Thoughts on the Publisher Forum in Prague

Last week was our 12th Publisher Forum in Europe and it was quite frankly a huge success. Prague provided a great location for the event and all of the sessions were quite interactive. I’ll be working with the session leaders to see if I can get them to summarize their presentations on the website, but in the meantime I wanted to give a quick overview of what I saw at the event.

The right people are on the job. As I said, the sessions were extremely interactive with a lot of questions and suggestions being thrown out to the group. So many people in attendance spoke to the huge effort that they are putting into making themselves, their departments and their companies successful. Since no one goes to school for Ad Ops (at least not yet), it’s obvious some companies have done a great job at hiring the right type of people to lead their Ad Operations departments.

They need the opportunity to focus on the Macro issues, not just the Micro issues. It’s one thing to get the right people in place – it’s another to fully utilize those people. It was clear at the event that Ad Operations leaders are feeling the strain of their companies looking to maximize revenue and create efficiencies with the same or smaller Ad Ops departments. It’s a tough position that almost everyone is in, but one key to success is to let your Ad Ops people help drive these initiatives. I got the feeling that not enough of this is happening. Even in a down economy, it’s critical to not simply work harder but to work on things that will have the maximum, longest lasting impact for the company. Fortunately, the Publisher Forum offered an opportunity to do just that and you could see more strategic thinking emerge over the course of the event.

The opportunities for Ad Ops to make a difference abound. Robin Pembrooke’s keynote presentation on examples of real life convergence (and Ad Ops part in it) set the stage for a number of presentations that covered such topics as optimizing the approach to Ad Ops management, managing networks and network optimization companies, managing the vendor selection process, behavioural targeting solutions, web 2.0 environments and mobile. Our breakout sessions and sponsor round table covered even more topics ranging from video to self service solutions. All of the sessions, regardless of the topics focused on takeaways that Ad Ops leaders can now implement within their own organizations.

It was great to see all of these Ad Ops people come together and really focus on getting the most of their time together. At AdMonsters we leave our events hoping that everyone comes out of it with something they can use to succeed and to honestly make their jobs better. The feedback so far has been very positive including a tweet from long-time AdMonsters’ member Sean Dillon: “Just in after Prague #admonsters Best Conference yet!” We couldn’t agree more!

Rob Beeler is Vice President of Content and Media for AdMonsters and has worked in Ad Operations for over ten years. Rob started attending AdMonster events in 2004 as a member and will be in London on July 15 for the first AdMonsters Network Ops Forum