ad:tech is an interactive advertising and technology conference and exhibition. I attended the first Indian edition in 2011 and this one was the the fourth Indian edition. Digital marketing, social media, online advertising, etc. always interest me as I live and breathe in this space. Without the Internet, my work would not reach the audience it reaches today and I’m always ALL ears to find out what’s new and how the leading minds of some of the top companies in the world are thinking and dealing with this space.

Apart from a few spelling errors, the space was well managed, as were the sessions. Day Two was a lot of more exciting and engaging to me than Day One – maybe because the subjects were more directly related to social media, which is what lights my fire.

The Leela Kempinski hotel in Gurgaon is always a lovely venue. The staff is AMAZING.

Above, Karim Temsamani, President, APAC Operations, Google on Rebuilding The Internet. He really did set the pace for the day and most of the other speakers were not able to keep up – at least for me. You can find Karim on Twitter as @ktemsamani He had some very interesting insights and numbers. ( Check my tweets from both days to find some of those insights – end of this blog post has details. )

I was lucky to have some lovely, efficient and hardworking company both days! Neha Agarwal from FujiFilm.

The chandeliers ALWAYS catch my eye and up goes a post onto Instagram! The water bottles were very thoughtfully stocked throughout both days and I made full use of this facility. Grateful.

The beergarden was also a very thoughtful service by sociomantic! Beer was only being served post 5 p.m. and I only managed a pint on Day One. Day Two was so fabulous that I chose to sit in on the sessions rather than get myself a pint. Yes, it really was THAT awesome.

Above left, Honey Singh of ARM Digital, Harsh Agrawal and me and above right Pranav Sapra with me.

Marketing Masters with Jyotsna Makkar, CMO, Microsoft India and the very awesome Aditya Save, Head – Digital Marketing and Media of Marico who woke the audience from it’s post-lunch stupor.

Below : that’s the one pint of beer I managed before I had to leave for another event in the evening.

And these below! Stole the show for me. Google cupcakes and they had doughnuts from Krispy Kreme as well. Total WIN. The Google section also had a caricature booth where using Google Hangouts, an artist sitting in a  room at the same hotel would look at your live photo on his screen and quickly produce a caricature and you could take the actual drawing in a frame home! I couldn’t wait too long – and there was a long queue, hence no caricature to show – but it was a cool idea.

The Google booth also had a couple of interactive games that one could play and if you won you could take away some sweet candy – although they were nice enough to let me take some candy away anyway!

Frozen yoghurt! The cranberry was AMAZING especially with the butter pop topping. Red Mango booth.

Above left, Google Chrome cupcake topper on my tongue. Above right, Neha’s and my bag on a chair between the two of us. The rest of the images below are from Day Two at ad:tech New Delhi 2014.

I walked in late and missed a couple of the initial sessions. You can see the conference schedule on the ad:tech website.

Above, the very cool Tom Bowman with is subtle British humor had me in splits. And the super informative slides from his presentation had me glued. Perfect combination. Tom is the Vice President, Strategy & Operations, Global Advertising Sales, BBC Worldwide and you can find him on Twitter as @TomKBowman I’ve shared photographs of some of his slides below. Believe me, they were ALL very interesting.

At least once an hour, 55% of affluent Indians access the internet on mobile devices. And latest generation users are twice as likely to access the internet hourly versus users of the older generation.

56% Indians prefer mobile devices to their desktop for accessing the news.

56% of affluent Indians agree that advertising on mobile will enhance brand perception as modern and dynamic.

“Our analysis showed exciting new findings supporting our own research – brand mobile advertising is effective for all, but most significantly for affluent customers.”

Tom’s excellent session was followed by another excellent session.

Above, Raghu Venkataraman, Head, BIG DATA & Digital, Nielsen India. His slides and presentation were also very interesting with the numbers and research presented. Raghu can be found on Twitter as @cacophonix1984 although his account is protected.

Factors driving e-commerce in India : funding by venture capital firms, diversity of merchandise, deals / discounts and convenience.

