MAD//Fest, the largest marketing festival in the UK, was created with a bold yet powerful mission: to shatter the well-known format of traditional gatherings and infuse them with an electrifying pulse that would make every marketer's heart race. For many, MAD//Fest became the epitome of marketing brilliance, setting the stage for mind-blowing experiences and jaw-dropping brand encounters.

MAD//Fest wasn't just another checkbox on the huge list of events we are attending this year — it was a special experience for SmartyAds as a sponsor and one of the speakers on the hottest subject of CTV advertising. Liz Tokareva, SVP, In-house Products, has explored the ins and outs of the event, and today she wants to share her insights on how to ensure that your next visit to MAD//Fest 2024 becomes unforgettable.

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What makes MAD//Fest so special?

Imagine this: you set foot into a magnificent event space. You get the breathtaking sight of a bustling hub of activity in front of you. This is a hub of innovation and connection, where vendor booths seamlessly blend into picnic tables, cabanas, and bars, inviting you to engage in conversations over refreshing beverages.


These outstanding settings invite attendees to take a break, relax, and forge new connections with like-minded professionals. The air is buzzing with excitement as people gather in these cozy corners, exchanging ideas, experiences, and business cards. Over 10,000+ brands, challengers + agencies gathered at this event, among them speakers from Samsung, Tesco, Unilever, Beiersdorf, Procter & Gamble, Hilton, and other prominent brands.

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The revolution of audio advertising, business trends in the gaming industry, TikTok marketing, capturing customer's attention with AI marketing tools, and of course, our own topic, 'Making the Most of AVOD & FAST's Rise in Recession', were among the most discussed ones on the agenda.

We engaged in conversations about the potential of AVOD and FAST channels and explored how advertisers could leverage them to their advantage amidst the global recession. Additionally, we facilitated a panel discussion, moderated the panel, and had the honor of featuring Liz as a keynote speaker. We were joined by esteemed industry leaders: Sara Vincent, the Managing Director for UK & IE at Index Exchange, who received the title of Ad Tech Personality of the Year in 2022, and Nicolas Grand, the Senior Vice President of Transformation for Global Investment at Omnicom Media Group.


We had three days to plunge into this atmosphere fully, and we are looking forward to scheduling the next MAD//Fest visit,


What's particular about MAD//Fest is that it works on an invite-only basis, but it opens an opportunity to connect with the most influential brands, visionaries, and agency decision-makers. More so, around 10% of tech masterminds gathering here are looking to strike collaborations with brands, agencies, and media players, so the space for networking is very promising. Reflecting on my time spent at this event, I absolutely recommend attending it to anyone interested in digital advertising. The value and insights gained are immeasurable, and to ensure an even more fruitful experience, I am eager to share my top tips for preparing for MAD//Fest in the coming year,

Top tips to prepare for MAD//Fest

Plan Your Speaking Sessions in Advance. One of the highlights of MAD//Fest is the exceptional lineup of speakers and the engaging content they deliver. Planning your attendance at speaking sessions in advance is crucial to make the most of the event. With a wide variety of topics on the agenda you need to highlight and select the most relevant ones that truly match your business needs and vision. With this, scheduling your sessions early on will ensure you don't miss out on any important discussions. By mapping out your itinerary, you can optimize your time and ensure you promptly arrive at each partner briefing and speaking session.

Arrive Early for Scheduled Meetings. If you have scheduled meetings during MAD//Fest, it's essential to factor in extra time for entering the venue. Due to the event's popularity, there may be a significant influx of attendees, leading to potential queues. Plan to arrive at the venue well in advance to avoid any last-minute rush and maximize your networking opportunities. This way, you can navigate entrance processes smoothly and be ready for your meetings without unnecessary stress.

Embrace the Festive Vibes. MAD//Fest is not a typical corporate conference; it's a festival filled with vibrant energy and festive vibes. As you attend the event, remember to embrace the relaxed atmosphere and leave behind excessive formality. From picnic tables to cabanas, MAD//Fest offers unique settings for networking and socializing. So, don't hesitate to engage in conversations, connect with fellow attendees, and enjoy the lively ambiance. Remember, a little fun goes a long way in building relationships and creating memorable experiences.

The last word

MAD//Fest serves as a global gathering point for marketers, where professionals from around the world unite to exchange ideas, showcase cutting-edge innovations, and establish valuable connections with prominent industry influencers.

It is a dynamic platform that fuels collaboration, fosters creativity, and propels the marketing industry forward. It is a truly vibrant community that breathes innovation and fun, and we are happy that we could be a part of it this year. From attending the most captivating sessions to optimizing your networking opportunities. This way you'll certainly ensure a remarkable and rewarding experience at the event in 2024. So, follow our preparation tips and stay tuned for more!

If you are curious to find out more about the MAD//Fest from a sponsor's, speaker's, or just attendee's point of view, reach out to Liz at

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