We dropped in at ad:tech Tokyo on the 21st of October. It took place in Tokyo Midtown and the Ritz-Carlton in Akasaka, near cosmopolitan Roppongi.
It was smaller than expected, with one hall filled with exhibitors’ booths and another with booths and a presentation stage. The event was professionally executed, staff were welcoming, many of them speaking outstanding English, not to mention the exhibitors, who could flawlessly respond to our inquiries.
Unlike a number of other trade events in Tokyo where a dark suit and bright shirt, if not a tie, is usually expected, the dress code here appeared to be relaxed, T-shirts and jeans dominating the scene. In stark contrast with this was the high standard of talent, and in line with inclusivity this included a number of powerful female speakers. All our enquiries were answered in detail, and as a result we could learn a lot about the current state of the industry landscape in Japan, including developments that don’t necessarily have a direct impact on our current activities, but may help us recommend solutions to clients whose needs we otherwise would be unable to fulfil. English language literature was practically non-existent, which made some sense, since most attendees appeared to be locals. On the other hand, some Japanese exhibitors could definitely benefit from English language content online, as this is often a primary barrier of entry to reach Japanese customers and vice-versa.
Most presentations and panel discussions were conducted in Japanese, at times enhanced with bilingual slides, some speakers were presenting in English with an interpreter, or having near real-time digital translation provided by Rozetta’s Onyaku platform. The latter two would be a welcome feature at more Japanese tech gatherings as well. This meant that the event was not only a reasonable networking experience, but also, for expats like myself, a great opportunity to improve my Japanese.
We were fortunate to have interesting discussions with industry leaders and we’re thankful to all exhibitors and partners we visited ad ad:tech Tokyo. Amongst others, we’d like to thank Repro for sharing details about their ASO Insight tool that could be integrated into localization pipelines. Its features include keyword optimization, rankings, basic comparisons and more providing a simple workflow. This simplicity may be its virtue, potentially enabling a rapid workcycle of research, review, evaluation and implementation of keywords and other assets. Always great to learn from industry colleagues!
Considering recent news of significant decline in ad revenues, not excluding Alphabet, Amazon & Meta, it was great to see that such events still take place in the physical space.
All-in-all it was an afternoon well spent, and we will return next year. And who knows? Perhaps we will visit some of the other ad:tech events in New York, San Francisco, London or Singapore.
Post by Zoltan.