After 2 years of isolation and almost no real world events, people are genuinely psyched for the return of of conferences – eager to move on from the pandemic and put their best professional foot forward. Conferences are a great way to stay up-to-date on fast-changing industry standards and best practices. For the publishing industry, that's especially true for the professionals on the revenue side of digital advertising.
From specialized seminars to massive meet-ups, this year’s lineup of AdOps and AdTech conferences is sure to cover a lot of ground – both metaphorically and literally.
But before you schlepp yourself around the world and endure hours of airplane agony, you should lay out clear goals and reasonable expectations for each event. The last thing you want to do is waste your time and your company's budget.
It's with that in mind that I put this list together; as a resource to help you build your 2022 event calendar with purpose and precision.
8 Great AdTech Conferences for Publishers
Having myself attended dozens of different industry events over the last 15 years, I'm no stranger to the conference circuit. After drawing on my own experiences at AdOps and AdTech conferences, consulting with my peers & partners, and carefully reviewing more than 300 total events, I've put together this master list.
For each event, I've tried to highlight it's main value, its differentiation, and any other pertinent details.
1.Digiday Publishing Summit
Grand Hyatt Vail
Vail, CO, USA
For more than two decades, the Digiday Publishing Summit has stood out as one of the industry's most significant events. As the dust of the pandemic settles and publishers slide into a new normal, this event will explore how daily business practices are changing and strategies evolving. It will look at how the principle of continuous iteration can be applied to help publishers better create and capitalize on opportunities.
Among the most interesting topics on the agenda are:
- Nurturing audience connections in a time of misinformation
- Growth opportunities in new and old revenue streams
- Data insights and how they're leveraged – in both structure and process
Digiday's summits are usually mid-sized events with 100-300 participants, providing quality networking opportunities and a real chance to build new and strategic relationships.
To get the most out of the 3-day event, speed dating style meetings are used to connect publishers, brands, and technology vendors.
$3,595 for an entry level pass
$5,495 premium pass
Publishing execs may be eligible for discounted pricing
FYI: oolo will be attending so if you're planning on going to the Digiday Publishing Summit, please make sure we get a chance to connect.
2.Publisher Revenue Base Camp
Boulder, CO, USA
Publisher Revenue Base Camp is a small event designed to leave a big impression. The invite-only event – billed as "more than a conference" – is arranged by Beeler Tech and limited to 90 participants. The smaller, more intimate setting is meant to give attendees a more focused experience – driving more active participation as well as more meaningful and collaborative learning opportunities.
As with everything Beeler Tech, the emphasis will be on community empowerment, which is why the event promises ZERO sponsored sessions. And as with everything Rob Beeler's involved with, it's sure to be entertaining.
Topics will include
- The talent crisis
- The cookie-less tomorrow
- Monetizing with a user-first mentality
- The future of formats
- Improving speed to decision
- Planning for buy-side trends
Unlike other conferences that elevate pomp and pageantry over substance, Publisher Revenue Base Camp is all about brass tacks. If you're already on the invite list, get ready to discuss common industry challenges and explore practical solutions. If you didn't get an invitation, you can request one at the bottom of the page here.
Las Vegas, NV, USA
This AdExchanger event definitely skews a bit to the buy-side of things, but there are still plenty of learning and networking opportunities for publishers at Programmatic I/O. Being that revenue flows at the grace of advertisers, it's also a good way for publishers to keep their strategies grounded and in perspective.Programmatic I/O offers a great opportunity to mingle with peers on both sides digital advertising – discussing macro trends and day-to-day tactics alike. There will be deep-dive sessions, fireside chats, panels, and open Q&As covering topics like privacy, first-party data, contextual advertisement and measurement.
$1,395 for early early bird reservations (available until March 18)
$1,695 for early bird reservations (available until April 22)
$1,995 for standard reservations
To register, click here.
If you can't make it to this event, don't worry. AdExchanger is planning another Programmatic I/O event for the Fall. You can find the details for that conference here.
