ADOTAS – As the advertising elite makes plans to head to San Francisco this week for ad:tech San Francisco, preparations have already been in the works over the last six months to ensure the event will include a delicate blend of technology, design and agency related topics to keep conference-goers informed about the latest innovations, as well as entertained.
Conference attendees should be sure to download the AdTech SF Mobile App to your phone to access schedules, floor plans and speaker bios. This is great way to have what you need all in one place.
During the two-day event on April 9-10 at Moscone West, the conference will kick off with a keynote from Tim Armstrong, who has served as Chairman and CEO of AOL since 2009. Armstrong will deliver a presentation that hits upon the challenges of navigating the contemporary marketing ecosystem as one of the largest consumer brands. Also, Google SCP of Advertising Susan Wojcicki will discuss the company’s ad strategy magic as the Wednesday morning keynote. Here are a few additional keynotes and sessions that shouldn’t be missed:
- Keynote: Pandora CTO Tom Conrad and @WalmartLabs VP Chris Bolt will discuss their popular online products, both of which need no introduction to plugged-in web consumers. (Tuesday, April 9, 12 p.m. PT)
- Keynote: Salesforce CMO Michael Lazerow, Intel chief futurist Brian David Johnson, and Performics CEO Daina Middleton will discuss the future of digital advertising, and how brands can engage the increasingly savvy online consumer. (Wednesday, April 10, 12 p.m. PT)
- Session: “Beyond Google Glass: Where Is the Future of Mobile?” In the session five marketing soothsayers will look into their crystal balls to theorize what will come after smartphones. From augmented reality to voice interface, no future ground will go unexplored. (Tuesday, April 9, 3:30 p.m. PT)
- Session: “Mobile Developers: Building Apps, Ads & Experiences that Don’t Suck.” This seasoned group including Zumobi Co-Founder and VP of Design John SanGiovanni will share best practices for making mobile ad experiences that draw consumers in and keep them engaged with your brand. (Tuesday, April 9, 2:15 p.m. PT)
- Session: “Pinterest, Instagram & Tumblr: How to Build, Maintain and Measure Your Customer Base.” Today there are thousands of brands using Pinterest as a way to curate their brands and drive sales traffic and sales. Sharad Verma, CEO of Piqora (formerly Pinfluencer) and Stephanie Howell of Z Gallerie will present a case study on how to measure ROI on this visual social network. (Tuesday, April 9, 3:30 p.m.)
Also, this year at ad:tech SF, nearly a half dozen award-winning authors are set to take the stage at the ad:tech bookstore for signings. Among the highly anticipated scribes are Adam Lashinsky, author of “Inside Apple,” and Ekaterina Walter, author of “Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg.”
The Mobile Revolution
“Everyone is looking for a mobile solution for their products,” said Nicole Buraglio, ad:tech’s marketing director. “Whether it’s a mobile website or a mobile e-commerce solution, people want to be able to live their life on-the-go.”
There are also plenty of educational sessions on the mobile topic; in fact, there is a whole track on the subject, taking place on April 9. This smartphone symposium starts with the presentation “Moving on Mobile,” one of the Marketing Masters lectures. But mobile education isn’t confined to speaker sessions, and there are plenty of ways to learn about it on the expo floor. The Mobile Marketing Zone serves as a Mecca for those interested in taking their marketing strategy onto the small screen. Located in the Expo Hall, attendees will be able to find ways to target consumers at the hyperlocal level or tune up their mobile ad campaigns.
‘What? I’m Sorry…What?!?’
If you need to find a quiet(er) space for one-on-one meetings or you find a lull in the back-to-back sessions, one area on the floor to visit is called The Conversation Place, specifically created for people to make connections and discuss new ideas.
“That is going to be a line of round tables where folks can sit down, have conversations in a comfortable atmosphere area without having to leave the exhibit hall,” said Rebecca Jennings, sales director for ad:tech.
Ahem . . . Another Round Please
Since our industry has a “work hard/play hard” reputation, we know that sometimes the best networking connections are not made in a conference environment, but in a more casual setting after a couple of drinks.
- Lotame’s ad:tech Kick Off Party will be starting the event the night tonight (April 8) . Held at 111 Minna Gallery, the event should be a good way to connect with fellow convention-goers without having to fight the ambient noise level too much. You can register here.
- Also, the Networking Pub Crawl on Tuesday, April 9 will lead attendees through the showroom floor and let patrons sample San Francisco microbrew beer. The crawl starts at 4:30 p.m. and runs through 6 p.m.
- AdRoll is throwing a Roller Disco Party on Tuesday April 9 from 7 p.m.-midnight located at Mezzanine located at 444 Jessie Street that will feature DJ Griffin Camper and DJ Smoke. You can try to snag an invite here.
- Another good work/play opportunity is the Cake Marketing Party, held at the wine bar, Press Club, the night of April 9. The lounge features a classy low-key, intimate surrounding and is only a few blocks north of the Moscone Center.
You can take a glance at the industry after-hours networking parties here.
The Next Best Thing to Being There
This year ad:tech SF will stream every keynote address live online, so if your current workload just won’t let you attend the industry’s finest digital marketing conference, or if the travel budget has been slashed, just tune in to watch the rest.
Whether you are looking to learn about new ad innovations, land a few of deals, or just grab a couple of drinks with old friends, this year’s AdTech SF is poised to be one showcase everything from 3D printing, mobile ads, and Google Glasses. Cheers to a great event and I will see you there!