Top Ad Tech Conferences For PR Exposure

One of the more fascinating aspects of a great PR program is the visibility it generates beyond earned media. People usually think of media pitching and press releases when they think about public relations. But sharing thoughts and insights from company executives in a public setting is a great complement to media exposure – and one often leads to the other. 

Our team accomplishes this targeted exposure through executive content and the all-important conference speaking opportunities. Having a company leader or subject-matter expert speak on a stage is a strong way to drive visibility; there’s really nothing like it, and once started, the speaking gigs generate their own momentum. Keynote and panel opportunities nearly always set speakers up for more opportunities in the future. 

In narrow tech verticals like ad tech, conference exposure is particularly important for business leaders. Here are some of the top conferences in the adtech space that can bring exposure to senior executives and help drive their brand visibility.

AdExchanger Industry Preview

With so many thought leadership pieces written about what’s in store for any given industry at the start of the year, it makes sense that there’s a conference dedicated to what’s coming in ad tech. It’s where top execs and journalists come together to preview what the year may hold for the category. Between cookies going away; the sector’s identity crisis; new privacy regulations; the rise of connected TV (CTV) and more, there’s plenty to discuss and lots of predictions to be made. Previous speakers have included executives from Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify, so it’s tailor-made for people in the ad tech space. Put this one on your calendar for 2023!

AdExchanger Programmatic I/O

AdExchanger runs multiple conferences throughout the year that are geared directly at ad tech executive, and this one is focused solely on the programmatic side of ad tech. As with its Industry Preview, Programmatic I/O brings together people across the industry for updates on pressing issues such as the upcoming “cookiepocalypse,” privacy, CTV trends, and more. This year’s agenda includes speakers from Procter & Gamble, Paramount, Disney, TikTok, and many more power brands that are major players in the space and command our attention. 

Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit

In a similar vein, Digiday hosts a conference focusing on programmatic advertising. This year it will home in on – what else? –  the demise of the third-party cookie and the intriguing proposals that have been floated to replace its function. Companies like Bayer, HP, J.P. Morgan and more will be on hand to share valuable insights as to what’s coming next in the space, and what brands should focus on to keep their edge. 

IAB NewFronts/PlayFronts

The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s NewFronts is the “world’s largest digital content marketplace that gives media buyers a first look at the latest digital content from the biggest names in media and entertainment.” Just wrapping up last Thursday, the conference is a must-see. This year’s theme was “Stream On,” all about how consumers use the many different streaming services available, how companies can take advantage, and what they have in store for the future. Representatives from Google, NBCUniversal, Meta, MGM, Comcast and more were on hand to tackle pressing issues facing the industry right now. It can be up-to-the-minute, with discussions of Netflix’s introduction of ads in its content, Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, brand safety, the state of CTV, and more.

Similarly, IAB also hosted its first-ever PlayFronts, which is dedicated to the rising trend of in-game advertising. As in-game marketing becomes more mainstream, it’s important for brands to know the ins and outs and how to have an optimal strategy. 

Advertising Week

As everyone in ad tech or any kind of advertising knows, Advertising Week hosts multiple major events across the globe, in New York, Europe, Asia, APAC, and Latin America. Each event features six stages, 300+ speakers and 100+ sessions, guaranteeing that any attendee will soak up plenty of information about news, trends and best practices. Almost all the major tech companies (Google, Facebook and Amazon) have attended, and previous speakers have included Al Gore, Ariana Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg, Venus Williams, Emma Stone. There will no doubt be plenty of big names there, both in and out of the advertising world. 

ANA Brand Masters

Presented by Twitter, the Association of National Advertisers’ annual conference focuses on topics such as brand management, purpose, brand activation and more. Speakers have included executives from Integral Ad Science, Walmart, Target, Intel, Aneheuser-Busch, and Ford.


Almost anyone who operates in the broader technology industry will flock to the many different TECHSPO events hosted around the world each year. It brings together developers, brands, marketers, technology providers, designers, innovators and more, looking to set the pace in the advanced world of technology, which of course includes ad tech. Plus, TECHSPO conveniently provides a list of the top 10 reasons to attend one of their events. Check it out!


While not specifically an ad tech conference, the famed Cannes Lions Festival is still the biggest gathering of the creative community in the world, and probably the most influential. Its cachet is such that most major ad tech brands want to be represented, if only to rub shoulders with top-level creatives, tech entrepreneurs, innovators, and celebrities. The famed Festival highlights outstanding content across all platforms and especially after two years of lockdown, it’s a place to see and be seen. Despite some belt-tightening in Silicon Valley, there will be plenty of Instagram posts of ad tech leaders sipping rosé on party yachts – clearly working hard.


As one of the largest tech events in the world, CES has long been a must-attend for anyone in consumer or business technology. In recent years, that has included ad tech. Hundreds of companies attend and present their new products, most of which aren’t yet available except in preview form. It’s definitely a longshot for ad tech companies, but if one wants to know about the newest developments in tech and what will drive fourth-quarter trends, look no further.


On the other side of the pond, DMEXCO is Europe’s premier digital marketing and tech event. Even as the pandemic forced it to go virtual the past two years, last year’s event had over 20,000 attendees and 240 partners. There are plenty of ways to speak at the conference now that it will presumably be in-person this year. From main stages for the keynote speakers, smaller “topic stages” for industry experts, or corporate masterclass learning sessions, DMEXCO offers a multitude of thought leadership opportunities.

These are just some of many different industry conferences that PR agencies can recommend for internal or external clients. Many conferences are hybrid or completely virtual, so it’s easier than in the past to participate without having to travel. And participants can learn valuable lessons and information that can transform their business and possibly the industry.

