Ben Shepherd writes: Adtech Day 1 is finished and most of the crowd are probably exhausted after a whole day of information overload. Lots to take in across a whole lot of different areas.
Soooo … was it any good?
Lets start with the exhibitors. Not a bad turnout considering “the economy”. Myspace/FIM won a few fans with free booze and Flossie were giving away condoms, chocolate and fairy floss. DGMs ping pong table started strong but seemed to fade into the day. Traffic was strong … good idea for Adtech to make people walk through the exhibition to get to the sessions … something that wasn’t done in San Francisco and I think it adds some value to the exhibitors.
Sessions … I made it to 4 today. First one was Nick Brien who is CEO from Mediabrands. It was okay … very macro consumer trends stuff. Weirdly didn’t touch on the challenges to agencies as a result of the new media world and also the economy … I did expect that, not unreasonably, from an AGENCY keynote. His point that opportunity presents itself from crisis is pretty apt. I will probably get fired for this, but much more enjoyable than Sir Martin Sorrell at DMS2007 despite how macro it was.
I went to the Digital Strategy session in the morning as well … didn’t really think it touched at all on strategy however. Felt it was weird the Diageo person nor the Amnesia person could tell the audience what was spent on the campaign or the KPIs. I have often mused that the word ‘digital strategy’ is almost without a definition and I felt from this presentation almost everyone feels it means something different. I don’t think this was a strategy panel … or I have no idea what digital strategy is. Both are entirely possible.
The Cash for Comment session in the afternoon was good. The fake Julian Cole was funny … some good examples in there about the issue. Jenny Williams made a very valid point about regulation. Felt this panel needed more heads on it … it’s tough for 2 people to go back and forth for an hour without repeating themselves. I was skeptical about this one pre-event but I enjoyed it.
The Twitter session was very packed and generally very solid – audience enjoyed it and of all the panels today I think it will be the one people remember.
The things it would have been interesting to hear about are the impact of Twitter in the evolution of search (ie realtime) and the local scale and takeup of the platform and the issue of resource versus reward. Mike from Telstra was great … his approach is fantastic and it was refreshing to hear such honesty. Telstra have 3 employees as part of their BigPondTeam … maybe it’s the cynic in me, or the realist … but I wondered how they can justify the resource when they only have 500 odd followers (I have 260 followers and no FTE’s working on my account) … especially in this climate … seems like an expensive CRM nice to have. Spun correctly it makes for a nice story but yet to see any great example of Twitter ROI in a CRM sense that is backed with quanitified data and some of the examples raised today made for good anecdotes but not much more. We talk about ROI, accountability, measurement etc across digital constantly but we never apply this sort of analysis to next big things.
I thought Jye was a really good engaging moderator and Laurel Papworth was very polished speaker and honest which made you want to listen to her. It’s a horrible cliche but a true one … people who are passionate about things are generally people you want to hear and support.
The Twitter usage of the event has been big and a good way to get up to speed with panels you have missed or find more info. Follow the general stream here – http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23atsyd
Very positive to see no big media bashing and no sales pitches. Also good to see a whole heap of people I haven’t seen for ages. The attendance is good – most sessions I attended had solid numbers which is a great result.
A gripe is that sometimes I felt some questions from the audience weren’t being addressed. This is frustrating … please panelists answer questions that are asked … no one likes being spoken to like a politician. Don’t answer a question with a cliche.
See everyone tomorrow!
btw – the pic above is of my dog playing with his multi coloured ball last night. My fiancee sent it to me and I wanted to post it somewhere.