What to Watch For at PubForum Huntington Beach

I just spent last week talking with speakers, session leaders and panelists for this week’s PubForum. I’d been enthusiastic about the agenda and the caliber of session leaders the whole time it’s been coming together, but I’m quite amped on it following all of these conversations and presentation previews. (I’m not just saying this because it’s my job, either. My AdMonsters editorial crewmates and I have had plenty of things to do to prepare, and no one forced me to write up a PubForum preview of my own.)

If you ask me what I’m most looking forward to at PubForum, I realize it sounds like a cop-out when I say, “I’m looking forward to all of it, because there’s absolutely no filler. I’m most looking forward to hearing what you get out of it, as an attendee.” But it’s true. In this gigantic, years-long process of understanding how to better monetize digital media, I have my own pet causes, as do my colleagues Gavin Dunaway and Rob Beeler. But they’re covered; they’re beside the point. I’m looking forward to being surprised by however the themes of PubForum play out.

So let’s take a minute to raise the curtain and explain a little about how the agenda came together. This’ll help illuminate what’s exciting to us about it.

First, file under A Long Time Coming:

  • It’s very cool that Brett Robinson from NPR will be sharing learnings on how to monetize podcasts, because for years podcasting has been an important part of the multimedia mix, and yet it’s been some time since an AdMonsters event has gone into it in depth. (I’ve had a Post-It with “Read more on DAST” scribbled on it hanging next to my desk for two and a half years, so I’m looking forward to digging into audio monetization, way beyond just the standards involved.)
  • Those of us who have seen and heard Patrick McCann of CafeMedia speak at AdMonsters or any other industry events know he’s a veritable wizard when it comes to building out custom solutions for optimizing the ad stack and yield. He’s going to be showing us introductory, intermediate and advanced tech fixes you can make from the safety of your own desk… and he’s coming with more case studies than he expects to fit in one session.
  • We’ve been hearing at AdMonsters events that publishers need to be active partners in brands’ and marketers’ push toward identity marketing… and Brandon Seltenrich of CBSi will be here to finally explain what that’s supposed to entail, anyway.

File under So Timely We Had to Ask These People to Share:

  • The practice of sandboxing iFrames to rein in redirects has gained loads of traction recently, and Amy Cerrito of CBSi has made some head-turning contributions to the discussion on the AdMonsters listserv. And as much as she’s already shared to the list about the causes and effects of various sandboxing tricks, we found she has even more up her sleeve to share in Huntington Beach.
  • The last couple PubForums revealed publishers had a lot of questions about what to make of the IAB’s Flex Ad portfolio. So we got in touch with the IAB Tech Lab’s Shailley Singh, and he agreed to answer any of those questions, live and in real time. He’s been having conversations with major players from all over the ad ecosystem (including some big mobile partners), and his presentation will include the absolute latest intel he’s heard from those conversations.
  • Adam Moser of Hulu believes the conversation about brand safety has become so convoluted, and involves so many different pieces, that we need to step back and make sure publishers and advertisers are talking about the same thing. (I’m convinced now he’s right, and in my own research, I’ve reached out to the buy side for comment.)
  • Adam Hua of CitizenNet has an answer to a question I posed (totally coincidentally, no joke) in a recent post: If branded content is the new premium, and social is a great way to amplify branded content, how does Facebook’s apparent fickleness where product is concerned affect business for publishers? Adam’s answer is that Facebook is your friend, not your enemy, in terms of branded content distribution, and he has the case studies to back up that claim.

If you’re joining us in Huntington Beach, this run-down will hopefully help you decide which sessions to check out. If you’re following on your home front—we won’t be live-blogging the keynotes and sponsor sessions this time, but you can keep up on social media. Now get in there and learn something!