IAB chief Guy Phillipson on why Mobile Engage will close to make way for 2016 Leadership Summit
The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK is to close the curtain on its annual Mobile Engage event, in recognition of mobile’s ubiquity within the marketing and media landscape.
Instead the trade body will extend its main Engage event to span two days next Autumn, and is preparing to launch a new Leadership Summit in 2016.
IAB UK chief exectuive Guy Phillipson said: "Mobile Engage was started in 2010 at a time when both mobile revenue and smartphone penetration were quite low, and advertisers hadn’t even started to get to grips with it.
"But if you wind forward to 2015 smartphone penetration is massive, the traffic on mobile phones has surpassed laptops and PCs, and that will only continue to grow. And if you look at ad spend – in 2008 just two per cent of digital display was mobile, and now it is over a third."
He also pointed to the fact that the percentage of top 100 FTSE companies to have mobile optimised sites has risen from 37 per cent in 2010 to 87 per cent today - figures revealed by the IAB's annual mobile audits.
"For 2016 rather than have mobile in a silo it will be integrated into everything we do. And so we will make this the last one and turn Engage into a two-day digital fest, spanning mobile, content, and everything to do with the connected world," he added.
Meanwhile the new two-day Leadership Summit next year will aim to tackle the thornier issues in digital marketing, targeting C-level attendees from across the industry.
"There is a lot of work to do when it comes to things like digital strategy, there are loads of opportunites but also challenges we have to sort out too, whether it be programmatic, or how to drive cross-platfrom viewability, topics we will cover at the leadership summit.
"Digital is already the biggest medium by share and is still growing in double digits, but there are things to sort out like mobile measurement, how does mobile work in the programmatic arena. How to maxiamise viewability across platforms. It is being sorted across standard display but how is it working across in-feed for example.
"But not just about that – it will be for chief marketing officers who want to drive digital in new ways, and act like pureplays or publishers in some way; or drive a brand purpose in news ways using digital – we will covering all that too," said Phillipson.
Today (14 May) will be the final Mobile Engage, for which The Drum is media partner, with the theme expected to centre heavily around mobile's place within the connected landscape, focusing on topics including the internet of things.