Last week I dutifully logged onto TweetDeck on the day of the OPA conference, set up a search column for #opa, and waited for the tweets to flow. I couldn't make the live conference but I knew I could count on my colleagues to share the highlights.
The attendees tweeted about two main topics - the value of display for branding purposes and 'the demise of the click' - and were quick to note how 'old news' these topics are. In fact, the last tweet of the day said, "what a let down, let's get to the networking." I'm not picking on OPA, because the truth is that I've heard this (or seen it tweeted) from numerous conferences lately. We're talking about things that are old, rehashed, and not beneficial for those in attendance. So, is there nothing left to talk about in our industry that is worthy of a conference?
Absolutely not. Here are just a few topics that I personally believe would generate real interest:
- Is Data the New Bubble? We all saw the network bubble form and now it's starting to decompress. Data companies (BlueKai, Exelate, etc.) are now popping up faster than can be tested. Is this the new bubble, and if so, how do we differentiate one from another? (Look for a blog post from our VP of Media Services posted here on iMedia on this very topic shortly.)
- Is Paid Research Being Phased Out? Some agencies are now outright cancelling their traditional paid research subscriptions in favor of using research like Quantcast. What does this mean for the paid research companies? Is the new research accurate enough?
- Will Mobile Ever Stand On Its Own? With flash coming to Android, will the iPhone and Blackberry follow? If flash becomes standard on smartphones, and there is no need for separate mobile creative, why should mobile live, and be sold, separately?
Beyond these, I'm sure you each have others you've contemplated. So why are we giving the primetime panel to 'the demise of the click?'? There is so much more for this industry to discuss.