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Conference proves industry alive and well

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The online advertising industry is young and healthy and apparently so are those who work in it. Last week’s ad:tech conference Wednesday through Friday at the Moscone Center overflowed with fresh young faces eager to make their mark in the digital advertising world. Ad:tech did not release the average age of the conference participants but it couldn’t have been over 35.

“We’ve been coming to ad:tech since 1999 and it was crazy in 1999,” said Roy de Souza, CEO of San Francisco ad serving company Zedo Inc. “In 2001 it was dead. We were talking to the people in the booth next to us and we retired to the bar at 4 o’clock because no one was here. This year it looks like it’s back.”

Ad:tech is the largest international interactive marketing conference. It is held annually in New York, Chicago, London, Shanghai, Sydney, Paris and San Francisco. Organizers say last week’s conference was their largest event yet with more than 300 exhibitors with particularly impressive tchotchkies and more than 9,000 attendees — double the number who went last year. The theme was “Connecting Globally: Markets in Motion.”

Exhibitors included advertising serving companies, search engine marketers, research and metric companies and more.

“We mostly find people that we’ve talked to before but haven’t had the chance to meet in person,” de Souza said. “We are able to close deals based on personal interaction. We always get pretty decent customers here.”

Although Google Inc., (GOOG), had a relatively small booth on the trade show floor, it had a large presence in the conference sessions. All three days had appointment-only Google Maximizer Sessions, where Google specialists gave one-on-one tutorials on how to maximize an AdWords campaign. Other panels addressed media buying, blogging, brand marketing, click fraud and more.

ndelconte@examiner.com

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