On the Road to Adtech
Things have been quiet around here for several weeks but that is about to change! My good friend and fellow webmaster/SEO, Scott Thompson will be attending the Adtech New York conference this week and has agreed to post his experiences here for us. I am excited about this conference because Adtech is more of a marketing webmaster’s venue than others. I was looking over the list of speakers and companies attending and it seems just about every digital marketing genre imaginable is being represented: everyone from political bloggers to gamers. Scott’s perspective as a professional webmaster and founder of a new online marketing blog will be interesting to follow. Okay, Scott, take it away and pleeeeease get me some cool Tee’s –Emory Rowland
My bags are packed and I’m ready for a week of learning and fun at ad:tech New York. From what I’ve read this year is going to be the best yet with over 10,000 attendees. With announcements from the likes of Facebook and top rated speakers like Bruce Clay this is going to be a valuable four days.
Wish me luck as I bring you news and photos from Adtech. I’ll arrive in New York on Monday and plan to tour the exhibit hall and fill my pockets with swag before hitting the streets to see a few sites. From Tuesday to Thursday I’ll be sitting through seminars filling my brain with all sorts of goodies to share with you. If you are going to be at ad:tech and want to network with a world class Internet guru go find Bruce Clay. But if you want to say hello to a really nice guy look me up. Check in here at Clickfire for daily updates.
Adtech Day 1 – New York is a Walking City
The flight from Atlanta to New York was pleasant with a great ending as we passed by The Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. I’m kicking myself now for not having the camera ready. The shuttle trip from LaGuardia took almost an hour, but I did enjoy the trip as I got to see a large portion of the city first-hand.
I arrived at my very “dated” hotel and checked into my very small room. There were no more rooms at the Hilton for the conference rate and I decided to save a few bucks by staying in a close, but not as nice hotel.
The exhibition halls were open so I decided to cruise on over to the Hilton and check out the booths. I was blown away at the large number of exhibitors. I’ve been to a few Internet conventions but none as large as ad:tech. It looked like everyone was giving away an iPod so I made sure to drop my business card in every bowl hoping to win. As for swag I filled a free bag with pens, notebooks, and other odd freebies. The booths that did the most creative thinking were the busiest. One exhibitor set up an oxygen bar and another had a team of very tall women dressed as dominatrix cops. I thought about trying the oxygen bar and kept my distance from the leather garbed women. I couldn’t think of anything positive they might do with those sticks.
I spoke to a lot of people including Ross Geier with Didit and Grant Kravitz from Boss Dev. Out of all the exhibitors I spoke with I liked them the most and found their services interesting and useful.
After I filled my bag with goodies I took to the streets and walked to Times Square and then back up to Rockefeller Center and watched people ice skate. This is a walking city and I can’t imagine how someone could live here and be fat. I walked several miles today touring the area and I never strayed more than a mile from the hotel.
I’ll post pictures and a summary of the first big day of adtech Tuesday night. You can find me at the conference if you want. I’m the guy with the laptop.
Adtech New York Day 2
ad:tech kicked off with a motivating speech by Adtech programming chair Drew Lanni. More than just tell us what ad:tech was he asked a few questions like “How is digital transforming all media?” One thing is for and that is that it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur.
The keynote speaker, Nick Brien of Universal McCann, talked about branding and how it’s becoming more complicated in this new world where one out of every three purchases online are now influenced by social media. In this new world corporations must be transparent because their brands are now owned by the customer. If you want to create a positive brand you must provide an exceptional experience.
I attended two other meetings where we discussed the new Internet economy. I think I heard the word “Facebook” about 500 times today. With Facebook’s new technology to target users everyone is excited about the possibilities. How close are we to perfecting behavioral and contextual ads? That’s the big question of the week.
I spent more time in the exhibit halls today gathering chotskies and talking to a lot of bright people. It seems like there are dozens of analytic software companies now and dozens of other companies that probably have good products but don’t know how to explain what they do. If you have a product or service and are spending thousands of dollars to show up at a conference like ad:tech New York make sure your employees know how to articulate your company’s product. Here’s another tip. If you want to get attention do something outstanding. But if you do something outstanding have plenty of people ready to talk to the crowds that gather around your booth.
The exhibit halls are now closed and the next two days are going to be full of workshops and sessions. I’ve enjoyed the sessions thus far and can’t wait to meet more talented folks and fill my brain with more interactive marketing knowledge.
At the Atlas booth enjoying the oxygen bar. It was the cleanest air I breathed since I arrived in NYC.
I hope I have enough room in my suitcase for all the chotskies.
Adtech New York 2007 Day 3
Day three of ad:tech New York was the first full day of sessions. I could detail each session I attended but will instead point you toward the adtech podcasts. Look for them soon on the ad:tech Web site. Below are some of the highlights of the day.
Wednesday started with a panel discussing the state of the Internet marketing industry. The panel was moderated by the President and CEO of IAB, Randall Rothenberg. It included several leaders in our industry and the political blogger, socialite, and former political candidate Arianna Huffington. Ms. Huffington was a lot of fun and a very likeable person. It’s easy to understand how she succeeded in life with her quick wit and charm. Huffington noted that even though her readers are obsessed with politics they also have other interests and much of the success of her website comes from offering “other things outside of politics.”
Huffington spoke about sharing her content with other sites. She stated that by giving their content away it brought more readers back to her site. In the old world everyone was protective of their content but now you can share it and still get traffic.
I highly suggest listening to the podcasts from today while paying special attention to the video and mobile advertising sessions.
Adtech NY Pic
I’m not sure how to interpret this Adtech picture that Scott of NextModo just sent from his conference coverage weeks ago, but wouldn’t you say there is a message here somewhere?
Adtech New York 2007 – Final Day with SEO Bruce Clay
SEO, Bruce Clay, Mobile Search, Video, and Social Media
Pictured above: Scott Thompson and Bruce Clay
The last day of ad:tech New York 2007 is half way over. I won’t post again because I’ll be high-tailing it outa here to the airport after the conference. The highlight of today for me was meeting Bruce Clay. As an old SEO guru I’m a fan of his work and his site. He was a really gracious man with an intelligent sense of humor that is common in geniuses. I attended the SEO session moderated by Mr. Clay not because I needed to learn more about SEO but because I wanted to hear him speak.
The conference over all was a success. It is clear that this industry is growing and it’s also clear that even the brightest in the field are a little confused about the exact direction it’s going. Most do believe that mobile search is going to be huge, but no one can agree when this will be. I spoke to a mobile search company in the exhibition hall and they were adamant that mobile search is already huge, others are not so sure. Either way it’s something to watch for.
The other big talk is about video and how best to take advantage of it for your business. Many are interested but almost all are still trying to figure out the best way to implement video. If video is big, so is social media. But again there are many questions still floating around about where to put your attention and what social tools are best. Just make sure you include the social media graphics at the bottom of your pages or posts (Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.).
I hope you’ve enjoyed this adtech 2007 review and I hope that you will come by and visit NextModo.com. I’m here to help you create better sites that will increase conversions, make you look good, and earn more money.
I’ll leave you with a tip I picked up at the SEO session:
Use short URLs that are easy to email and to link to. This will ensure that your URLs don’t break in emails and will be easier for users to copy when linking to you.