Desert Oasis: IAB Leadership Do’s and Don’ts



CES ‘18 is over – by now you just got the last of Vegas out of your bloodstream. Your thoughts turn to Mobile World Congress and, vaguely, SXSW. In between waits IAB Leadership. You ask yourself, “Should I?” A few things to consider:


IAB Leadership is, perennially, one of the better conferences of the year, ifyou want to speak to senior leadership amongst MadTech vendors and publishers. Yes, there are certainly some agencies and brands in attendance, but they tend to keep lower profiles. Sprinkled in are a bunch of consultants, recruiters, VCs, IBs, and other players, for good measure, but the event is certainly dominated by vendors and publishers (display, mobile, CTV, Social, etc.) It is the IAB, after all.

Yes, IAB Leadership does suffer from a common MadTech conference malady: vendors buyers. However, these ratios are better than most, and attendees are, by and large, more senior, and more engaged.  


Good Content, Low Milage

IAB Leadership boasts fairly strong content (high praise for MadTech conferences) and everyone is under one roof (unlike CES, Mobile World Congress, SXSW, DMEXCO...)  


Location, Location, Location

This year we migrate for the winter back to Palm Desert – a great location for a bit of sun and golf… er, a conference. Remember that two years ago (when IAB was last at Palm Desert) a nor’easter dumped snow across the eastern seaboard, grounding 800+ of us. Pray the weather gods will smile upon us this year (and maybe spring for that refundable ticket.) 


Golf, Booze, No Kids The Plan

The schedule follows a well-worn path: A welcome by IAB leads to a hosted, (outdoor) dinner. Monday is packed with presentations, many case studies... But remember – the real action takes place in the bar (and the other bar, and the bar outside.) Stick to the public areas, and a word of caution: While attendees are generally happy to connect, the hard sell DOES NOT WORK. Keep in casual. Also of note: Many people disappear on Tuesday, heading off to golf or schlepping back to the airport. Plan to wrap it up Monday evening.

Sound good? Pack the sunscreen (80º+!), go easy on the hard sell, and join a party that has traveled thousands of miles to connect with many people who work in their same zip codes.