Dispatches From PromaxBDA – Day 1 By Ray Ecke
If yesterday is any indicator, the days of a non-eventful Day 1 at the annual PromaxBDA Conference are clearly over. The late afternoon session in the NY Hilton’s Grand Ballroom was a standing-room-only situation as seemingly every attendee were there soaking in the three-part Mayhem Matters session hosted by Tim Nolan, SVP, Marketing, Creative & Brand Strategy, Lifetime Networks. Particularly noteworthy was the second section featuring MIT Professor Dava Newman, who delved into the design evolution of NASA’s spacesuits, including her own design; and the conversation with Shane Smith, Founder/CEO of VICE and legendary former Viacom CEO and current Firefly3 Principal Tom Freston, moderated by NY Times media columnist David Carr. The takeaways: good content is key, no matter how it’s consumed TV, mobile, tablets. However measuring the success of that content as it relates to ad revenue in the online/mobile space remains murky.
Later, at the Media-Only meet and greet with the PromaxBDA Board, PromaxBDA CEO Betsey Scolnik, confirmed that overall first-day registration was the highest ever in the organization’s history — talk about “Wow Factor.”
At the event, David Herbruck, Principal/President of creative studio Loyalkaspar, Kendrick Reid; SVP/Executive Creative Director, Brand Strategy for BET Networks; Samantha Maltin, SVP Marketing, HISTORY & H2 channels; and Editor of the music production website SonicScoop David Weiss discussed the challenges facing the industry, the merits (or lack thereof) of the new Seth MacFarlane comedy “A Million Ways To Die In The West” and how HISTORY’s “Vikings” is Reid’s favorite show on TV (excluding BET shows presumably).
Opening day wrapped with an amazing party at the Museum of Modern Art. Beautiful architecture and sculpture and top shelf food (artisanal pizza on hooks? Clever and tasty!) was the perfect setting for creative community chitchat. Spotted at the posh event was leftchannel Creative Director Alberto Scirocco, who will be speaking today at 2:30 in the Gramercy Room; Noelle Alanis, Head of Sales at Stephen Arnold Music; and Scott Matz, Principal at design studio Thornberg & Forester.
One bummer: The super-talented Jill Lindeman, PromaxBDA’s long-time SVP, Conferences & Strategic Partnership announced she will be stepping down after more than 7 years on the job. She will be missed by those who worked closely with her at PromaxBDA, and by attendees of all of the organization’s events, which thanks to her hard work were always, engaging, relevant and well-executed. Good luck Jill!
Stay tuned for day-two coverage…