And not just at the cost of a cup of coffee (£3.40, in case you’re wondering). But aside from having to get a mortgage in order to feed my caffeine addiction, my other key takeaways from the event were:

  1. Ben Fennell, CEO of BBH, gave an inspiring keynote. Having spent seven months immersed in the re-pitch for BA, he is a man who knows a thing or two about what the agency of the future might look like. And for Fennell, it’s about celebrating and respecting specialists, then providing a collaborative environment for those specialists to work in. As he put it: ‘collaboration between hybrid teams equals magic’ (more about this later in the week). And he had plenty of examples of this magic at his fingertips. However, I have to say that I thought this Ikea video was taking the Michael out of Apple, whereas actually it’s about the back and forth between the physical and digital world. OK…
  2. Fennell also recommended this book – Creativity, Inc., which looks like a goody. And it has Buzz Lightyear on the front. In this case, I think a book should be judged by its cover.
  3. Next up was Kenny Jacobs, CMO of Ryanair. Did you know that in the UK, after eBay and Amazon, Ryanair’s website gets the most hits? I’m serious. Jacobs addressed the fact that as an industry, travel has been slow to adapt to the possibilities presented by new technologies, but Ryanair believes it is now making good headway. Jacobs is also a man with a plan to improve the customer experience and sees ad tech as key to that. For those of you wondering if this plan will lead to cabin crew having an attitude makeover, they start their ‘always trying to be better’ training in two weeks…
  4. ‘Programmatic’ was a big agenda item at this year’s show, and the seminar on mobile programmatic by moPub and StrikeAd provided a really good overview of the growth areas within mobile, and how programmatic is helping companies to drive relevancy through better targeting. If the Net-a-Porter case study that they flashed up on screen is anything to go by, the programmatic industry is likely to not only meet but exceed its projected growth targets.
  5. In the ‘Next Big Thing’ section was Sliide, a really interesting company that has come up with a novel solution to the tricky to crack/target/engage 18-25 demographic. It works by serving up content to the lock screen on your mobile. If you want to read it you swipe to the right, and if you don’t then you go to the left. Or is it the other way around? Either way, my joke suggestion that it was modelled on the Tinder ‘accept or reject’ model didn’t go down too well. Interestingly, it loops in users by sharing its commission with them, very much putting the person in control of what messages they receive and from whom.
  6. Did I mention the cost of the coffee? Oh I did…

Unfortunately I missed the main event – Sir Martin Sorrell – but still came away with plenty to think about. Looking forward to next year!

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