Top B2B Conferences For PR Visibility

For our high-growth B2B tech and SaaS solution provider clients, conference speaking, exhibiting, and sponsoring represent crucial PR tactics for thought leadership visibility and business development. Conferences are a good way to set yourself apart in a sector of similarly positioned companies in a given category.

Early-stage companies in particular can build awareness for a new category by having executives speak on panels and keynotes at relevant conferences. They can also build credibility and visibility for their brands by taking a booth. There’s just no doubt about the benefits of the exposure that can be generated by speaking opportunities at major business conferences. The earned visibility can drive brand differentiation, help recruitment, reinforce a leadership positioning, and even influence buyer decisions. See our post on How Speaking Opportunities Support B2B Companies for insights on how much we and our clients value speaking opportunities.

One of my duties as manager of Conferences, Awards, and Employer Branding is to provide guidance on which of the numerous B2B industry conferences are most relevant and worthwhile for a client’s particular PR needs. Here are six key B2B conferences companies should have on their radar for potential attendance, exhibition, or speaking.

B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange (August, Boston)

B2B media outlet Demand Gen Report produces this and the winter B2B Marketing Exchange events annually. Sponsors are a who’s who of big B2B tech brands. Session content revolves around demand-gen, ABM, sales enablement, content strategy, and more. “Representing some of the largest and fastest-growing solution providers in account-based marketing and demand generation, B2BSMX provides attendees the opportunity to meet with experts to tackle challenges such as how to optimize revenue operations and fine tune their go-to-market strategies to adjust to new realities.”

HubSpot INBOUND  (September, Boston/Hybrid)

This is HubSpot’s annual event that unites thought leaders from over 161 countries across marketing, sales, customer success, revenue operations, and more. It’s a marquee event with over 20,000 attendees, and it offers earned speaking opportunities for prominent B2B executive thought leaders. Be ready to submit early since the call for speakers takes place in late winter of the calendar year before each conference.

Salesforce Dreamforce  (Autumn, San Francisco)

Everyone knows Dreamforce, of course. This is Salesforce’s annual mega event that brings together the global Salesforce community for learning, fun, community building, and philanthropy. It’s the largest B2B tech conference in the U.S. Previous years have hosted more than 170,000 registered attendees from all over the world, across every industry and every line of business. It hosts thought leaders, industry pioneers, and notable luminaries who share their perspectives and expertise.

Forrester B2B Summit North America (May, Austin/Hybrid)

Formerly the SiriusDecisions Summit, now produced by the eminent industry analyst Forrester Research, this premier event for B2B marketing, sales and product leaders sets out to empower their strategies, fuel the revenue engine and drive the business forward. “Explore ground-breaking research, models, and frameworks, designed with your organization’s priorities in mind. Insightful breakouts, hands-on case studies, lasting peer connections, and inspiring keynotes all contribute to preparing you with the actionable advice you need to increase your impact, foster measurable results and surpass goals.”

MarTech Conference (March & September, Virtual)

Third Door Media’s biannual MarTech Conferences used to be in-person on the East and West Coasts. Now a free-to-attend, fully-online experience, MarTech “attracts forward-thinking, senior-level marketers obsessed with driving business transformation and retooling their organizations with marketing technology, and connects them with innovative technology companies sharing their new tools, applications, techniques, strategies and solutions.” For companies that could be described as “vendors,” your innovative tech may not be enough. To win an earned speaking gig, a solutions provider will typically need to co-present with a big brand client.

Content Marketing World & Expo (September, Cleveland)

B2B companies focused on brand and content marketing should have this Content Marketing Institute event on their radar. It attracts 3000 attendees, over 200 speakers, and over 500 brands annually. Brand strategists, CMOs, content marketing coordinators, SEO analysts, and social media managers from big brands like Walmart, Volvo, and Nestle attend to form new partnerships and expand their professional circles.



Five Timeless PR Tips For A Successful Grand Opening

By guest blogger Alexandra Scott

Ready to open the doors for a client’s new venture? Congratulations! Make sure to incorporate these top PR tips into your master plan.

Know your media. Which media sources should you contact? Start “hyper-local” (think Patches, community papers etc.) Determine if your story has longer “legs” – is your company spokesperson well known in the area? Can his/her local media, alumni, religious institution or other community media be tapped for interest as well? Never forget about bloggers. “Slice and dice” your story to as wide an audience as you can.

Perfect your pitch. At the beginning of your pitch, come up with a way to grab your contact’s interest. Just because your client is opening a new store or other facility is not necessarily news. Does the opening mean new jobs? Is the construction unique in some way? Think visually, and use social sharing to get the word out. Write Facebook posts, post tweets, take pictures and videos!

Stake out all the “what-ifs”. Draft a list of “what-ifs” to help inform your PR plan – allow for latecomers, weather contingencies (plan a rain date if applicable) and breaking news. Every PR person’s nightmare is the huge unexpected story that takes all your press away! Be sure to prep the aforementioned photos and video to help get your story out to the media asap if they can’t get to you.

Incorporate a “wow” factor. A “wow” factor is part of the Grand Opening that will draw in the public. Some ideas to consider: Is a celebrity or key local notable a possible attendee and strategically a sound idea? Is there a famed local chef who can add some culinary color to the day or an unexpected free offer your client can make? Look for the unusual or over-the-top, just make sure they fit your client personality and the objectives of the opening.

The Grand Opening is only the beginning. The things you do after your Grand Opening are just as important as the event itself. So, follow-up is critical. Also, create a post-event press release. It should highlight the Grand Opening and provide a recap, including the number of attendees, names of legislators/dignitaries that attended and photos. At this point, plan an ongoing calendar of events to keep interest.

Your Grand Opening is just the first step to draw in the public and potential customers and the start of many future events to come.