The Chicago ad:tech conference is always much smaller than the coastal behemoths New York and San Francisco but the "windy" city (which, by the way didn't get it's name from the wind , rather the "windy" politicians) has its charms. The river. Navy Pier. Lake Michigan. And a conference setting that's manageable.
As always, the exhibit hall is where a lot of the action is. Where the conversation occurs. Where old acquaintances are rekindled. Where you can hear your share of elevator pitches. And where booth babes pimp products. Hey, it's an ad conference. These things happen.
Check out the pictures here.
For those of you that value conferences for the "networking," ad:tech Chicago's opening night party kicks off at 8PM on Tuesday.
It happens at Enclave, which you probably remember from last year. From 8-10 there'll be open bar and hors d'oeuvres -- usually tasty but scarce; I stand by the kitchen entry for just this reason. From 10-11, it's a cash bar, which is your cue to exit stage left and go find a good jazz club anyway. That's what Chicago's really about,* and boy will that SEO guru think you're cultured!
Good news: sporting your ad:tech badge grants you free entry. Register before September 1 for a free expo hall pass. And if you want to know where Enclave is, it's at 220 W. Chicago Ave -- right between N. Franklin and N. Wells.
See you by the kitchen.
On September 1, ad:tech will kick off its fifth annual show in Chicago. It will focus on helping companies build their brands in a digital world. The event will take place from September 1-2, 2009 at Chicago Navy Pier.
During the 2-day conference, ad:tech Chicago will focus on real-world case studies and offer workshops to help people put learnings into practice. Speakers and audiences will explore consumer acquisition and retention, branding best practices, offer tactical takeaways and help attendees get up to speed on emerging trends, platforms and technologies.
Search engine optimization expert Bruce Clay will present an SEO workshop that looks at best practices and optimization trends across current and emerging search media and technology platforms.
Earlier this week, Affiliate Summit East rocked the shizzle. OK, so that's a lame way of putting it but, well, this conference always turns out to be one of the most informative and fun. Particularly because it's peripheral to the world of "regular" advertising.
Affiliate marketing is a segment of marketing that doesn't get much mainstream advertising press. Why? Because it doesn't consist of sexy, :30 spots made by primadonna ad agencies which are concerned, mostly with winning awards. Affiliate marketers, on the other hand, care mainly about one thing; making money. (Yes, I have written this exact paragraph before)
Not that "regular" advertising isn't about making money but Affiliate Marketing leaves the flash behind and focuses entirely on the substance of things.
Here's another great definition: "Affiliate marketing widens the scope of your internet presence by encouraging other websites to become advocates for your services, increasing your online exposure and improving the efficiency of your advertising spend."
One of the more interesting aspects of Affiliate Summit is the Meet Market. On Saturday, the first day of the conference, simple tables are set up in a large room where merchants and affiliate networks can talk to publishers about the kinds of programs they have and what might work best. It's a bit different than your typical exhibit hall with fancy booths and glossy presentations. The Meet market is all about sitting down together and doing actual business.
So if you were at Affiliate Summit East the first night, then you probably made it to the Buy.at rooftop party at the Empire Hotel. If not, well, then it was your loss. But at least you can look at the pictures.
Buy.at always does nice job kicking off Affiliate Summit. They certainly did so during Afiliate Summit West when they held a party atop Moon Nightclub at the Palms Hotel.
Anyway, that's all. Just pictures.
Beginning Sunday, Affiliate Summit will take over the New York Hilton along with a collection of clubs and bars over a three day period for its biannual conference which focuses on, no surprise, affiliate marketing. Think Amazon book links. Then add an injection of steroids and 3,638 derivations and you have the multi-billion dollar market it has become today.
You can check out the conference content here. You can read the blogs of conference organizers (and practicing affiliates) Shawn Collins here and Missy Ward here. You can check out the party schedule here. And, well, you can read out coverage here on Adrants as it happens.
And you can check out coverage of Affiliate Summit West which was held in Las Vegas this past January
If you're going to Affiliate Summit next week in New York, you're in for not only a great learning experience but a stellar social experience as well. It seems this particular advertising conference prides itself in having the most possible parties a city can handle in one night. OK, so that's totally not true. New York could handle 3,000 parties on a single night and still have room. But Affiliate Summit still rocks the party scene more than most ad conferences.
For the first time, the Headlines & Heroes gang (Joshua Keller of The Keller Network, organizers of several ad:tech parties) will have a presence at Affiliate Summit Monday night with The Bottom Line party at Touch. Beginning at 9PM and running until 2AM, Touch will be filled with music from DJ Steve Powers and performer Biz Markie. If it's anything like the parties they've held before, this Headlines & Heroes will rock.
Also on Monday night will be parties from AzoogleAds/Epic Advertising at Latitude Bar, LinkShare at Johnny Utah's, Click Progression at Ultra, Leadflash at Dream Hotel, Clickbooth at the Havana Room and Oldtimers at mad46.
On Sunday night, you can take a ride on a boat with the Market Leverage Yacht Party, head to the Empire Hotel for the ShareASale party or down to The Mercury Lounge for the Clam Interactive party.
For more parties, check out co-conference organizer Missy Ward's party post and our party calendar here.
It's true being nice just to be nice doesn't help anyone. In fact, according to this video for the Denver Ad Club, it can cause a person to drown. Of course, no one in advertising is ever nice just to be nice. In fact, going into advertising offers the perfect platform for a person to rip the shit out of another person and toss it of as simply "critiquing the work."
But anyway, the Denver Ad Club wants young creatives about NEXT, a portfolio-building program designed to bluntly inform people what's working and what isn't in their portfolio.
Not that we didn't know this already but someone went to the effort to prove it anyway. Boondoggle took their five "gold" Lions to several goldsmiths to see just how gold they really are. The findings? According to one goldsmith, a Gold Lion is just "a bad piece of blunt casting." No goldsmith found any worth to the statues.
Anyway, Boondoggle is very happy and proud to have won five "yellow copper Lions."
So there were the ideas and then there was the book. Now there's the Killed Ideas People's Choice Award. After putting the vote to the people, which of the 50 contenders took home the prize? A very un-praise the lord-like website for Roots Church.
Of the work, we wrote, "Usually a church website screams 'Praise the lord! Come to Jesus! You are a sinner!" which can be a bit off putting to people who just want an hour of peace on a Sunday without all the fire and brimstone. The curch website communicates welcome over wrath. For those who don't believe church should rule your life, this church is on to something and is likely to gain more members than it scares away."
And with that, this concludes Killed Ideas Volume I. Yes, there will be a Volume II. It'll be a bit different and we'll be sure to let you know what it's all about when things are in place.