertiser's needs and wants in the social media space and how that relates to bloggers creating content. While many topics such as urging marketers to join, listen and participate in social media were covered, a key take away was the need to target. And that's what blogging and certain aspects of social media can offer marketers, And, conversely, offer opportunity to anyone with the skills in a particular area to give that marketer a targeted pathway to building a customer base.
Social media is great, right? It's fun. It's social. It's amusing. But it's also a serious form of communication and interaction businesses can use to connect with their customers. If that sounds like a line out of a social media conference description, it pretty much is.
Adrants is supporting Business Development Institute's The Social Consumer B2C Case Studies & Rountables Conference occurring November 12 at the Graduate Center of The City University of NY from 8AM to 1PM.
At the conference you will hear case studies from McDonald's and its Voice of McDonald's campaign, Intuit and its iPhone application, Allstate Insurance and its use of blogs, and user-generated content, JetBlue and its 'social customer service" and Roger Smith Hotel, the New York City mecca for all things social media.
Roundtables will include expanded discussion on the presented case studies as well as additional topics.
If you're interested in attending, check out the details here.
Oh the salacious things we could tell you about IZEAfest which occurred this past weekend in Orlando. But we're not going to because you don't read Adrants for that stuff, right? You read it for the compelling and in-depth advertising news we provide. Wait, what? Did we just write that sentence? Have we turned into Advertising Age?
Hell no but we're not the industry's giant asshole either. Suffice to say there was puking, a high profile Twitter account hijacking, a lost iPhone debacle, a Twitter cat fight, a Zuckerberg/Lacy-style session trashing, a theme park line cutting incident and an act of contrition which was, well, less than contrite. But none of this is important. What's important is IZEAfest held a wonderful conference at which there were wonderfully informative speakers, wonderful attendees, wonderfully planned social events and a a chance to learn a lot about how advertising isn't the same advertising it once was.
Upon arrival Thursday, the Renaissance Hotel pool was the place to be. Julia Roy and Sarah Evans were among the many drinking in the sun before a few hundred of us hopped on some buses for a ride across the state to Busch Gardens where the park was holding its annual Howl-O-Scream event. Just imagine an entire theme park turned into one gigantic scare zone and you have Howl-O-Scream.
Whoa. It's Thursday and we're just getting to Tuesday. Wait, what? You mean you don't realize it's Advertising Week? Of course you do and that also means you know it's a crazy week in the city of New York. There's only about 4,364 things to do everyday and it's hard to keep up. But, we do our best.
So on Tuesday MIXX held the second of its two day conference. The day was filled with informative session but all anyone cared about was seeing Ashton Kutcher who appeared at the end of the day to talk about his company, Katalyst Media, "a studio for social media creating original digital media, television and film properties." As Kutcher took the stage, hands were filled with digital devices capturing the moment as if it were a Jonas Brother concert - expect with less screaming and no jumping up and down.
At the end of the day, the IAB MIXX Awards were held. Saturday Night Live veteran Jim Breuer provided the humor and Best in Show was won by Tourism Queensland and CumminsNitro Brisbane for "The Best Job in the World," More on that here.
Yesterday Advertising Week kicked off and as part of the week, the Internet Advertising Bureau held its MIXX Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square. It was attended by about 1,000 people and the sessions covered the usual stuff. The exhibit hall bustled for a bit but it's a smallish conference compared to some of the others in the industry.
This smallness has its advantages though. You can actually find people you are looking for and can talk to them without being trampled by a herd of show bag-wielding conference Nazis whose sole goal is to make sure they shove their business card into the hands of anyone who will take it.
eMarketer's Geoff Ramsey gave another of his stellar, figure-filled sessions which was well attended and left the other two sessions, for the most part, empty and full of cob webs. Geoff always has the facts and figures. Always fills your head with more information than you can take causing you the rush the stage after the session and beg him to forward you the PowerPoint version of the presentation.
So it's Advertising Week this week and what's the most important thing about the week? Icons and slogans, of course. Today at 6PM in Times Square, this year's Walk of Fame Inductees will be announced. In the past, the Geico Caveman, Juan Valdez, the Pillsbury Dough Boy, the Geico Gecko and Tony the Tiger have been Walk of Fame Winners.
In terms of past slogan winners, M&M's' "Melts in Your Hands, Not in Your Mouth", Verizons' "Can You Hear Me Now", FedEx's "When it Absolutely Positively Has to be There Overnight" and Wendy's "Where's the Beef" have been named.
So if you care about the really important stuff in advertising like this stuff, stay glued to Times Square for the news today. And if, like the rest of us, you could care less who wins this folly, just take a walk around Manhattan. There's bound to be a self-centric, ego-fueled ad industry party somewhere on the island.