October 16-18, 300 AdThrive publishers gathered in Austin, Texas for an intensive two and a half days of learning from industry experts, networking with other top content creators, and eating some of the best Tex-Mex in the nation.
AdThrive Summit Day 1 Highlights
Registration was hopping all day as publishers arrived at the beautiful LINE Hotel Austin. We heard shouts of joy from friends who were meeting in person for the first time or reconnecting!
Each attendee received a bag of treats, including local goodies and a “Howdy” hat! When in Texas…
Those who arrived early were able to enjoy their gorgeous rooms, swim in the infinity pool, or head out to grab some authentic Austin cuisine. Then, at 4:00 pm, everyone gathered in the main ballroom to get the conference started.
AdThrive Welcome Session
We kicked off the Accelerate Summit with AdThrive’s CEO Michael Sanchez and Senior Vice President of Publisher Experience Courtney Kahn as they discussed AdThrive’s place in the programmatic advertising industry. They shared AdThrive’s future-forward mindset which will provide our publishers with the most money long-term.
AdThrive’s Vice President of Communications Brynne Delerson joined them on stage with an exciting announcement: Revenue by URL is coming soon to the AdThrive publisher dashboard! The crowd responded with a huge cheer!
Major takeaway: Changes are coming in the ad industry, but the AdThrive team is ready to support publishers today, tomorrow, and years into the future!
Ben & Erin Napier from HGTV’s Hometown
Next onstage were our opening keynote speakers, Ben and Erin Napier. They shared their inspiring story of how they revitalized their hometown and ended up with their own HGTV show!
Major takeaway: Go after your wildest dreams and don’t listen to naysayers. Also, “Future BFF” makes a killer email subject line when you need to get someone’s attention.
After our kickoff sessions, it was party time at the Summit! Attendees mingled and chatted while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and drinks.
Then it was either off to bed or out to enjoy some Austin nightlife, including watching the famous bats (over one million!) pour out from under Congress Bridge!
AdThrive Summit Day 2 Highlights
The second day of the AdThrive Summit was jam-packed with options, so we started things bright and early with a delicious breakfast at the LINE Hotel, then headed into our first session of the day.
Own The Room
Bill Hoogterp kicked off the first morning and had the whole room on our feet, literally! He taught Own The Room’s creative ways to approach introductions that you can use in-person or on video and encouraged attendees to try out his methods during the session.
Major takeaway: Get your audience’s attention by involving them and making your message relevant to their life.
During our general session on Google Trends, Becky Pinnington (Trends Data Curator at Google News Lab) demonstrated how this resource can help you decide how to approach content creation and promotion. She shared lots of amusing statistics from Google searches.
For example: Did you know New Year’s Eve is the top day of the year for cocktail recipe searches, and New Year’s Day is the top day for searches for hangover relief?
Major takeaway: We tend to all search for the same things around the same time, but there are lots of unique insights to be found when you slice that data based on region, intent, or related topics.
SEO & Email Sessions
Subdivided into basic and advanced level sessions, our goal was to help each attendee find the perfect level of instruction to help them take their SEO or email strategy to the next level.
Day 2 breakout sessions
On Day 2, attendees had their pick of a selection of breakout sessions covering a range of topics from copyright law specifics for publishers with Kevin Kuzas to more hands-on Own The Room training with Bill.
We also offered sessions with AdThrive team experts on trends in the programmatic ad industry, opportunities with video, and all the possibilities with Google Analytics reporting.
Austin has fully embraced scooters as an easy way to get from point A to point B in this bustling city. After a full day of conference sessions, many attendees (and the AdThrive team) got adventurous and explored Austin by scooter!
AdThrive Summit Day 3 Highlights
Growing a Dream Team with Joy Cho
Joy Cho opened Day 3 with a super-informative presentation on how to grow a dream team for your business. She gave great tips on a successful hiring process, what to do when it’s time to “set someone free”, and how to create healthy boundaries between work and your personal life.
Major takeaway: As the leader of your business you may need to be a generalist, but it’s best to hire specialists who can help you grow in essential areas and support your overall vision.
Day 3 breakout sessions
Day 3 came with even more awesome breakout session options! Jane Friedman shared her vast knowledge of the publishing industry and helped publishers learn all about different paths to publishing a book. Shelly Fagin joined us to give demonstrations on using SEMrush for deep research.
And Erin Loechner sat down with AdThrive’s Erin Street for a heart-to-heart discussion about how busy entrepreneurs can find balance between work and life.
What do you do when an emergency prevents your closing keynote speaker from flying out to join you? We capped off the conference with a fun and tasty surprise: Voodoo Donuts!
No one wanted to say goodbye to one another and the great city of Austin, so publishers and the AdThrive team lingered to chat, finish conversations, and make plans for the first things to tackle once we all arrived home.
Will there be an AdThrive Accelerate Summit in 2020?
Well, not just one Summit…
But that’s all we can say for now 😉