News & Views
12/04/17 / news

Creating programmatic events that engage – Q&A with Nick Hendry

This week, we are pleased to welcome Nick Hendry, Senior Conference Producer at WBR and creator of Europe’s largest senior-level programmatic marketing conference, The Programmatic Pioneers Summit. We invited Nick to share his views on the industry’s unwavering appetite for programmatic education, and what it is like curating an event at a time where programmatic has reached front page news.


RK: So the industry isn’t bored about talking about programmatic?!

NH: Wow, tough first question! With the recent press around viewability and the issues that come with digital brand safety, I’ve found more than ever that people want to talk and learn about programmatic marketing, as a key priority. In the 18 months that I’ve been in this industry the conversation has moved on from, ‘we should be doing this’, to, “how can we execute this perfectly?” Now with these issues playing out on front page news, I think there is greater impetus to really get under the skin of the supply chain so brands, agencies, publishers & technology companies feel more confident navigating their way through the industry.

RK: The industry is obviously awash with events and it can be hard to create time to attend. How do you create cut through, and provide a format that provides something genuinely different and useful?

It is as you say difficult to create cut through so we focus on the key challenges the programmatic eco-system needed to drive growth: market education and brand-led programmatic initiatives. It explains why we focus on giving advertisers a strong voice, encouraging them to provide tangible insights which are actionable in nature.

We also work hard to create a format which is more accessible. For example, we created an agenda that enables small-group; intimate knowledge sharing and networking (rather than 7 hours of Powerpoint presentations!)

RK: Do you think the delegate profile is changing in terms of the relationship between brands, agencies, technology companies, publishers and consultancies, and what do you think is driving this change?

Yes, the profile is definitely changing. Increasingly, brands are focussed on upskilling in this area (rather than outsourcing the entirety of the process to an agency), and starting to own some of the relationship themselves with tech suppliers, and forge bespoke partnerships with publishers. This is being driven by three factors, technology allowing advertisers to take in-house their ad spend, the walled garden effect of the agency, and brands recognising the value of the data they own.

Interestingly our delegate list includes much more than ever “Programmatic Leads” at brands and publishers who will naturally respond much more to events such as this.

RK: What do you think will be the key topics those attending this year will want to talk about

– For brands?

For obvious reasons, viewabilty & brand safety are hot on the agenda for brands. Also attribution as brands look towards a more Omni-channel, multi-touch approach to connect the path between search, display, video and social.

We have also identified for certain brands a healthy interest in the different operating models for programmatic (including in-housing) as brands look potentially for alternative models to the convention.

– For agencies?

Agencies will almost certainly look to learn from the prevailing issues facing brands, and how they can adapt their propositions accordingly. With questions remaining around transparency and trust, our event provides a unique opportunity for agencies to strengthen their relationship with Brands through a greater sensitivity around their concerns.

– For publishers?

Publishers have long been squeezed from both sides as the programmatic eco-system was designed as a way of cutting media costs. Therefore, we are running the unique sessions within the event called The Publishers Summit. This allows Publishers to share advice on how they can monetise their offering and provide the inventory that the buy-side need.

– For tech companies?

Many of our delegates from the technology companies will be eager to learn from the brand-led programmatic initiatives, as well as see how their peers are positioning their products. Especially following the recent proliferation in the Adtech space, market positioning has become a critical priority for Adtech vendors looking to drive differentiation in the eyes of the buyer.

Nick Hendry is a programmatic advertising specialist who is the Creator of Europe’s largest senior-level programmatic marketing conference, The Programmatic Pioneers Summit. The conference agenda has been designed after conducting 80+ research interviews with Senior Directors from across the industry.

If you are interested in attending this year’s Programmatic Pioneers event, we have secured a 15% discount using the following promotional code: PPS17STACK