Is Ad:Tech Hot Enough For A Third Annual Conference?

NEW YORK – With more than 120 vendors and 4,339 advance registrations, Ad:Tech, which opened Monday in New York, is mobbed, loud and teeming.

“It certainly is crowded,” affirmed James Hering, senior VP and director of the interactive marketing resource group at Temerlin McClain,”it seems as if about a third of the vendors here are in search.” E-mail, measurement and rich media companies are also heavily represented.

The crush of where-have-you-been-for-the-past-three-years attendees were largely disappointed by the opening keynote, delivered by Visa USA’s VP of Advertising Nancy Friedman. In what appeared to be a warmed-over management presentation, the interactive industry endured a talk long on TV spots, but skimpy on details of the company’s interactive strategy or execution.

Despite a full presentation roster, Ad:Tech is becoming known primarily for the schmooze. Initial exhibitor reaction is upbeat. “It’s crowded in here,” said Josh Glantz, VP of ePrize, “so people are walking slowly, stopping and talking to us.”

Some exhibitors of years past watched from the sidelines. “We’re not exhibiting, we just did the DMA conference,” explained Commission Junction President Jeff Pullen, “you have to spend your money judiciously.”

Conference organizers have added a July Chicago conference to Ad:Tech’s traditional twice-yearly East and West Coast events. The news was greeted cautiously be attendees and vendors alike. Reactions ran from wait-and-see to outright dismissal of the notion.

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