Idea Blog

Greetings from ad:tech!

Claude Harrington 11.05.2015

For the past two days, I’ve had the pleasure of roaming around ad:tech at the Javits Center in NYC. For those unfamiliar with ad:tech, it’s a conference and exhibition where the marketing, technology and media communities come together to share new ways of thinking, build strong partnerships, and define new strategies to address the key industry challenges and opportunities. The event kicked off on November 4 with a keynote from Marc Maron (actor, comedian, podcaster) and concludes later today after a panel about storytelling with second-screen synching.

Before we get into why IdeaRocket was at ad:tech, and some of our highlights from the show, we wanted to share a few stats from last year’s show:

  • More than 7,000 folks showed up for the conference (spanning 64 countries).
  • 55% of that audience came from either a brand agency or major publisher.
  • 90% of attendees were key decision makers or influences, responsible for marketing budgets over $25 billion.

Figures like those were part of what attracted us to ad:tech, but so too was something else that we felt was important. Oftentimes on this blog we talk about the ever-evolving digital landscape, or trumpet the importance of buzzy terms like “analytics,” “SEO,” and “content marketing.” A lot of time, concepts like these can feel a little bit abstract. That’s because they aren’t always easy to visualize and their meaning/value can change very quickly. And what we liked about ad:tech was the chance to names, faces and tangible demonstrations to these constellations in our ever-evolving digital landscape (see, we just did it again!). So, to make the most of this unique opportunity, we decided to exhibit at the show.

IR Booth      Dan Speaks to Attendee

The goal of attending a show like this is, of course, to meet with prospective clients, potential partners and learn as much about the industry as possible. To have, in short, as many meaningful conversations as possible. So to this end—and especially because it is a big floor with many attendees—it’s important to try and find a way to begin that conversation. A way to intrigue passersby and get them to stop and ask: what is this company all about? What could they do for me, or what could I do for them?

One popular way to begin that conversation is by offering promotional giveaways. Like pens, hats or t-shirts. And as someone who, in the past 36 hours, has happily acquired several pens, hats and t-shirts, I am certainly not one to complain. But given how commonplace this practice has become, it always stands out a bit when a company offers something a bit different.

One company called The Hoth, a white-label SEO service, handed out $2 bills branded with their name and mascot:

Hoth Dollar

Moo, a print and design company specializing in premium business stationery and promotional materials, provided sleek, snazzy, lookbooks:

Moo 1

Martex, a mobile advertising firm, caught a lot of interest with this spinning prize wheel:

spinning wheel

And for us at IdeaRocket, one approach we like to use is this:

Scan Your Badge

A Few Notes from the Show:

  • SEO, SEO, SEO: With companies like SEMrush, gShift, eZanga and many more in attendence, SEO was a big focus for several of the exhibitors.
  • The “Israel Pavilion” showcased some very intriguing companies; like imonomy interactive, positive mobile and KIDOZ (a content recommendation platform for kids)
  • From virtual reality advertising to virtual reality publishing, the multitude of VR headsets on hand might give a glimpse into what’s around the corner…


Tune in next week, as we’ll take a closer look at some of the most interesting companies we saw at ad:tech…

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