10 Things You'll Take Away From the Boston PubForum
It’s a debate that will go on forever, one that I have with my musician friends every few months – who’s the greatest (rock) band that came out of Boston? The old-schoolers are quick to finger Aerosmith (particularly the first few albums) or perhaps the obviously named Boston (it’s more than a feeling). However, in the late 70s The Cars were twirling in synths with their guitars to push a sound that would have a huge influence on 80s new wave.
After that the argument has to be made for The Pixies, who turned the burgeoning indie rock world upside down with their dissonant yet hopelessly catchy surfer punk. And now entering the competition is Passion Pit, a Boston synth-rock outfit that arguably peps up The Cars’ sonic wonderland on its well-received second album.
My favorite Boston band (obviously the greatest then) is Mission of Burma – you might recognize their song “That’s When I Reach for My Revolver,” which was covered by Moby in the late 90s. Releasing their first single in 1980, the band deftly mixed hardcore energy with lilting harmonies, politically charged lyrics and sound effects thanks to an off-stage member that employed real-time tape effects.
So while Boston may be regaled for its Revolutionary War landmarks or the colorful legends around its sports teams, know too that innovative, boundary-pushing rock has long been a staple of Beantown. I’m sure there’s a contrived way to analogize that to ad ops professionals revolutionizing the monetization of media, but instead I want to talk about what attendees of the Boston Publisher Forum will get from their three-and-a-half days of in-depth peer discussion and networking.
Now that you’re appropriately primed (enough) in Boston’s rock history, here are 10 more things attendees will take home from their time in Beantown.
1. The Stuff Leaders Are Made Of. You may have noticed that the words “leaders” and “leadership” pop up a lot in the session descriptions of this Summer’s PubForum. For a long time AdMonsters has encouraged its membership to dream big when it comes to professional aspirations; well, it’s time to stop pondering and take action. We’re in a moment of media development that screams for leadership in building revenue streams, and ad ops pros are the ones with the technological intelligence to make it happen. That seat in the C-level suite is waiting to be seized, and we’re here to not only help you grab it, but also be prepared for the responsibility that comes with it.
2. What’s Really Going on in the Agency World. To understand how to build stronger relationships with your buy-side peers, Keynote Speaker Adam Cahill, EVP and Co-Media Director for Hill Holiday, is going to give you the lowdown on the agency situation, and explain why ad ops needs stronger roles in these relationships.
3. Peer Support. In putting together the Boston PubForum agenda, we’ve heard a lot of tales of woe – software upgrades from hell, ad server installations/migrations that went horribly awry, and the perennial sales team laments. There are plenty of knowing shoulders to cry on in Boston – come commiserate with the people that know your troubles all too well. We’re expecting some tears during the Wednesday breakout sessions.
4. The Secrets of Google. Well, maybe not the deepest, darkest secrets to success formulated by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while locked away in their warlock's lair, but Keynote Adrian D’Souza, Director of Media Revenue Operations at YouTube is going to share some of Big G’s tricks for breeding leaders from the inside – namely creating opportunities for entrepreneurship and development. How do they do that?
5. Literary Culture. If you don’t get the reference behind Keynote Vikram Somaya’s session, “Leadership in the Time of the Yield Era,” you need to read more classics. Thomson Reuters’ Vice President of Global Operations and Audience promises a “literary rendering of the trials and tribulations of putting together talent and technology in a era where media goes through evolutionary cycles in ever-decreasing time frames.” You better believe he’ll deliver – the man beautifully referenced a soliloquy from Shakespeare during his 2012 OPS Markets presentation on building a DMP internally that weaves its way into all of a company’s functions.
6. Insight Into the DNT Fallout. So maybe all this news around “Do Not Track” technology – particularly Microsoft making it default on Internet Explorer 10 – has got you ready to run around screaming, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” Halt the commotion for a few and listen to the IAB’s Chris Mejia deliver the full scoop on DNT.
7. A Clearer Vantage of Viewable Impressions. You may be a little concerned where this viewable impression business is headed, but Gawker’s Kate Maxwell is opening up on her company’s experience with Moat. Get ready to learn some new (possibly soon to be standard) terminology and metrics.
8. DMP Wrangling. Sure, a centralized data hub seems pretty cool if you can afford it, but you won’t believe some of the things Seeking Alpha’s Mia Nolan is doing with their DMP. You’re likely to go home and beg management to hook you up.
9. Quality Time With the Vendors. Hobnob with familiar faces from the tech companies you’ve grown to love over your time in ad ops, and meet the new kids on the block – see if their wares cut the mustard. Learn who’s got a new trick up their sleeve, who’s on the cutting edge of tomorrow’s tech and who’s got a tab open at the hotel bar.
10. Local Culture. Per custom, on Tuesday attendees will leave the safety of the conference zone to venture out into the wilds of Boston. (I am informed that bank-robbing nuns with AK47s are no longer a common sight. Kinda disappointed.) In addition to kayaking in Boston Harbor and hiking the Freedom Trail, you can jump on the Boston Duck tour. No, you’re not going around pointing at the various mallards, but riding on a DUKW, an amphibious truck originally used by the military in WWII. Where it’s going, you don’t need roads.
See? There’s so much to take away you might need an extra suitcase. And if you want to get a taste of the current rock scene (and potentially tinnitus), check out awesome local joints The Middle East and Great Scott. In addition to that, I’d love to taste some legit clam chowder…
Gavin Dunaway is Editor, US for AdMonsters’ Content Team. Previously he served as Senior Editor for interactive advertising trade news depot Adotas.com, and before that he held reporting and editing roles for numerous industry-related publications. When not diligently producing news and feature articles related to ad ops, he enjoys playing guitar so loud that the walls shake.