Notes From The Road: IAB Ukraine Connect In Kyiv

Yesterday, I had the great honor to speak at the Interactive Advertising Bureau Ukraine’s first Connect conference in Kyiv -- also one of its few in-person events since the full-scale invasion of the country by Russia more than two years ago.

It was really special to be there in person. I enjoyed giving a talk about how advertising and ad tech matters to Ukraine and the world -- not just because they are strong economic drivers, but also because they help fund independent journalism, so important in a young democracy like Ukraine, as it defends itself from Russian attacks that include massive misinformation and disinformation efforts.

This is my fourth visit to Ukraine over the past year, and my first coinciding with an IAB Ukraine events. I continue to be blown away by the resilience of the people here. They are truly awe-inspiring and go about their lives and business with a degree of normalcy that is hard to describe -- keeping calm and carrying on, even when they are awoken at 3:45 a.m. with missile alarms telling them to go to bomb shelters, as they were last night.



Also presenting in person from a long distance away was my good friend Marty Krátký-Katz, the exited founder of Blockthrough, who announced the creation of a platform for nonprofits supporting Ukraine to be able to run their digital ad campaigns for free.

A particular favorite presentation for me was delivered by Nickolas Rekeda, CMO of Mgd, recounting the history of digital advertising and its critical milestones, beginning with the AT&T banner placement on in 1993. After he spoke, I told him that I had just watched most of my professional career in this industry pass by me. Like the optimists that all Ukrainians are today, he told me, “No. You just saw the present and future of your career, and it’s just starting to get fun!”

How right Nickolas is!

Leave it to someone who lives and works in a war zone, with so much difficulty happening around him, to see what a bright future our industry has. We can all learn from that.

1 comment about "Notes From The Road: IAB Ukraine Connect In Kyiv".
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  1. Donald Frazier from OneVideo Technology, May 30, 2024 at 2:52 p.m.

    Provocative teaser! When can we expect the rest of it?

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