Booth Babes and Data - a Brief Review of Ad Tech NY 2009

Another year of AdTech is ticked off the list. It was an encouraging New York event with a great buzz about it, a full exhibition hall, well attended sessions & panels and the

booth babes are well and truly back

, (to the point I sometimes felt the companies using them thought they were in Mad Men times!)

As someone always seeking the bleeding edge, exhibition halls are often disappointing to me - never do you see anything significantly different. The usual vendors for email marketing, ad serving, media suppliers, media buyers and affiliates filled the hall, annoyingly with what seemed like the same stories as last year. Perhaps we have simply matured as an industry that some activities have come about as far as they can?

But AdTech does bring an industry together and the bleeding edge can be found if you look for it. In the sidelines, groups huddle around the lunch tables at the back of the hall working out ways to work together and there seems to be a constant game at play.

Display media is going through a subtle revolution and it's capabilities are swiftly evolving before most of the industry has even noticed. Often thought of as the burner of brand budgets, display has firmly added acquisition to its list of weapons. Those of us who understand this are using display to achieve ROIs not seen before and sometimes above and beyond what SEM can achieve.

The exchanges are the facilitator to this change, allowing us to talk direct to individuals who have expressed a specific intent rather than just blasting a message at the crowd. And we understand this intent with the use of data.

As with any revolution there is a lot of fuss and talk between those that can see it, but its those quiet conversations around the lunch tables where future battle plans are being drawn. Agencies, technology providers, networks and exchanges are all trying to reach the same answer but starting in very different places. This makes our industry extremely dynamic right now with each player working out who best to partner with, acquire or copy.

I had a couple of panels to do, once of which was written up by my colleague at



Alisa Hansen

and can be

found here

. The panelists are listed below and the topic was "

Display Advertising for Search Marketers: Banners Aren't Just for Branding Anymore


• Roy de Souza, CEO, Zedo

• Rob Leathern, Founder and CEO, CPM Advisors

• Div Bhansali, Director, Self-Service Products, AOL Advertising

(Image credit:



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