Who is the online shopper and what do online shoppers do? ( Sorry about the not very clear slides – there was a lot of data on them and I wasn’t in the front row! )

Female shoppers are increasingly joining the ecommerce revolution. Hell yeah! Till a couple of months ago I’d never purchased a fashion item online and since then I’ve already made more than two dozen fashion-related purchases. I regularly purchase health and beauty related items as well and purchased my first ever laptop online.

On an average, Indians spend more than 2.5 hours on their smartphones everyday. After Raghu’s session, we got out for a bit to try out the Oreo booth that everyone was talking about! You had to grab a packet from the box below. Looks easy eh? The catch was that the box was mounted on a buggy with wheels and someone held a remote somewhere – so as soon as you got close to the box, it zipped away from you and you had only ONE chance! It was fun and lots of us were squealing around it! Of course regardless of whether you caught the box or not, you got to take a packet anyway. WIN!

The green grass and the blue sky made the outside slightly more enticing – even though the cigarette smoke all around was obnoxious. Caught up with a few friends and got a few selfies in the process.

Above, with Isha Shah and below with Deepa Dey

Lunch time! Both days the mutton was the BEST thing on the menu! The food in general was quite good. But the desserts were just about OK.

Flash mob in the middle of lunch! Nice way to pump up the energy a bit.

See Instagram video below

This was one session I was really looking forward to. Dispelling Myths – 20 Things NOT to do on Social. Mainly because of who all were on the panel! Nishant K. Rao, Country Manager, LinkedIn India ( @nishrao ), Kirthiga Reddy, Head of Office India, Facebook ( @kirthigareddy ), Parminder Singh, Managing Director, SEA, India, Middle East & North Africa, Twitter ( @parrysingh ) and Moderator Karthi Marshan, EVP & Head-Group Marketing, Kotak Mahindra Bank ( @MartianSpeak )

They were all fantastic and Karthi was the best moderator EVER. Loved how he drove the discussion and kept it on point and VERY interesting.

Day Two of ad:tech was on 21st of March, which also happens to be Twitter’s birthday – hence the cake on the table – and they got Parminder Singh, Managing Director, SEA, India, Middle East & North Africa,  Twitter – extreme left above – to cut the cake! Twitter is now 8 years old – and I will be eight years old on Twitter this July! Wheeeeeeeeee! I LOVE TWITTER! And my life revolves around these three platforms – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Rammohan introduces the next session. It was a crazy introduction to a very crazy session! You can find Rammohan on Twitter as @rammohantweets

Keynote debate : e-Commerce in India – Euphoria, Reality and Opportunity. Above from left to right : Alok Kejriwal, CEO – 2win Group ( @rodinhood ), Ashish Kashyap, Founder & CEO, ibibo Group ( @ashishkashyap ), Vijay Shekhar Sharma ( @vijayshekhar ), Founder & CEO, One97 Communications and Harish Bahl ( @harish_bahl ), Founder &Chairman, Smile Group in conversation. It was INSANE! You had to be there to believe it.

And finally! The last session of ad:tech New Delhi 2014. With Bonin Bough ( @boughb ), Vice President of Global Media and Consumer Engagement Mondelēz International ( Cadburys, Oreo etc. ). Much awaited! And Bonin is a rockstar. He was sweating bullets and I’m not sure whether Delhi’s heat can take credit for that – because he was so full of energy himself! Dynamo.

Some amazing slides on his presentation and the things that his company does are incredibly intuitive and they have some crazy success stories to share. 5.1 billion people own a cell phone and 4.2 billion people own a toothbrush!

Bonin’s presentation was about #hackonomy and it resonated with me because I’ve always considered myself a bit of a hacker.

Increase media ROI by reach and engagement and influence purchase by impulse and loyalty.

It was a blast. Thank you for that power packed last session Bonin! And that was a wrap for ad:tech New Delhi 2014. I am looking forward to see what next year has in store! If it’s anything like what Day Two was this time, I’m IN!

A snapshot PDF report summary ( with clickable links ) of the twitter updates and their reach that I made with the hashtag #adtechIN


I was also there at the first ad:tech in India in 2011.

Disclosure : I was the “official blogger” for this event although the role wasn’t clearly defined in terms of deliverables. I received a free pass to attend both days but no access to workshops. There was no contract or cash involved.

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