I had the pleasure of representing Adacus at Advertising Week XII in New York City last week, September 28 - October 2.
I say pleasure because that’s exactly what it was, start to finish. I thought it the least I could do to offer some highlights for those that weren’t able to attend.
AW Connects Happy Hour Mixer
Anyone that knows me knows that if there’s a mixer, I’ll find it. (The same is true of a mic & spotlight, but more on that later.) I have found in general that mixers at conferences are worth about 80% of the price of admission. No offense to the sessions and workshops but a lot of that I can learn from the Internet in a couple hours at home.
The mixers were held at URBO in Times Square and featured the requisite open bar and snacks. I just have to give a shout out to Parveen Panwar of Vidaptiv and Zack Price of Turn - a couple standouts among the great people I met.
I’ve found her writing to be some of the best in the industry and was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet her. She and Anne Doherty of Acxiom held a great on “How Women are Driving Data-Driven Marketing” within the ad-tech culture. I enjoyed hearing both of their stories.
Session - “Programmatic without the BS”
It just so happened that sessions hosted by AppNexus were two of my favorites. The first of those was intended to offer a “no BS” assessment of programmatic media buying of digital advertising online. On the whole, I’d say that was accomplished but credit must be given, in my opinion, to Adam Heimlich of Horizon Media for truly leading that effort. I’d not heard of him nor Horizon Media before but he was my favorite speaker on the panel. I have met a couple people now at independent trading desks and have found they share a couple characteristics: a chip on their shoulder about agencies and a no nonsense attitude about the ad-tech industry.
Session - “Behind the Scenes on the Fight Against Fraud"
I’ve seen numerous interviews with AppNexus CEO & Co-found Brian Kelly so I jumped at the chance to hear him in person. He was articulate and engaging, as expected, and even offered some practical advice for practicing safe sex - not expected. It was Catherine Williams, however, that stole the show for me. As the Chief Data Scientist at AppNexus, she and her team have done some very impressive work uncovering sources of fraud and cutting them out of the food chain so the mercury those bottom feeders consume does not make it into the tuna we eat. If you attended this session you understand that description. If you did not, sorry-ish.
Workshop - “Buying and Selling Programmatically in a Multi-Screen World"
I enjoyed this workshop in its own right, but I’m partial toward it because I made my <first> debut as an on-stage presenter at Advertising Week. The audience broke up into groups of 10-12 people to identify solutions to a few challenges the hosts from PubMatic had drafted up for discussion. I had the opportunity to work with the self-described “A-team” on challenges advertisers face developing creative strategy on mobile devices. Each group then presented their solutions to the audience. I, shockingly, found my way on stage with a mic in hand representing the A-team (See above comment about spotlights and mics).
The entire video is available on the Advertising Week conference site. My on-stage appearance begins at minute 38...
Thanks to Jim Cairl for the #ATeamAWXII shout out on Twitter after the presentation.
Concert - Snoop Dogg
No AWXII re-cap would be complete without mentioning the Snooooop concert at Webster Hall Wednesday night. Glad I made it for the openers though. Jiddenna is, indeed, a Classic Man.
Watch the Replays
I applaud Advertising Week for not just making all the sessions available online to the public after the conference but for doing it so quickly. Here are a few I recommend watching in addition to those called out above, especially if you are interested in programmatic media buying of online advertising.