Frankly, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from my first visit to ad:tech London. The site described it as an event where UK digital marketing and media companies go to share the latest industry trends and technologies as well as a place to network. What I did not expect was that I would play a driving game, draw on a huge screen, indulge on (way too many) sweets whilst – more importantly – gaining insight into the varying directions of the digital industry.
I’d like to commend the efforts of every stand there as none of them were tacky or perfunctory. Instead, most of the stands were memorable and highly interactive, with passionate individuals willing to explain and discuss what they do. It was refreshing to talk to professionals who weren’t constantly trying to sell you their services which events such as this are privy to end up being.
The diversity of the booths covered every aspect of the digital marketing industry. Just to list a few of the more memorable ones…….
Of the content creation booths a few stood out the most, one of which did interactive content creation, they immediately caught my eye because they had an Oculus Rift demonstration. Which made me both jealous and excited, kind of like when you’re a kid and your friend gets the present you wanted, you’ll get to play with it but it’s not yours.
There were also companies which made creative visuals and had a live stop motion animation demo.
As well as the more standard website, mobile interface content creation.
Of course this wouldn’t be a digital ad event if there weren’t the pay per click advertisers. It was not surprising that there were quite a few retargeting specific companies.
I was pleased to see that Social Media marketing and mobile specific advertising was well represented at the event as well.
The range of data analytics was incredible, varying from a degree of different points such as: presentation of data, skill level needed to operate, depth of reporting, and scale.
However, despite all this, the most interesting stands to me were the companies that hinged on somewhat more experimental ideas. Although I can not vouch for the effectiveness of the fraud detection or automation services that these companies provide, it is exciting to see that the industry is still continually growing and innovating.
The event was also filled with a multitude of seminars and presentations with some incredibly qualified keynote speakers. I was lucky enough to have the chance to attend one on the impact of social media on a brand.
During my initial walkaround of the event, I spotted an enclosed area with beanbag chairs. I was slightly taken aback to see that they were hosting a hackathon. Turns out it wasn’t a hackathon in the traditional sense, but more of an idea hacking where teams build up innovative ideas on how to bring sustainable living to life with the use of data.
My favourite part of ad:tech London was the board in the middle of the venue, which asked people what they thought the future of tech was.
There were comments on wearable tech, emotive advertising, advertising in virtual reality, in-game advertising, disruptive technology and many more. They could all be sound, or inaccurate, but I think the main thing to take from this is that there is not one future path for tech and advertising, but an endless number of possibilities and potential.
Written by Jeffrey Chang