As advertising execs and booth babes alike gingerly walked into the mid-morning sessions today, I couldn't help but try to put the noise of yesterday together. Between the blur of wristbands, hand stamps, martinis, lectures, freebies, and softball questions, Monday was a pinnacle for seeing our industry and its best and worst.
The Monday morning keynote, like some of the lunch food, left a tiny bit to be desired. As Steve pointed out in so many words, some industry luminaries can talk a lot while not saying much of substantial value. With many wide-eyed, hopeful attendees, any panelist that sets out to take a risk by giving specific advice to their audience is a true leader for our industry. Thankfully, most of the panelists and speakers are very intelligent and more than willing to lead by the example if their shared wisdom. A leader is not someone who simply lets people follow - a leader needs to inspire and value and interact with their audience - no less, be willing to learn FROM their audience as well as teach.
Moving into the starry night, clouded by bright lights and martinis, on member of my entourage had a day planner full of ad:tech parties to attend. Obviously needing much energy and courage for the long night ahead, our necessities for comfort lead us to create a rating system of each party. Based off of the 4 things everyone was looking for that evening (well, okay, the more innocent of us), we gave ratings for food, drinks, ambience, and overall cool and unusual things.
Ending the night at the saturated Crobar event, I couldn't help but wonder if our industry during the day mimicks our industry at night. We often chat about if advertising is culture-polluting. While watching some of the geekiest dance moves (keeping in mind my previous life in rave culture) I have ever witnessed, I started to see that our industry's occasional culture pollution might spread beyond the work day.