The 2nd Annual Social Ad Summit convened Monday morning at the New World Stage on W 50th street in the relative calm between 8th and 9th avenues. The venue appeared impossibly small for such a gathering, a circuitous entrance involving flights of stairs, escalators and concrete corridors plastered with film posters, led to a cavernous subterranean atrium. This summit was held in the hopes that research and development teams from the west could effectively commune with predominantly east-based brands and ad agencies to discuss the future of new media marketing. Nick O’Neill, event organizer and founder of the New Media School, an online program designed to educate students on succeeding in a digressive economy, suggested that, though “this though this goal hasn’t completely manifested itself yet, it’s a great start. We are developing and discovering opportunity through conversation.”
An extensive lecture series was held throughout the day, with “networking” breaks puncturing our time in the blue-lit darkness among the black stadium seats.
Panel discussions and featured speakers quietly exited and entered from backstage, emerging behind the projection screen in a Silicon Valley production of a Greek play. The stadium quieted as the omnipresent Gods of the internet entered, a revolving contingent of successful entrepreneurs who sifted gold from the sediment of our most recent economic collapse. Deus ex machina.
Online media moguls such as Zinga, Playfish, Meebo, Gambit, Facebook and Wikipedia presented their case for the evolved consumer in the amorphous online realm. Though a large portion of the discussions was dedicated to the online gaming industry, a world in which I happily do not live, I left each lecture with a greater understanding of human nature as conveyed in online consumer behavior.