Syncapse Platform Launch, Avenue Lounge, New York
Epic Media Group ad:tech Bash, Hudson Terrace, New York
November 3, 2010
I pulled my thick ponytail in front of my face and took a big whiff. Branded Evolution's Dave Ford and I had swiftly exited the RadiumOne party, but not fast enough to avoid the sticky stink of cigarette smoke. It had already taken root in my hair. I was pleased to see a sign at the entrance of Syncapse Platform's Launch Party at Avenue Lounge asking nicotine addicts to refrain from damaging puffing.
Avenue Lounge is a pretty sweet space. It is a very small rectangular spot with the vibe of an old library. Décor was minimal, with Elizabethan frames and a chandelier here and there. A tiny rounded bar was situated at the back of the room and next to it was a photobooth setup. I love photobooths. I think everyone does. The Syncapse Platform folks hooked the photobooth up to flatscreens so everyone (at that point, maybe eight people) could gape and giggle at your model behavior.
Yummy edibles like crispy golden waffle fries either fried with truffle oil or sprinkled with truffle oil salt made their way into my mouth. The summer rolls were crunchy, fresh treats that cooled off my waffle fry burn. Meg Sinclair, Corporate Communications Manager at Syncapse, was making sure everyone was taken care of, and I'd say the bar or previous bars had already well-lubed quite a few characters, particularly the one who, upon noticing my fun bejeweled leopard ring, said "I'll bet you're a scratcher in bed." He then turned to his friend and said "Don't you think she's a scratcher in bed?!" loudly.
Are you cringing?
Yeah, so was I. I didn't even have a witty comeback to bury him with, I was just shocked that yet again, at an ad:tech related function, I was being made uncomfortable with sexual remarks. Obviously, it was time for me to go.
I headed up to Hudson Terrace, still feeling grimy from the guy's comment, a comment I did nothing to invite, unsure of how long I would be able to stay at the Epic bash, which is notoriously a drunken dance parade.
As I stepped into line, two drunk girls not on the list were trying to get in, saying they knew someone there. I said to the guys behind me, "What does it say about you that you're trying to sneak into an industry party?" We laughed, talked about what we did and then one guy told me I had pissed everyone off on the expo hall floor with my commentary on the relentless phone calls.
"Wrong! You're wrong!" he barked at me. "No one sells your information!" I was confused. "I didn't say anyone sold my information." "Yes you did," he continued, "You said that when you signed up, you got put on a list and kept getting calls." His last sentence was absolutely true. "Exactly," I agreed, "I registered for a press pass, was put on a list, and everyone started calling me multiple times a day." I have no idea where it sounded like I accused ad:tech of selling my information. I reread my post 80 times when I got home to double check. I still don't see it.
How much it would suck if PR people were hammering press types' phones about expo booth visits, unbeknownst to the booth people? Either way, after our healthy debate, the guy was jovial enough, and I was just happy to meet someone who read my column.
Inside, the party was already at 11. The dance floor was packed, the line to the open bar was at least five-people deep and the music was exactly what I needed to get me through the rest of the night. I love the Epic ad:tech party because it's like watching a college night out with 10 to 20 years tacked on. Men in suits doing the pointy finger dance, puffy-jacket guy doing the Jersey Shore fist pump, everyone watching the two girls dance suggestively together, that one gal with the wobbly drinking hand who will no doubt miss the next day's morning sessions, the loud sweaty newbies, grabbing their friends for photos, tossing back shots, yelling that "this is my jam!" when that "I throw my hands up in the air sometimes" song comes on. It's all quintessentially ad:tech.
I stayed longer than I expected- there were just so many lively characters to play with - that and the music was fantastic. I left just after White Castle delivered a truckload of Crave Cases. I tell you what, I'll take the smell of White Castle over Marlboro any day.
If I had to ask for one change reflected in ad:tech NY 2011, it would be topics of conversation. More like topics to avoid, like your toilet parts. I'm serious.