K8 East 2019 Recap.
Every year, in coming up with a theme for K8, our annual summit, we think about who we are as a company and what’s happening in the world at large—both within the advertising industry and outside of it.
The process is a good one, because it gives us a chance to zoom out of our day jobs and reflect a little bit on what Skai is really about at that moment in time, where we really fit in the ecosystem. And, more critically, what’s really on your minds, our valued clients and partners.
We try to sum it up in a few words and then build a full day’s (or more, in some years) agenda around the ideas that have surfaced. And thus, a theme is born.
Skai’s CEO Yoav Izhar-Prato, COO Shirley Grill-Rachman, and Senior Marketing Manager Lily Rotter hash out some ideas over coffee
This year’s theme, Knowledge is Power, felt right because—let’s face it—we are living in crazy times, and knowing how to navigate them is everything. There’s never been more capability at our fingertips, and turning that into possibility is something we’re still all figuring out together—tech platforms, publishers, agencies and advertisers alike. We’re learning where to draw lines, how to harness all of this data we keep talking about, and with it, empower ourselves to do right both professionally and personally.
Let’s get this K8 East 2019 party started
K8 East 2019 was first of this year’s two regional K8s, taking place on Monday, May 20. There, we dug deep into these concepts through discussions and presentations representing a mix of compelling thought leaders, industry trends, Skai platform expertise, and interaction with the media and publishers you rely on to reach your brand goals every single day.
To sweeten the deal, we did it all at the stunning Brooklyn Botanic Garden, awash in warm sunshine (that was lucky!) and the mind-clearing scents of eucalyptus and lavender.
Our morning kicked off with an intro and short history lesson from our sages on the connection of plants and trees to the quest for knowledge by Skai VP Sandeep Hardas, who, as MC, offered us some new perspective throughout the day.
VP, Strategic Accounts, Sandeep Hardas, Skai as MC of K8 East
Renowned marathon swimmer Diana Nyad, as our morning keynote, shared her incredible story of personal growth and commitment to a singular goal over the course of a lifetime. She reminded us that the importance of gathering data points and relying on our teams aren’t only relevant to our professional lives. We were rapt while she also played the trumpet, sang an enviable Janis Joplin, and made us both laugh and cry to the universality of her message. This made for a pretty unforgettable 9 AM on a Monday.
Renowned marathon swimmer, Diana Nyad
Skai CEO Yoav Izhar-Prato kept us listening, feeling, and thinking with his unique way of exploring the impact that new insights have on our perspectives and experiences. He then grounded us back in the here-and-now with a live whiteboarding session, connecting the dots to Skai’s vision to go beyond application and execution to help our 2,000+ clients access and interpret data to make better, faster decisions with it.
CEO Yoav Izhar-Prato, Skai
Next, VP of Corporate Development Tom Affinito shared an outlook of the trends and opportunities that we all need to be focused on right now, the new business models changing the game, and he taught us a thing or two about rainbow bagels (apparently they’re a thing!).
VP Corporate Development, Tom Affinito, Skai
Wrapping up the morning, Chief Product Officer Zvika Goldstein gave us a peek at the value pillars Skai is engineering towards and the crazy innovation coming from Skai R&D in every. single. channel. Think AI-based features that are unprecedented and unparalleled in the space that actually make your work life a whole lot easier along with deep integrations with partners like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Pinterest, Facebook, and Apple. He finished by dropping the incredibly exciting announcement of Skai’s solution for incrementality testing, Impact Navigator—the first in a suite of upcoming data intelligence offerings.
As you can see, even Yoav was on the edge of his seat:
Chief Product Officer Zvika Goldstein, Skai
Lunch took us for a garden stroll to the jaw-droppingly beautiful Palm House.
In addition to enjoying a delicious, fresh spread and networking with your peers at K8 East 2019, you could hang with our sponsors or give plant listening a whirl—another thing that I learned is, in fact, a thing!
K8 East 2019: Act 2
After lunch, K8 East 2019guests chose their own adventures and broke out into tracks to talk specifics in Search, Social, Ecommerce, and Apps. There, we went under the hood of each solution, learned firsthand from relevant Skai clients how to drive a successful program, and heard from our friends at Google, Facebook, Amazon and Oracle about what’s hot on their minds. We also held an open, casual exec brainstorm on the challenges of marketing measurement and attribution facing marketers and advertisers today.
Skai’s VP Corporate Partnerships Tom Affinito and GM, Ecommerce Oren Stern
Head of Performance Data Science Ben Royce, Google
Global Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Claudia Virgilio, Skai and Senior Manager, Product Adam Dhanens, Oracle
Supervising Marketing Manager Lyly Tran, Strategic Education, and Expert Services Team Lead Mark Sherman, Skai
The last part of the day included a session on the massive Apple Search Ads opportunity by Skai VP Paul Vallez and agency partner Chacka Marketing. They surfaced this pro tip: If you’re not yet leveraging ASA and your business has a mobile app, you’re being kinda slow on the draw. Get on that!
We also heard from more of the broader ecosystem including headline sponsor Microsoft on the importance of inclusivity in marketing, Verizon Media on how native is impacting customer experience and AdMarketplace on their new technology, Conducive Search.
Head of Research Kelli Kemery, Microsoft Advertising
Director of Native Advertising Sales Giuseppe La Rocca, Verizon Media
Fireside chats with advertisers Zinus Mattress and The Home Depot on how to disrupt retail—and how to avoid being disrupted!—were led by Skai Social GM John Dobrowolski, which brought a wrap to the headier content of the day.
And to close us out, Joyful author and TED speaker Ingrid Fetell-Lee got us dancing in our seats, contemplating why moments of joy are so critical in life and work, and learning how to actively cultivate them.
Ingrid Fetell-Lee, Founder, The Aesthetics of Joy and Author of Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness
But K8 East 2019 wasn’t over yet
That put us all in a pretty good mood, a vibe that carried over to our pond-side cocktail reception, which included incredible live violinists, drinks and bites galore, and bonding opportunities like honey making, succulent planting and garden tours.
So…yeah. We packed a lot in. By the end of the day, there was a powerful clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose kind of buzz reverberating from everything we had learned and experienced together in twelve short hours. We’d taken a journey, but for most of our guests, all conveniently close to home.
And the best part? We don’t have to wistfully say take me back! just yet because we’ll do it all again — though a little differently, of course — on June 12th at Filoli Garden Estate in San Mateo, California for a new group of our valued partners in this wild industry.
Want to be part of the action?
Couldn’t make it to East? You can still join us for K8 West! We can’t wait to make more memories with you.