DMA’s &Then Conference 2015: The Top 5 Take-Aways

Annnnd that’s a wrap! As the DMA’s &Then Conference came to an end yesterday afternoon, BostInno was there to soak up the expertise of some of the world’s most innovative and disruptive advertising tech and marketing tech businesses. Marketers from Jebbit, Cortex, ReFUEL4, Outleads, and Vistar Media filled us in on what their biggest take-aways from the four-day conference were:


  1. The real prize of the HOT ZONE was the exposure.


The winners of &Then’s HOT ZONE competition had the chance to take home $25,000, $10,000 or $5,000 in cash prizes, but for many of the finalists, the ability to showcase their products was the real prize. “The most valuable part was the exposure,” Dorin Rosenshine, Founder and CEO of Outleads, said, “being able to be on the floor of this show is something we would never be able to afford otherwise. Having this is a huge opportunity.” Being highlighted via the HOT ZONE granted companies the attention of potential clients and customers — an invaluable bonus for their businesses. “It’s looking like we are getting a good amount of very warm leads from here, which is great,” Rosenshine said.


  1. &Then makes for some killer networking opportunities.


With so many successful companies under one roof, &Then was an ideal place for networking and swapping trade tips. Jen Gallagher, Senior Account Executive at Vistar Media, noted “especially in the HOT ZONE, I feel like all of the companies have been really sociable and really good about going table to table and finding out what everybody else is up to and what each company has to offer. We’re comparing experiences in the startup space and it’s nice to understand what other types of companies are out there going through the same growing pains the same excitements that we’re going through.” For newer startups, like Outleads, the face-to-face networking can open doors for other new relationships. “I have connected with a few of the other companies and we were networking and making introductions for each other so that’s been hugely helpful,” said Rosenshine.


  1. It is also a perfect place to get feedback from clients and customers.


&Then allowed businesses time to connect and interact with clients and customers in a new setting. Jen Gallagher, Senior Account Executive Vistar Media, said “I think it’s been really exciting to have some good conversations with folks from the client side who are truly interested in innovative and new partners and who are really looking to think outside the box with their strategies for 2016.” By having the moment to gauge feedback with potential clients and other industry professionals companies like Vistar Media can “skip the step of trying to understand whether or not a new client actually is interested in the innovative new technologies,” said Gallagher, “It’s been pretty fantastic to hang out here and let them come to us and let them ask the questions and really engage.”


  1. High level attendees forced companies to step up their games.


For some, like Vernon Vasu, Executive Director at ReFUEL4, the high-performing quality of the companies and audience present at &Then pushed participating companies to succinctly define what they do. “Because of the quality of the delegates we really had to sharpen our presentation. We had to cut it down and get to the point a lot faster. So, being here has really proved our understanding of our own company and what the market really needs. It’s been a great lesson in refinement.”


  1. DMA put a spotlight on Boston as a marketing and technology hub.


Cortex, Jebbit and AdAgility represented Boston as finalists in the HOT ZONE competition but beyond that, hosting the event in Boston further puts a radar on our city as a hub for innovative technology, this time in the adtech and martech realms. “Events like this are bringing global marketing leaders and decision makers from from around the world into the area and they’re going to start associating Boston as a hub for marketing technology,” said Lemieux of Jebbit, “It’s a great testament to how fast the marketing technology industry in Boston is actually growing.” Brennan White, Cortex co-founder, was in agreement: “I am in full support of anything that brings attention to Boston. Conferences like this happening here in a great space bringing people to Boston is awesome.” Networking face-to-face with companies in the same field provides opportunities to team up with them and potentially collaborate in the future.



Winner of Facebook’s Innovation Spotlight Award for Creativity, ReFUEL4 is the world’s leading data-driven creative platform. We deliver ad designs from 10,000 global creators backed by AI technology capable of predicting ad performance and fatigue. We own the world’s only automatic creative refresh platform that supports scalable production, intelligent selection, auto-swapping and auto-refresh of creatives for campaign optimization. Find out how we can ReFUEL your next Facebook or Instagram campaign.


Andre Malan

South African living in Singapore - husband, dad, fixer of all things digital. Fan of anything outdoors, thrillseeking and barbecue-related. :)