5 Minutes With IAB’s Jeff Fryer

SMW NYC has some incredible partners- from our event partners to hub hosts to our growing media partners. This year, we are honored to be joining up with IAB for SMW NYC. Not only is IAB the leading body in the Interactive Marketing space, but also, they love collaboration. It’s a perfect pairing! Let’s extend a warm SMW NYC welcome to the IAB team- to get us started, meet Jeff Fryer, Social Media and Marketing Manager of IAB.

Jeff, how did IAB get involved in Social Media Week?
IAB has become more and more active in programing in Social Media Week, from last year hosting a SMW NYC session on social retail and brand marketing loyalty to our event at The Onion’s new offices for SMW Chicago about the amusing interplay between paid, owned, and earned media.

This year, we’re glad to put forth two sold-out events during Social Media Week NYC – an Author’s Roundtable with speakers who’ve literally ‘wrote the book’ on social, and a ‘Mobilecultural’ session at which leading agencies and marketers will discuss how they’ve been able to reach the emerging mobile, social, and multicultural users that marketers and brands are very hungry to connect with right now.

IAB is thrilled to be the Official Media Sponsor for Social Media Week New York 2013. The Interactive Advertising Bureau has had many of the brightest minds in social media working together since 2007 in a committee to develop, move forward, and educate the digital industry about social media in advertising. Along the way we’ve released best practices, buyers guides, delved into why people even share online, hosted tweetchats about paid/owned/earned media, and worked with our Data Council to recently demistify social data. As social media continues to reinvent how business marketing, we have a lot of very exciting challenges ahead.

We’re also honored at IAB that we just announced our Head of Brand Initiatives, Peter Minnium, to the Real-Time Academy marketing jury that select the winners for the prestigious Shorty Awards.

This year, our global theme is “Open & Connected: Principles for a Collaborative World.” How does IAB embody or support this idea?
With a global network of 37 national IABs and 2 regional ones, we are actively engaged with helping our members become digital influencers worldwide. It is through worldwide collaboration and cooperation that IAB continues to build strong markets, make digital standards fluid across borders, influence public policy, and produce world-class events.

Further demonstrating our dedication to “Thinking Global – Acting Global” IAB is partnered with Social Media Week from New York all the way through Singapore, where IAB Singapore is a local media sponsor and is moderating a few events.

(Map of IAB’s Global Network)


A core focus of SMW is collaboration. IAB brings together leaders in the interactive advertising space to help grow the industry and research best practices. Why is the collaborative approach so crucial?
As a trade association, collaborative relationships are at the heart of what our members embody. We have 20 committees & councils in our membership who are responsible for working together to develop solutions that improve the entire interactive advertising ecosystem. Team collaboration is critical to release a POV to the marketplace at large.

What are some of the most creative and successful interactive campaigns you’ve seen?
I have to be very careful how I answer this, as IAB does the MIXX Awards! I will say that I was impressed by the team that did the Oreos’ on-the-fly “Blackout Bowl” advertising during the Super Bowl. If you look past the tweet and pull back the curtains a bit, what really impressed me was the ability of the brand and its agencies to work together, ready to react in real-time during one of advertising’s biggest nights of the year. It demonstrates the potential future of social – we are for evermore in the world of reactive, real-time advertising and even ‘next morning’ could be too late.

Where do you see the interactive advertising space heading?
Participation with interactive advertising will continue to grow, but with a more advanced relationship. As the next generation of digital advertisers look for a way to innovate and reach through technology, new creative canvasses will also have to be adopted. That’s one of the reasons IAB has created its Rising Stars program – to challenge the ecosystem to reinvent old ad portfolios and build new opportunities for global brands and digital marketers.

Digital advertising will also continue to seismically shift towards mobile. More people are becoming comfortable with using their mobile devices, and advertisers have recognized they need to meet these users wherever, whenever, and however they are. As a sign that advertising dollars have started to flow where consumers are, U.S. mobile revenue doubled in 2012. At the same time, the dividing line between “mobile” and “not mobile” media and advertising is steadily wearing away – marketers and media companies alike will increasingly think about reaching the right audience wherever they are, across different screens, not siloing them based on what device they happen to be using.


