Joe Mandese gave me the distinct honor to act as a DOOH awards judge in MediaPost’s ‘First Annual’ DOOH Forum & Expo 2009. I was able to solicit feedback from random attendees of the event AND with unanimous comments the event was a big success.
From my perspective, I’d agree (aside from some problematic sight lines in the main conference room- see picture below) the place was packed all day long.
For a change, I’ve noted session highlights based consensus of the attendees I polled vs. my humble opinions.
I’d place the unofficial total attendee count at 200 people (more or less)
The most popular session was- How does Digital Out-of-Home Become a Mainstream Advertising Medium? Very Interesting discussion. It would seem the Metrics & Measurement debate continues to burn strong and bright. The panelists responded to questions like – What is the most important measurement dimension – dwell time? eyes-on? likelihood to see?. Connie Garrido from Chrysalis made an interesting comment – She felt that measurement should not be the dwell time. She explained that “its always about how receptive the consumer is to the message” and “if the client campaign achieved its objective” – a good example: the overall exchange with the viewer could take place in 1 minute- if the consumer is receptive to the message.
Additionally, some controversy was stirred up by a question from the audience on why TAB hasn’t adopted the OVAB guidelines – this of course lead to more questions than answers. Tony Jarvis stated that TAB intentionally left video out of its new guidelines which by the way are due to be released on May 5th – He did not comment further on why the guidelines were omitted. Hmmm? I wonder why?
The creative content panel is always a crowd pleaser – The “Is the Medium The Message?” session had a great set of panelists from various sections of the industry. Lots of fun, thought provoking insight.
The group fielded questions such as; What’s New in Creativity, Content and Programming? Beyond the 30-second spot in public spaces. Programming dynamically in different places, spaces and dwell times – elevators to bars, sound vs. silent.
Phil Lenger suggested we stop trying to make generalizations for the DOOH medium (ie there will be no one killer app – there may be one per venue or marketing obj) and the other panelists agreed. Interesting to note that this was the first time MediaPost included a “creative” discussion at this type of conference. Perhaps giving a nod on the importance of creative strategy as it relates to inclusion of all media channels.
The on-going debate on interactivity and its use in DOOH was discussed, many panelists agreed that it can often be a “gimmick” but the true value is driving an action – some questioned what the real impact of interactivity was as it relates to the success of a campaign.
The awards ceremony seemed well attended – I imagine the open-bar aspect gave a lot of incentive to stay for attendees that weren’t finalists in the awards competition. Bearing in mind some folks have strong opinions about DOOH contents/awards – I can vouch that the voting process was democratic and winners were selected on a majority vote by the judges. Here are the final winners of the competition.