A Glance At Sonoma: 29th Publisher Forum

Welcome to Sonoma: A Preview

Well, the moment is almost here, when the AdMonsters community gathers for yet another week of industry-leading discussion, networking, wine, good company, and more wine. This time around, we’ll be in Sonoma for our 29th Publisher Forum

And it’ll be a packed house at the Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa, with around 150 confirmed participants – industry professionals and leaders from Facebook, Forbes.com, Tribune, NBC Universal, Washington Post Digital, and other companies – landing in Northern California next week for three and a half days of in-depth peer-to-peer discussions.  

MAGNA Global’s Executive Vice President and Managing Partner Brian Monahan, Former Cheezburger CRO and Startup Analyst Todd Sawicki, and Eric Harris, BuzzFeed’s Executive Vice President of Business Operations will lead the conference’s three thought-provoking keynotes. 

Selling ad space next to irreverent memes is no easy feat, but our Tuesday keynote Todd Sawicki proved that looping GIFs and ill-tempered cats could rack in the ad dollars.  Sawicki will be on hand to discuss to why native advertising is crucial to the future of digital advertising. Check out our write-up on the keynote from earlier this year. And, see what he had to say about native ads and startups in a recent AdMonsters Q&A

MAGNA Global’s Executive Vice President and Managing Partner Brian Monahan will be on hand to deliver Monday morning’s keynote presentation on the emerging post-audience era of digital advertising. From his induction into the Advertising Hall of Achievement in 2011 to his being honored with ad:tech’s first-ever Innovator Award in 2012, Monahan is bona fide pioneer in the digital advertising landscape. To learn more about Monahan, and to watch his previous keynote at our 2011 OPS Markets event, read our spotlight on the Sonoma keynote speaker. 

Monday evening, Eric Harris, Executive Vice President of Business Operations for LOL-powerhouse BuzzFeed, will walk through the success and challenges of the website’s advertising strategy, as well as what methods can improve monetization efforts for other publishers. 

No stone was left unturned as we put together this year’s agenda. From the future of real-time to the growing importance of native advertising and mobile, our lineup for Sonoma will bring dynamic conversations on some of the biggest emerging trends in ad operations under one roof.   

Here are a couple of sessions to look forward to in Sonoma: 

  • Reaching Out With Audience Extension, Advance Digital’s Kerel Cooper: Whether to fill out campaigns lagging on-site or to draw larger buys from major advertisers, audience extension efforts – that is, buying third-party inventory targeted using a site’s audience segment/s – have proved quite effective, with publishers amping up their efforts as more technology vendors offer solutions. As Advance Internet has been in the audience extension business for a while now, Director of Operations Kerel Cooper will draw on his experience to describe best practices as well as the opportunities therein.
  • The Reality of Real-Time Digital Strategy, The Weather Channel’s Richard Lowden: Hurricane Sandy presented a test for The Weather Company’s digital revenue team to show its agility and responsiveness when faced with short turnaround. Beyond catastrophic weather events, TWC’s Vice President of Sales, Cross Platform Programmatic Richard Lowden explores how technology is enabling digital strategists to be nimble and effective in quick-response situations – as well as everyday workings.

You can take a peek at the complete schedule on the Sonoma Publisher Forum website

And, who better to end a jam-packed three-day conference than Method, Inc.’s Principal, Insights, Paul Valerio, who’ll lead an open-forum-style discussion, based on the ideas in his white paper “The Art of Noise,” to recap the takeaways and actionable next steps from Sonoma’s variety of sessions. 

For all the wine lovers in the AdMonsters pack, what’s a trip to Wine Country without a mid-afternoon two-wheeling jaunt through a vineyard, or an afternoon spent blending up some Côtes du Rhônes. And, for the thrill seekers, there’s a special aerial surprise activity to get your heart pumping (don’t worry, there’ll be harnesses). 

If you’re worried about sipping on (or guzzling down) some of the great, local wine and getting up for those early, early morning sessions, well, the good folks over at Lifehacker have you covered. Check out their handy tip on how to ward off the all-too-familiar wine hangover (a worldly lesson sure to pay off well beyond next week’s Publisher Forum).  Hint: it may already be in your medicine cabinet! 

For all you Monsters joining us in Sonoma this year, here are a few pointers (from our event coordinator extraordinaire Karen Gunther) to make your conference-going experience awesome and worry-free: 

  • Prepare to Layer Up: You’ll be outside for quite a bit during the conference, including some dinner if weather permits. Now, I know if you’re an East Coaster, like myself, you’re probably thinking sunrays and warm weather; but, Northern California can get pretty chilly around this time of year so bring some bundling apparel. 
  • Pack a pair of sneakers or flats: ‘Off-site activity’ means just that – and we’ll be jaunting around beautiful Sonoma landscape, so bring some comfy footwear. 
  • Most importantly, come thirsty for wine. 

The entire AdMonsters team is excited to kick off an exciting 2013 with some of the brightest minds in the ad operations industry. Stay tuned for updates throughout the conference, including live updates, photos and more. 

And, if you missed the opportunity to join us in Sonoma, make sure to reserve your spots for one or both of our other 2013 Publisher Forums: Boulder in August (with recently announced keynotes Chris Hewish, Head of Global Interactive for DreamWorks, and Seth Levine, Managing Director of the Foundry Group) and Scottsdale in November.