This week I spent a few hours wondering the cavernous exhibit hall at Ad-Tech San Francisco. After careful consideration, I present you with the 1st annual Blogation Ad-Tech Awards (sponsored by [insert name of AdSense advertiser to the right of this posting here]).

Best Ad-Tech Sponsorship:

The nominees are:

  • The floor in the entrance area (NetBlue)
  • The stairs (DoubleClick)
  • The lounge (WebMasterRadio?)
  • The computer terminals (don’t know)
  • The badges (Datran)
  • The bags (Casale?)
  • The coffee breaks (don’t know)
  • The air conditioning system (OK, I made that one up).

And the winner is (drum roll) . . . NetBlue. Hey, if you want people walking all over your brand, you deserve an award.

Best Promotional Schwag:

  • A money clip with two dollars included (I wish I had walked by that booth a few dozen more times . . .) – Commission Soup
  • Google gum – Google
  • Red fortune cookies handed out by three Israeli women dresses as “8s” with a drunk jester who seemed to be hitting on me – 888.com
  • “Opt-in” condoms from Arcade Rockstar
  • Free massages (do you really want to listen to a product pitch while getting a massage?) – Don’t know, but I think there were several nominees.

And the winner is . . . 888.com. Next time, though, I would prefer it if the 8s hit on me rather than the jester.

Most Indistinguishable Category of Exhibitors:

  • Online lead generation companies
  • SEM agencies
  • SEM technology companies
  • Search engines

And the winner is . . . online lead generation companies! Did you know that there are at least ten companies that are “the leaders in CPA marketing” with “the highest payouts”?

Best Ad-Tech Indication That We are Indeed in an Internet Bubble Again:

  • Journalists everywhere, mostly clueless;
  • VCs and I-bankers everywhere, looking for the next Google;
  • A gigantic exhibition hall with 7,000 attendees;
  • Lavish parties with no clear signage indicating the sponsoring company.

And the winner is . . . VCs and I-bankers. I actually saw VCs (from big firms, no less) coming up to the Adteractive booth inquiring whether we needed funding.

Best Trade Show Booth Wear:

  • The Miva girls (all blondes except for Kirsten, all wearing a cross between a Catholic school girl outfit and an Annie Lennox outfit);
  • The Sprokets guy from TaguchiNow;
  • The suave ‘Boys of Adteractive’ (well, the new shirts get a nod for ‘most-improved’ at any rate);

And the winner is . . . The Sprokets guy! Slicked back hair and a full red suit. Now we must Taguchi!

Best Name for a Company I Have Never Heard of:

  • Booyah Broadcasting Group
  • DAOODA
  • GreenPlum
  • Mochilla
  • Zanox

And the winner is . . . Zanox! Because it sounds like a drug you take for heartburn.

So there it is. Congrats to NetBlue, 888.com, TaguchiNow, Zanox, VCs and lead generation companies. You can pick up your awards from the 888 jester . . . if you dare.

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David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky is founder and CEO of 3Q Digital (formerly PPC Associates), a position he has held since the Company's inception in 2008. Prior to 3Q Digital, he held senior marketing roles at several Internet companies, including Rentals.com (2000-2001), FindLaw (2001-2004), Adteractive (2004-2006), and Mercantila (2007-2008). David currently serves on advisory boards for several companies, including Marin Software, MediaBoost, Mediacause, and a stealth travel start-up. David is a regular speaker at major digital marketing conferences and has contributed to numerous influential publications, including Venture Capital Journal, CNN Radio, Newsweek, Advertising Age, and NPR's Marketplace. David has a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. with honors from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, David enjoys salmon fishing, hiking, spending time with his family, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, not necessarily in that order.