The 2016 TAB/OAAA Out of Home Media Conference and Expo is in the books and this year was a huge success.
With a focus on the “Big Picture”, I think the conference was right on track. We were so excited to learn that the industry is moving forward with the environment in mind and that greening practices are becoming the norm, not the exception, in out-of-home (OOH) advertising. Plus, who doesn’t love a getaway to Boca Raton?
Relan was lucky enough to offer the conference bags again this year - we created 800 tote bags for attendees to use during their stay with the help of Apparatix and ISCO. The Relan booth was conveniently located next to the check-in tables and we had a blast seeing everyone pick up their conference bag upon check in. It was great meeting with attendees as they wandered the expo and we received great feedback on the bags.
Here are a few highlights from the weekend:
Kinetic Worldwide’s ‘Kinetic Future’
I finally had the chance to meet David Krupp, CEO, U.S. of Kinetic Worldwide. Kinetic is working with several clients who have large-scale sustainability missions. To support this growing market, Kinetic has a new program called Kinetic Future, an industry-first division dedicated to clients’ sustainability initiatives by offering strategy, creative, and media planning services. Another win for Kinetic Future was that it was the first major project created by Kinetic Worldwide’s Junior Board.
Krupp recently published an article called “The Art of Pause”, which I highly recommend reading. In the article, he pauses and looks at the beautiful art created by OOH advertising. He said, "It’s the moment when a great piece of copy posted on a perfect location makes you do a double-take. This is where and when content, context, and location are fully in sync."
The future of advertising, as told by a 3-year-old
Ian Dallimore, Director of Innovation & Digital Strategy at Lamar Advertising Company, wrote “The Future of Advertising” from the eyes of his 3-year old children. Ian said it well, "Knowing and working for a company and industry that has been around for over 115 years, I have come to understand what evolution means for the advertising business. Billboards have moved from hand paint, to vinyl, to digital; now, to remain successful, the industry needs to move toward connecting mobile devices and wearables with OOH."
The digital avenue is a game changer for OOH. When you can interact with static media, it makes the impact so much larger and longer lasting. I believe the industry will adapt to meet this demand and it’s something we’re also working on here at Relan.
Green for the win
Clear Channel’s recycling of their polyethylene (PE) into railroad ties and Lamar rolling out a live-streamed digital PSA campaign to promote recycling were two big wins for the greening of the industry.
“Most people aren't aware that recycling in our country is on the verge of collapse due primarily to the mistakes people make when recycling.”
-Executive Director, Mitch Hedlund
Clear Channel also announced that they are converting all of their upcoming billboards to PE from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This will allow them to recycle their media and convert old materials into new products rather than send more material to landfills.
With this news, we also learned that PE is now a much different and better material due to the work of the Cooley Group, who manufactures the product in the U.S. and owns a 70% share of the U.S. market. Thanks to their efforts, PE is recyclable.
The Cooley Group’s President and CEO, Daniel Dwight, shared that PE does not have to be a "crunchy, hard to print on" material that we have seen in the past. Instead, they are using PE to make products strong, durable, flexible, and beautiful for the US market. It was so enlightening to finally know where the majority of the material we work with comes from!
Though there are still challenges for this industry with inks, dyes, and other materials, it is a relief to know that we are moving in the right direction.
Meeting the friendly faces behind the industry
The night we arrived to Boca Raton, we happened to run into OAI Corp’s CEO and founder, Michael Garcia, who was kind enough to give us a lift after we realized we were lost. You can imagine our surprise when we showed up to the conference the next morning and learned our booth was right next to OAI Corp!
Garcia is a genuine, caring, and intelligent company and industry leader, and it was a pleasure to learn more about all of the innovative things happening at OAI Corp.
We also had the opportunity to meet Susan Bennett - AKA Siri - at the conference. So fun to put a face to the voice so many of us rely on every day!
What’s next for the industry?
Overall, the feeling at the conference was that things are just starting to heat up. With only 5% of the current inventory of billboards using digital, there is so much opportunity for growth and expansion. The OOH industry is a fun, creative, and innovative place to be right now. Looking at the “Big Picture” has made us realize that in OOH, “image is everything”.
From the entire Relan team, I want to say thank you to Jan Harkins with RMA Meetings and to the TAB and OAAA teams for giving us the opportunity to produce the bags for the conference again this year. We also want to thank Apparatix for sponsoring the bags and ISCO for donating the amazing material!