The IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting is an occasion for thought leaders to come together and share ideas that help to set the tone for the media and marketing industries throughout the year. Next month’s gathering in Marco Island, Florida, will include a significant presence of executives from major brands such as Pepsi, UPS, General Motors and Shake Shack. Media buyers from a variety of agencies also will be there.

“We’re particularly pleased about and proud of who we’ve been able to bring to the stage,” David Cohen, chief executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), said in this interview with Beet.TV. “We have more CMOs and CEOs speaking on the stage than we have ever had before.”

Among the featured speakers is Alex Rodriguez, the former Major League Baseball star who is part owner of the Minnesota Timeberwolves. He will share insights on investing in the future of sports.

“IAB brings everyone – buy side and sell side – together,” Cohen said, “and if our attendance so far is any indication, we are going to have very good representation from brands, from agencies, publishers, platforms and adtech.”

The conference agenda includes discussions about timely topics such as data privacy and regulation, media measurement, full-funnel advertising and marketing and the changing media landscape. Newer technologies such as the metaverse and blockchain also will be featured.

About 1,000 attendees are signed up to attend the exclusive gathering, which this year emphasizes the power meeting others in person instead of virtually. The event won’t be livestreamed, a welcome change for anyone who has spent many hours in Zoom calls during the pandemic.

“This is not a spectator sport. This is a participatory sport and our theme for this year, which is ‘It Starts Here,’ is really an homage to that,” Cohen said. “Everyone needs to get in the game to figure out the industry that we want to have, lest it be figured out for us.”

Editor’s Note:  Beet.TV is media partner to the IAB and will be on location at the ALM conference to produce a video series in partnership with the IAB and Index Exchange.