ad:tech is an event for Digital Marketing and was held in India for the first time on 27th and 28th of April, 2011. The event was produced by dmg::events in partnership with NetworkPlay. It was held at the Leela Kempinski in Gurgaon.

The Opening Keynote “It’s our time”, was by Babs Rangaiah, Vice President Global Communications Planning, Unilever. He’s @babs26 on Twitter.

The second keynote, “The Future of Digital Marketing: Engaging Consumers Like Never Before”, was by Elisa Steele, Chief Marketing Officer, Yahoo!

The exhibition area.

“Agency Transitions – Panel Session: Agency Renumeration Models: What is the right mix?” with moderator Manish Vij, Founder, Vun Network and on the panel, Vikram Sakhuja, CEO – Southeast Asia, Group M, Sameer Suneja, Managing Director, Perfetti Van Melle India and Anjali Hegde, CEO, Interactive Universal.

“Agency Transitions – Panel Session: Justifying Digital Budget in an Marketing Campaign” with Madan Sanglikar, Principal Partner, Mindshare as moderator and on the panel, Kiran Gopinath, Founder & CEO, Ozone Media, Ravi Kiran, former CEO, South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group, Hitesh Oberoi, Managing Director & CEO, Info Edge (India) Ltd and Sandeep Vij, CEO, DDB Mudra.

“Content & Publishers – Session: Transformation of Digital Publishing – Positioning Online & Future Trends” with Prashant Mehta, CEO, KOMLI Media as the moderator and on the panel, Rishi Khiani, CEO, Times Internet Limited, Maya Hari, Head of Internet & Mobile, Conde Nast Digital, Neville Taraporewalla, Director, Microsoft Advertising India, Consumer & Online Business, Microsoft India Pvt. Ltd. and Nellie Chan, Regional Sales Director, Asia, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.

The much anticipated Google Keynote titled “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” by Rajan Anandan, Managing Director and Vice President for Sales and Operations, Google India. Enthralling but I think the numbers were an overkill. My head was swimming. The keynote was delivered very well and there wasn’t a single moment where I felt my attention wander – captivated audience one and all. It was, most definitely a sales-pitch, which is not to say that it was a bad thing – just an observation. This brought in the end of Day One of ad:tech New Delhi. There was a networking bash, which wasn’t much of either – people got their drinks, ate, chatted up on secluded groups and left. The expectations from Day Two were definitely a lot higher and it did not disappoint.

Day Two of ad:tech New Delhi and the stage right before the sessions began.

The also much anticipated Facebook Keynote title “It’s All About People”, by David Fischer, Vice President Advertising and Global Operations, Facebook, which did not disappoint. It was clear that David was sorely jetlagged, fortunately he introduced the Facebook India team that was present and available to answer the many questions the audience had. Comparisons between the Facebook and Google keynote were being drawn and while The Google keynote was a lot more aggressive, the Facebook one was more languid and laid back. The graphics on the Facebook keynote were well made – the designer in me couldn’t help but notice these things.

Exploring the mobile opportunities from China to India. This keynote was delivered by Joshua Maa, CEO, Madhouse Inc AND Takayuki Hoshuyama, CEO of D2 Communications Inc. Above is Joshua and you can see Takayuki below on the left.

Joshua Maa seated in the audience after his keynote.

Kanika Seth aka @mekkanikal

Yours truly in the ladies loo.

Udaibir Singh aka @udaibir

“Social Media Studies – Panel Session: The Brutal Truth about Social Media Advertising – Is it a sustainable Platform?” with Kiruba Shankar, CEO, Business Blogging as the moderator and on the panel, Karl Gomes, Co-Founder, AgencyDigi, Ashish Kashyap, CEO, ibibo Web (p) Ltd, Dmitry Shevelenko, Landing Team, Facebook India and Atit Mehta, Country Media Manager, HUL. This was quite an interesting panel discussion on three counts : firstly, the power went out for a bit and all on stage were silhouetted – see image below; secondly, Karl Gomes aka @karlgomes was saying things no one else had said earlier and lastly @shubhos asked a question, which should have put him on stage alongwith the other panelists!

Namita Ved aka @namitaved of NetworkPlay

One of the walls of the hotel outside the conference area.

@udaibir asking a question from the audience.

Prasanth Mohanachandran aka @mprasanth, Co-Founder AgencyDigi, from the audience side, asking a question.

Blistering heat outside and all day long there were Peacocks calling from that patch of green in Gurgaon.

“Presentation Session: Introducing mobile into integrated campaigns” with Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Managing Director and Founder, One97, Antti Ohrling, Co-Founder, Blyk who showed us some lovely video & presentations and Rachel Ooi, Head of Convergent & Mobile Advertising, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa Regions, Ericsson where we saw the Ericsson presentation that blew the audience away – the best video I’d seen at the event so far.

The third keynote titled “Social Commerce: Shopping Meets Social Media” by Pearl Uppal, Co-Founder and CEO, Fashion and You. Most people were wondering who was going to ask her about the incessant spam being received by subscriber and non-subscriber alike and true to precedent, no one did. Of course, what she was wearing, more than made up for the satisfaction of those who were wondering. Ooops!

“Mobile – Contextualisation,Reality, Application, Proximity
Panel Session :- Location based services” with Raj Singh, Managing Director, 2ergo India as moderator and on the panel, Beerud Sheth, Co-Founder & CEO, SMS Gupshup, Mahesh Narayanan, Country Manager – Business Development, Google India, Anuj Kumar, Executive Director – South Asia, Affle and Sanjay Swamy, Founder & Chairman, ZipDial. This got sandwiched in the middle of the last two keynotes because of unavailability of the original venue & there was some confusion about what got cancelled / postponed.

Spent some time outside trying to capture the lines of vehicles stuck on the Gurgaon Toll but because of the single wide-angle that I was carrying, could not get a close-up shot.

Leela Kempinski from the terrace.

My favorite keynote from the entire conference. “Brands have to earn the right to play a role in people’s lives” by Sav Evangelou, Executive Creative Director, Digitas UK, who really rocked it with his superb presenting skills and the fantastic content and case studies that he had to share! Of course, because of the confusion about the cancelled panel discussion, etc. and because most people had flights to catch, 90% of the audience had left before Sav began his closing keynote.

Susan MacDermid, President – Digital Marketing Division, dmg::events comes on-stage to close and thank people on her team as well as on NetworkPlay’s side.

The next ad:tech in New Delhi was also announced. To be held on 22nd and 23rd February 2012. They also plan to launch iMedia summits in autumn 2011.
Met a whole load of awesome people @namitaved and @Rammohantweets and @ishashah from NetworkPlay; @EvitaSaldanha @mekkanikal @praval @shubhos @mprasanth @karlgomes and loads more πŸ˜€ Looking forward to receiving a link to where one can find all the presentations – definitely want to see the one by Coke. Missed that one.