There is no question it's been a rough go for the industry lately and we've had to show moderation at Cannes this year, but I still feel strongly that the IAF and our sponsorship bring together the top talent in the industry for an important get together at this point in Digital Advertising's journey. I was reminded recently of words from Bill Gates during a going away speech last June. Bill was sort of making fun of how politicians and business leaders always say "this is the most important time!" or "This election is the most critical in our nation's history!" and how that that we all tend to put more importance on a time or event versus the journey. I think those are great words to remember as we head to Cannes this year. Yes, it has been tough, but the Journey for digital is still young and we can and will live up to the promise.
Aside from Steve Ballmer making the trip this year to accept the Media Man of the Year award, I'm looking forward to Digital's role in this year's events. From our Forum on Tuesday discussing today, tomorrow and the future of Digital, to Steve's seminar on Wednesday, I'm anxious to see how the agencies, marketers and creatives are responding to digital. I've also been spending a lot of time in New York (benefit is some great videos to post with Nick Utton from eTrade and David Sable of Wunderman in the very near future) and I'm excited to see the international community and hear how the other regions of the world are thriving and adapting.
I have the good fortune of working on Steve's agenda for the event, working with him and his speech writers on his seminar speech, his agenda of meetings with customers and partners, and various demo's highlighting the power of multi-screen campaigns that target audiences in ways I certainly never could have imagined in the late 80s as a grunt media person at Leo Burnett. I hope you'll join us in Cannes on Tuesday for the Business Forum and Wednesday with Steve, and hear about how Microsoft is trying to build an innovative, customer driven, results-oriented digital canvas that agencies and marketers can paint upon to bring their brands and customers together in engaging ways never imagined. And if you can't join us in Cannes for the festival - we'll be working to bring the sessions to you. We'll be blogging, tweeting, capturing video, and updating our Facebook page - visit our Cannes Lions 2009 page where you can get an aggregated view of our content once the festival kicks off.
If you have any questions for Steve, let me know in the comments.