Five Things I Learned From Ad:Tech San Francisco

1 – It Cost More To Park a Car Than To Rent One

I rented a car for my Ad:Tech trip because I wanted to explore San Francisco a bit. Having the car also meant I can just put all the luggage in the truck on the last day – a nice benefit since my flight wasn’t until 7:30PM.

The car rental cost only $30 per day, which is about average for a mid-size. However, parking at the Palace hotel cost $48 per day. That has to be among the highest parking rates in the world! I only used the car on the last day of my trip so it wasn’t really the best use of resources. I’ll know better next time.

2 – Internet Advertising Is Alive and Well

Any assumptions that the Dot Com Bubble 2.0 is about to burst was busted at Ad:Tech. Judging by the size of the crowds and the number of companies attending, I say the Dot Com Money Train is alive and well and going at full speed. That was confirmed on Thursday when Google posted record first quarter profits.

3 – It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

While at the Ad:Tech press room, I met the publisher of Revenue magazine. I told her I would love a free subscription to the magazine but Revenue doesn’t offer free subscriptions to Canada. She took my business card and said she’ll take care of it. I await my first issue.

4 – Face To Face Is Still Where It’s At

It’s great that the Internet has allowed us to communicate instantly with people from all over the world. However, no amount of technology will ever replace good old fashion face-to-face networking. Building a relationship is so much easier when you’re looking at the person you’re trying to build a relationship with. And in this business, it’s all about the relationship.

5 – The Population of San Francisco is 1/3 Gay

San Francisco has the highest percentage of gays amongst its population (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course). Fully 1/3 of San Francisco is gay. I thought about that stat as I was walking the Ad:Tech show floor and came up with the fallowing conclusion.

If you look to the left, and you look to the right.
And if they’re not gay.
You are!

77 thoughts on “Five Things I Learned From Ad:Tech San Francisco”

  1. Thanks John. I’m starting to attend a few conferences and I’ll keep in mind not getting a rental. Taxis can usually take you anywhere for much less.

    1. Well looks like San Francisco is the perfect place to live for me. Not because I am gay, but the concurrence for girls is lower.

      1. Zedomax says:

        Lol….well welcome to the most free city in the world. The great thing about gay people in San Francisco is that it makes everything work smoothly. People in San Francisco are probably one of the most “open” minded people due to that fact that they accept gay people as normal human beings. I am not gay but after living in the city for couple years, I do appreciate what gay people have done for San Francisco. Without gay people, San Francisco wouldn’t be where it’s at today, center for shows and a place where everyone from the world can come and enjoy.

        Did you know that probably over 30% of city’s political and monetary power comes from Gay people? That is amazing regardless of sex-orientation.


        1. Wonder where gay are not considered as normal human beings. I actually love gay peoples, where I used to work before I had like 3-4 gay folks there, all funny and stuff…until they won’t get mad (sheesh imagine males that when get mad act like females, should you punch them or no? kidding).

          Well I had no clue about the percentage but just a short overview of the big stylists already makes everything clear. I live in Italy so neither here we don’t have trouble to find gays πŸ˜›

          Cheers Zedo πŸ˜‰

    2. unnikuttan says:

      i support that, although i have no car

    3. MR. NICE GUY says:

      Hahaha Mr. Chow you must be joking when you say 1/3 of the population in SF is gay. I think we have many commenters here who are from San Francisco. What do you think? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  2. Googlelady says:

    Interesting points. Unfortunetly in the future I can met you and met all bloggers who participate on those conferences.

      1. Well she’s fed up (just kidding, common it’s obvious it was a typo).

      2. Googlelady says:

        Oh sorry for the typo 😳

        1. unnikuttan says:

          I am sorry too!

    1. Paolo U says:

      I like to meet you.

  3. Ryan says:

    I think the revenue magazine people are full of it πŸ˜‰ I’m from Vancouver too, met them at the Ad Tech SF back in 06, and again in 07, and somehow manage to receive 3 copies of each issue!

    In regards to the car situation, definitely just grab taxis next time, between the cost of the car rental and the parking of the vehicle, you would be hard pressed to burn through that much money on taxis!

  4. Al Young says:

    Also add:
    Go to Michael Mina for fine dining and you won’t be disappointed.
    I learned some things spending time with you as well. I will share them in a later post.

    1. I would have to make as much as Chow to eat there.

      1. Syed Balkhi says:

        not really … if you are attending the conference then you should be able to afford the food as well.

  5. Steve says:

    Face to face is where it’s at. It’s hard to conduct business through a computer screen.