4.Publishing Insider Summit
Nashville, TN, USA
MediaPost is holding this year's Q2 Publishing Insider Summit in Nashville, Tennessee. The summit will revolve around themes of expanded ad offerings and integrated revenue strategies; with special attention paid to the following topics:
- Managing diverse revenue streams in integrated portfolios
- Obstacles and opportunities in evolving ad sales models
Speakers are also lined up to touch on hot-topics surrounding video audiences, direct ad sales, affiliate revenue, and social reach.
Registration costs $4,995. To register, click here.
This year, I'll be rep'ing oolo at Publishing Insider Summit, so if you plan on attending, feel free to reach out!
New York, NY, USA
Another AdMonsters event, Ops differs from Publisher Forum in its focus on the trench warfare of day-to-day AdOps rather than overarching strategies.
The conference will explore the continued digital transformation of media in view of changing tech stacks and mobile-first strategies.
Ops offers a unique balance of tactical guidance and future-facing ideation. To ensure that attendees get the most bang for the buck, the conference offers 6 different tracks:
- Data & Identity
- Video and CTV
- Revenue & Product
- Mobile, Apps & OOH
- Ops Leadership
Pricing hasn't yet been finalized, but registration is expected to run anywhere from $695 to $1,195. To reserve your spot, click here.
As oolo's delegate, I am very much looking forward to this event. It's always a good time and an enlightening experience. If you're attending Ops, let's connect.
6.Brand Safety Talks at Cannes
This year's Brand Safety Talks at Cannes will, ironically, not be held in Cannes. Instead, the event will be digital. Despite not be a traditional draw for AdOps purists, I've included this on my list for a few different reasons:
- AdOps thrive on strong, well-protected brands
- Roles are expanding and so must perspectives
- Being a free-to-attend digital event, it's low friction
The modern publisher is a strange thing: it's a brand-driven business fundamentally reliant on revenue from outside advertisers. If not constantly monitored and strictly managed, ads could deface, misrepresent, or otherwise distort the brand. If you don't feel an awkward tension in the fact that so many unknown parties having the ability to materially alter your brand, you're just not paying attention.
For publishers, maximum monetization is achieved when ad operations, DTC revenue streams, and brand safety are all delicately balanced over a prolonged period of time. This event is a great opportunity to broaden your horizons, expand your network, and skill up. To register, click here.
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
AdMonsters is an industry mainstay, offering news and analysis on the world of AdOps and AdTech. The company's quarterly conferences are popular among publisher executives and decision makers, making them an ideal venue for business development.
The Publisher Forum is a mid-sized event, with approximately 200 people attending, mostly from the US and Canada. At this year's event, attendees will hear from experts and work in small groups to develop actionable plans for maximizing ad revenue and improving operational efficiency.
Also on the agenda is user acquisition strategies and how web property owners can better leverage mobile environments.
$1,495 for early bird publisher/agency/brand reservations (available until July 15)
- $1,595 for standard publisher/agency/brand reservations
$2,500 for signed event sponsors
To register, click here.
FYI: If you plan on attending, keep an eye out for my friendly face. I'll be the super good-looking, super charming woman decked out in oolo attire.
If you can't make it to this event, don't worry. AdMonsters has an encore performance planned for November in Nashville, TN.
December (exact date TBD)
Publishing Week is organized by Adweek and attended by publishers from all around the world. Since the event is still a ways away, details remain scarce. That said, the agenda is already set to cover these core themes:
- Creating personalized audience experiences
- Making technology work for you
- Maximizing multi-channel ad revenue.
After a 2-year hiatus, there's a lot of anticipation around this year's event. But bear in mind that because of the more regimented structure of the event, Publishing Week is not a great opportunity for informal networking.
Registration for Publishing Week is not yet available, but will eventually be opened here. Based on previous years, we expect a standard event pass to be free and a VIP pass to cost about $1000.
Conferencing with Purpose and Perspective
Leading AdOps and AdTech conferences bring together the best and brightest in the industry to build connections, learn about new topics, and examine new opportunities.
At the same time, publisher revenue and ad operations teams already have a lot on their plate. As much as you might like to be a full-time conference goer, it's probably not in the cards. So before you sign up for anything, make sure you have the full picture. It's vital that you should have a clear idea of what you plan to get and how you plan to get it — whether it’s networking, tooling, strategy refinement, education, training, business development, etc.
I wish you happy conferencing and hope to see you at one of the events listed here!