Monday, October 1, 2007

Obligatory Advertising Week post post

No, there's no typo in that headline, it's just time to do the post-game wrap-up where I'll do what everyone else is doing: say what I'd change about Advertising Week if it were up to me. Having decided to blog the thing, and having attended more panels then is good for anyone's health, here are my suggestions:

As I said before, don't advertise events that are sold out as sold out. In the final analysis, they won't be—unless you don't advertise them as sold out. Are you following? Better to turn people away at the door then to scare people away by saying something is sold out before they even leave their desks.
Pick one (or maybe two) venues with multiple theaters for panels. Now, Advertising Week organizers will point out that with an alleged 60,000 ad people in town, such a thing is impossible, but since the biggest event I attended was the Monday night opening gala—which probably had 350 people, max—please permit me a bit of skepticism about that 60,000 people figure. There are two reasons limiting the venues would make sense. First, even when the streets of New York aren't filled with foreign potentates and Uzi-toting cops, New York is a schlep. And no one likes to schlep. Second, it would give the event a whole new level of buzz, with people moving in and out of panels, chatter in the hallways, impromptu drinks at a nearby bar and the like. That's why in terms of buzz, there was no comparison between the Interactive Advertising Bureau's MIXX conference last week—which had a lot of good, old-fashioned interpersonal interaction—and walking into the Paley Center, which always seemed forlorn, except for what was going on down in the basement where the panels were. And even some of those, from an attendance standpoint, were disappointing, because (chorus) no one likes to schlep.
Get more bigwigs involved. Ad Age has already harped on this one, but, really, truly, it struck me last week. Besides the people who appeared on Stuart Elliott's panels, how many big names in the business were up at the dais?
Have a theme. Actually you could do worse than having the industry push its efforts during the week to a pet cause or causes. That's starting to happen, but except to people who observe the industry closely, it's not apparent.
Make the Web site more interactive. Maybe this point isn't as important as some of the others I've listed here, but having an active Web site would convey that there was stuff happening that you shouldn't miss. The WADV radio station is a good start, but can you believe that the Advertising Week 2007 home page still has a picture up from Advertising Week—2006? Puh-leese! Where are the video outtakes from the conference? The live conference-cam of doings around town? Advertising Week, the blog?

OK, enough said. Except for this one last thought: in the brief history of Adverganza, I've been fortunate enough to do a couple of posts that merited some real discussion. But for all the posts I did last week about Advertising Week, I've gotten a grand total of two comments (not including my response to someone's query). Two. It's quite possible my posts weren't very interesting, but it's also possible the event itself wasn't very engaging. Well, at least I got to pass out a lot of business cards.

No comments: