Last night after the first day of the ad:tech Chicago conference ended, UnsubCentral's John Engler organized a dinner at the Chop House for about 16 people including Powered COO Mark Drosos, Direct Response Technologies' Matt Haag, Frontline Direct Sales Manager Barbara Stratte and Marketing Director Cari McClure, Adconion Media Group VP Kristian Wilson and Account Manager Alexis Berger, Spiderbait Strategist Dante Montverde and StoryQuest's Tim Keelan among others.
Also enjoying some of Chicago's finest beef were Adrants' Co-Editor Angela Natividad and the ad:tech blogging team Paige Dzenis, Brent Terrazas and Krista Neher.
Like any dinner with 16 people across two tables in a loud restaurant, the discussion varied widely from work topics to wine selection. None of which, sadly, can be currently called to mind. The food was amazing. The wine was great and the people excellent company.
Chicago ad:tech is, by far, a smaller show than either new York or San Francisco. THough that doesn't stop vendors and attendees from mingling en mass in the exhibit hall.
Adrants contributor Krista Neher of Photrade attended the opening ad:tech Chicago keynote and submitted this article:
Ad:tech kicked off with a great start! ad:tech Chair Dew Ianni introduced the keynote speaker and shared some key info on the state of the industry. A few key pieces of information:
- Online Advertising is growing - from $25B to $50B in 2012
- IAB reported $6.8B in Q1 with growth of 18% (not bad for a slowing economy)
- Key Trend - Consolidation: 300 "networks" to a few dozen by 2010
- $$ still flowing to innovators: Apps/Widgets, Social, Mobile, Niche
- With the state of the economy, ad budgets are tightening, however digital and online continue to show growth
The stage was set with an optimistic outlook for digital marketing, and keynote speaker Google Industry Development Director Kevin Kells kicked it off by asking the audience: "What comes to mind when you think of performance and brand building?" After a short silence (probably because the coffee hasn't kicked in yet), the audience threw out some suggestions:
- Increased Sales
According to Kevin, growth comes largely from being more relevant to the marketplace. There are two things that are really driving this: 1) Gathering and using better insights from the people that matter to you the most and 2) Telling more stories more often to people who matter to you.
- See trailer for Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, a movie guaranteed to alter the tween lexicon for at least six weeks: mutti! Vati! Snogging! Nunga-nungas! Facsimile of a fax of a scam! Saliva-ville. Hits US theatres this October.
- And speaking of a whole lotta words that mean nothin', Spam makes like Weekly World News.
- Plaid wraps up the weekend on the West Coast. "Wash down the bitter taste of capitalism" -- with Coke and pizza?
During Advertising Week, Adrants and the Business Development Institute will be hosting its second annual ADEx: The Advertising Industry Experienced Hire Diversity Recruiting Program. Yes, we know it's a mouthful but its purpose is really simple: to bring recruiters and and experience advertising professionals together. Although all, of course, are welcome to apply, our focus is on diverse candidates including those with minority backgrounds, women, and GLBT.
There's lots of opportunities for job seekers as well as employers (remember how poorly you were represented a couple weeks ago. Here's a chance to rectify that a bit. Check out all the details here.
Andy Sernovitz, a big advocate of word of mouth marketing and host of the Gas Pedal dinner series is hosting a "Learn Word of Mouth Marketing" crash course in Chicago July 30 and September 4. The course will cover the five steps of word of mouth marketing, how to insure ROI and how to create an actionable word of mouth marketing program for your company.
There's more details here and if you use the code "weloveadrants", you'll get a nice $250 discount. I've been to his events and they are very informative. If you have any interest in WOM, it would be worth checking out these seminars.
Tomorrow I'll be moderating a panel for Shoot! the Day, a stock photography conference put together by PhotoShelter. (See a recent study related to the topic.)
My panel is at 12:15pm. It will include:
- Belinda Lopez, Senior Art Buyer, Strawberry Frog
- Wanda Lau, Senior Art Director, Greater Than One
- Jen Santiago, Managing Art Buyer, G2 Direct & Digital
- Molly Aaker, Art Buyer, Unit7
My two biggest fears:
1) making a Twitter joke
2) boring my audience, which will consist of professional photographers. I'm clearly not one of them and I won't do justice to their angstiest stock photo/ad agency concerns, so I'll be leaving plenty of room for Audience Questions!.
Read about other Shoot! the Day panels at the PhotoShelter blog. And if you'd like to come watch me make awkward jokes and commit forehead-slapping faux-pas, here's how to volunteer for a free pass.
Yesterday at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis, Room Full of People held the SWAT Summit, a one day conference which covered the topic of social networking. Topics such as metrics, best practices, user engagement and social advertising were covered.
After Room Full of People CEO Christian Perry gave an engaging overview of Obama's brilliant use of social media as compared to McCain's abysmal use, IDC Research Analysts Caroline Dangson gave an overview of people's outlook on social media and their willingness to allow advertisers mine personal information and online social behavior in order to provide more targeted advertising. Perhaps it was the way IDC asked the question but unsurprisingly, a very low percentage of people said they'd be OK with that.
MediaSmith CEO David Smith presented for the first time his Eight Levels of User Engagement, a detailed look at the buzzword du jour "engagement." It was one of those presentation that was so elaborate and so complete that no summary would do it justice. Besides, I can't remember the half of it but don't fret. He's taking it on the road for six months and there will be a book (or a paper).
- AirTran (who knew they were still in business?) this week unveiled its "Say Yes to Orlando" plane, with help from La Nouba by Cirque du Soliel, to promote special airfares and its discount flights to Orlando.
- The folks behind the Humanitarian Lion, after a "you'll have to do better than that" comment from Adland, are out with a more complete print ad for their effort to urge Cannes and the advertising industry to become something a bit more substantial than a pretty picture competition.
- Just because you upload your ad to YouTube doesn't mean competitors won't be atop, below and beside it.
Yes, it's time to pimp ad:tech. This time it's in Chicago and this time, aside from the fact there will be some decent keynotes from Google's Kevin Kells and author Clay Shirky as well as panels with Edelman President Rick Murray, Nielsen Online's Pete Blackshaw, Starcom's Chris Allen, NBC Universal's Peter Naylor and BlogHer's Jory Des Jardins among others, there will be great parties. After all, that's why you go, right? To get drunk and inappropriately fawn all over industry hotties...uh...I mean network with fellow industry colleagues.