IAB recently worked with MMA to release mobile phone creative guidelines for ads. Why are initiatives like this important to the field?
The mobile phone creative guidelines will make mobile ad buying and selling easier and more efficient, by establishing clear standard ad units that sellers can build into their mobile websites and apps, and buyers can design ad creative for. Agencies and marketers have long asked the IAB to include mobile ad sizes among our standard ad units, and this will address that industry need. Working with the MMA means that both trade associations with standardize around the same set of ad specs, ensuring we are all pulling in the same direction, in favor of faster mobile ad growth.

What are you most excited about for SMW NYC?
Is it a copout to say “everything”?

As the person responsible for the strategy & execution for IAB’s multiple social media presences, there are so many awesome events to attend. SMW NYC is like Social Media Mardi Gras for someone like me.

If forced to pick something, I’m intrigued by Emily Steel’s conversation with Jeff Dachis about the future of pre-purchase intent through social, and the ‘Engagement Through Imagery’ event at Curalate. Innovation through creative visual storytelling such as photos and videos will continue to become even larger in the coming year.

Social Media Week, here I come!

Making Your SMWNYC Event Unique This February

Are you submitting an event to take part during Social Media Week this February in one of our twelve locations around the world? Consider the following for some thoughts on how to make your event sing and rise above the crowd during the week.

Let me cut to the chase–in a sea of awesome SMW content, there’s one surefire way to make your event rise the top, and that’s to innovate the form of the event beyond the basic panel format.

To wit: in 2011, there were over 1200 events that took part during Social Media Week, and the vast majority of them were panel sessions. There’s no doubt that the panel format has been battle-tested and does work, but it’s also sort of the lowest common denominator and asks the least planning and preparation of its participants. For more on this topic, see the following inspired post by Toby Daniels last summer outlining how and why it’s good to think beyond the panel.

Here are a few examples of events from the past that worked well that did a little to go beyond the panel format:


Here’s a global example, and one of my favorite Social Media Week ideas yet, this event in SMW Rome last February really shows how a smart idea can pick up steam and carry a freight train’s worth of impact when executed well and by the right folks (pardon the puns).

“Journey to the Center of the Net”, organized by Augmendy, SMW city partners for both Rome and Milan,took the idea of a pre-SMW kickoff event and put it rails. Many SMW cities host pre-week launch events as press conferences, lunches or virtual events, but Augmendy had the ingenious idea to go above and beyond all of that with a cross-country blast that managed to combine all of the above plus networking, high-speed travel and multiple SMW city connectivity.

How did it all happen? For ”Journey to the Center of the Net”, the Augmendy team worked with SMW Rome sponsor Ferrovie Dello Stato, aka the Italian Rail, to commandeer a high speed train heading from Milan to Rome for an SMW journey like no other. This event pulled in leaders and luminaries from the Italian tech, media and press and invited them to take the three hour trip across SMW cities to connect and learn more about social media “in Italia”. This event featured an immersive cultural speed dating experience where attendees rotated on 10 minute shifts of meeting face-to-face with other train attendees. The event then wrapped with a press conference at the Central Station, where SMW Rome held court throughout the week.


Facebook-building brand KickApps organized an energetic session in New York last February at JWT for the Advertising & Marketing Hub called “Social Strategy Cage Match: Offense vs. Defense” that focused on social strategies taken by brands. The conversation saw an array of agency leaders split into two different teams and were given a series of scenarios where each team had to come up with an “offensive” (proactive) or defensive strategy. By utilizing this unique format, it turned what would have been an interesting panel into an awesome and exciting event that both shared ideas and gave a window into the thinking processes of some of the world’s pre-eminent agency experts.


Enabling audience participation in learning is another way to create significant and memorable event experiences. One such example was an event organized by IDEO in February 2010 called “Humanizing Social Media” that sought to explain the framework of the social web functions by integrating attendees into the event itself.

IDEO’s invited guests into their office and created an event posing the following question: as people grapple for meaning in an increasingly connected world, how can we bring the “human” back into social media? By creating an environment that asked attendees to wander around, interact with, and interrogate each other, it played with the idea of social connection in its most basic, human form, yet still within the context of today’s methods of communication. Like few other event experiences, everyone came away with the feeling that they’d learned and had fun in ways non-standard to the events they typically attend.

So what can your brand do to take part in Social Media Week New York this February? Brainstorm and think big! If you know already, go here to submit your event or get involved, or contact us if you want help talking through an idea.