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ad:tech, Again, Without Us

The most influential series of programs in communications technologies has been the ad:

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: March 22, 2007

The most influential series of programs in communications technologies has been the ad:tech shows, especially the San Francisco event. ad:tech events are held throughout the world, but SanFran's proximity to Silicon Valley and its role as an advertising and publishing center give the event a special role in how new communications technologies and approaches are viewed and used. Yet again, however, the exhibitors list and the seminars are devoid of involvement of our own industry associations and companies. There is no one there talking about the role of e-commerce and print, the complementarity of Internet and print publishing, the effectiveness of digital media and variable data printing. No one. This is not a new topic; it's been written about before at PrintCEOBlog and in my WTT column. If print is to be considered as not just viable, but as a dynamic and flexible medium that delivers meaningful results, that case has to be brought to the decision-makers who are constantly looking for new ways to communicate with their audiences. It has to go where those decision makers go. Our absence will not make their hearts grow fonder for us. Among the exhibitors is ExactTarget, the company that developed the campaign for the Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau. That was a loss of $60,000 in print volume over a six month period, right under the noses of all of its print suppliers. If we want to reach that audience who thinks that print is a legitimate spinoff from the web, then we have to go where they go.

Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry's best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators. He is the director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.



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