Yesterday I mosied around the Sydney ad:tech conference. Being in that wonderfully liberating point of time of seeking my next windmill to tilt at I figured it to be a worthy destination.
My first impression, after factoring in the change of venue from last year, was that it was much subdued. Bearing in mind how photographers see things in capture frames, I spoke with one of the photogs doing the rounds and she had the most wonderful comment which totally summed up the atmosphere.
Her takeout was that she was reticent to take pictures of speakers whilst their slides painted doom and gloom backdrops. She kept finding herself hesitating and waiting for more upbeat slides – which didn’t often materialise.
Last year there was almost a feeling of whimsical discovery – ad execs and marketers in a discovery comfort zone: “tell me again how social media works?”. This year – a totally different picture: “we’ve gotta figure a way to make money from this social media stuff”.
I was also somewhat bemused by the rise of Twitter across the conference consciousness. It was definitely the tech word of the day – much like Google was on everyone’s lips a few years back. Expect a Twitter consultant or two to pop up near you soon. It’s the new SEO in the new Deconomy.
Seriously though, the new epiphany for an industry that is increasingly under pressure, will soon be around engagement and I suspect there to be a panel or more at next year’s event on this topic.