LAS VEGAS — As 2024 hots up following a long winter, many media and advertising executives will be gathering in Florida for the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting (ALM), running January 28 to 30.

David Cohen, CEO, IAB, says: “The goal of ALM is to set the agenda for the industry for the coming year.” A blend of brands, agencies, ad tech, publishers, and platforms, the event aims to provide a representative snapshot of the industry’s biggest players.

But, with a beautiful location like Marco Island as the backdrop, attendees can expect a mix of work and play.

High-profile Speakers, Hot Topics

The conference will feature an array of high-profile speakers, including the CMOs of Liberty Mutual, Best Buy and Unilever. “We have more CMOs coming than ever before,” Cohen says.

Sessions will cover a spectrum of hot-button issues, from artificial intelligence to privacy, addressability and the creator economy.

Cohen emphasises: “AI is going to be a huge topic for ALM, (also) privacy and addressability (will be) big year this year.”

Cookie deprecation will also be discussed. On January 4, 2024, Google began rolling out Tracking Protection for 1% of a randomly-selected group of Chrome users, due to ramp-up through 2024.

“We’ve been talking about third party cookie deprecation for a long time,” Cohen says. “It’s finally happening. Is the industry ready? Are you testing? What are you doing in that regard?”

Privacy, Sustainability, and Content Creation

The conference will tackle the complexities of privacy compliance across disparate state laws, while pushing for national privacy reforms. Sustainability and responsible journalism will also be under the spotlight.

“We’re going to talk about responsible media, which encapsulates responsible journalism, DEI, sustainability.

The “streaming wars” are also on the agenda in respect of advertising.

New Leadership and Balancing Act

The event will also see a change in leadership, with Vice Chair John Halley from Paramount ascending to the chair seat – a traditional progression for the event.

“We have a new vice chair as well, which I can’t reveal just yet – but a very exciting person moving into that spot,” Cohen hints.

The CEO acknowledges the balancing act between social interaction and information learning at such events.