CODACAN Media Summit Agenda Defies Logic

May 11, 2012 by Dave Haynes

The CODACAN digital media summit is next Thursday in Toronto, and I have been weighing whether I have the time to tear downtown to sit in. The email I got this morning pretty much cemented the case for not bothering.

Fully half of the three-hour event designed to raise mindshare and understanding of the medium is a supplier panel involving people who operate on the outer fringes of the medium, selling panels, software and installation services.

No, really.

And I quote:

Our exciting agenda covers everything from a global perspective of digital out-of-home, how agencies are taking advantage of the medium here in Canada, the possibilities that the right technology can open up, and why digital is the medium of the future.

CODACAN Summit 2012 Agenda:




Opening Remarks from CODACAN Chair

Charles Vachon (VP Sales, Captivate)


Keynote Address

Susan Danaher (President, DPAA)


Panel Discussion:

How Canadian Agencies are Succcessfully Selling DOOH to Brands
Moderated by Susan Danaher
Mike Power (VP Strategy and Innovation, MediaCom)
Kris Davies (VP, Media Experts)
Kristine Lyrette (Managing Director: Rogers, OMD)

OK, so halfway through … pretty good. We’ve heard from the people who control media dollars. So now let’s hear from the creative teams about great executions, or maybe from some of the Digital OOH networks like Astral, who ar doing some interesting work!

3:25pm-3:45pm Break


Panel Discussion:

Innovative Technologies that Maximize ROI/ROO
Moderated by Lyle Bunn
Andy McRae (General Manager, Scala Canada)
Bruno Pupo (National Sales Manager- Digital Signage Solutions, LG)
Dave Spence (VP, Coxcom)
Dwayne Brown (Senior Consultant- Digital Media and Venue Technologies, Westbury National Show Systems)


Closing Address

Lyle Bunn (Strategy Architect)

So … I know all of these guys. Good, solid and smart people. Lyle and Dave Spence I know really well. But their ties to the media business are like one of those degrees of separation games. Not a one will have ever bought or sold media.

If you have three hours to get in front of people who control media dollars for brands and are steadily pressured to be  creative for their clients, does it make sense to spend half of it on digital signage vendors talking about the stuff that makes it happen and how it gets put in and managed?


Except the numbers of actual CODACAN members who run networks is frightfully small, and the ones with the real weight aren’t even members. Pattison, Astral, CBS Outdoor, ClearChannel, NewAd and Zoom aren’t in CODACAN, though Pattison sorta kinda is via OneStop. So to pay the bills and fill the committees, you have suppliers as members. These are good companies but don’t really have any point of view or stake in the big issues faced by this media – like measurement, creative  and how and from what the dollars flow.

I suppose it’s just reality that if you want suppliers with the budgets that can buy memberships, they’re going to want to derive some sort of benefit. So they get a panel and visibility at a summit.

But will this, in any way, advance the medium?


The event is at the Steam Whistle Brewery, pretty much at the base of the CN Tower in Toronto,  this coming Thursday from 2-5 pm. It is free and there is beer in immediate proximity.

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