    1. MR. NICE GUY says:

      So that’s how expensive park rentals in San Francisco? Oh my…so better still rent a car if you only have important transactions in SF.

  6. Thiago Prado says:

    The last quote was the best. πŸ‘Ώ
    I’ve been there in 2006 for work and SF is really nice and full of gay people. But SF has more bums on the street then gay people.

    1. Are yuo taking into account that 1/3 of those bums are gay?

      1. Zedomax says:

        Actually, this is not true, bums are bums, I have maybe seen a single gay bum in my 3 years of residence in San Francisco. But yes, a funny joke…

      2. Terry Tay says:

        Not that there’s anything wrong with that πŸ˜†

        I miss Seinfeld πŸ˜€

        1. Yea, I miss Seinfeld too. Watch reruns as often as I can.

      3. Thiago Prado says:

        no 1/3 of the population are gay and another 1/3 are bums. 😈

        1. Flimjo says:

          And 1/3 are rich.

  7. Ed Hunsinger says:

    Having a car in San Francisco is the biggest pain. Next time you come to visit, grab a map of MUNI/BART and enjoy the entertainment of hoping buses and walking a block or two. Much easier on the blood pressure than trying to find parking spots or paying out the $$ to park in a garage.

    Sad I didn’t make it to the conference. Ironically I work a block away from Moscone, but was in Miami while the conference was going on.

  8. Jack McFarlane says:

    I guess you are gay then?

    1. Paolo U says:

      JC is not a gay because he has a family.

    2. Googlelady says:

      Do you have any problem if John is gay or not? πŸ™„

  9. $48 to park a car at the Palace for one day, that’s insane! I’m sure the room wasn’t cheap. I wonder how much they’d charge to sleep in the dumpster?

    1. Terry Tay says:

      Whatever the cost the meals would be included in the price 😯 πŸ˜†

      But yeah, $48 for one day of parking is insane!

  10. Travis says:

    Pretty hilarious and interesting read. That last quote should be on the California license plate.

  11. I just can’t help but think of Seinfeld when you said:

    “not that there’s anything wrong with that”


    1. Maybe if you look to the right you see George and if you look to the left you see Krammer. Not that here’s anything wrong with that.

  12. What if you are in the hotel room looking in the mirror?

  13. Ty Brown says:

    Crap, I’m alone as I’m reading this. I wonder if I’m the gay one.

    1. Ed Lau says:

      This is probably not the sort of thing you say out loud.

    2. Paolo U says:

      Then you must be a gay, LOL.

  14. Paolo U says:

    I’m going to attend some conferences on our country to meet with bloggers from our country.

  15. John,

    Why not just buy the Revenue Today magazine?
    $45 for 1 year is chump change, for you



    1. John Chow says:

      I can but why pay when you can get it for free? 😈

      1. Revenue is a pretty good magazine. I used to read it all the time, but they stopped carrting it at our local Barnes & Noble, bummer.

      2. Googlelady says:

        That’s one of the benefits being a “famous” blogger πŸ™„

      3. Thiago Prado says:

        that’s is true. you have to use all your popularity to get stuff for free.

      4. Terry Tay says:

        FREE is always good! What is that saying? The best things in life are always free. πŸ˜‰

  16. Hoo Kang says:

    Hey John,
    It was good to see you there.
    Apparently they had upwards of 10,000 people there. The internet is live and well. The corporations are a couple years behind Internet Marketers.


  17. Chetan says:

    Now talking about the last point, the two men beside you were supposingly not gay, so you??

    Btw $48 for car parking? Thats a lot!!

    1. Zedomax says:

      Yeah, John could be “Gay” as in Happy guy, but probably not as the other type….yet. He’s gotta come to SF more often.

  18. wisdom says:

    lol @ the gay comment.. never been there only san diego

    1. Zedomax says:

      Yeah people from elsewhere kinda see gay people as something weird sometimes but for me, I don’t see the difference except they dress nicer than non-homosexual people. Lol…

  19. John says:

    Parking in NYC on a Saturday from 9AM-11:30AM – $52 – and that is with an early bird discount. Now that is paying for parking(i get to expense that though)

    1. And to think I complain to pay $1 to $3 dollars to park.

  20. Brady Ware says:

    I lived in a studio apartment in San Francisco for a while (no I am not one of the gay guys) and my rent was 1400.00 per month. This being said some might think, wow I bet it was a nice studio. It was the size of a large pet carrier and I paid an additional 300.00 per month for a single parking space uncovered. I could of upgraded to a garage for 450.00.

  21. Ashley says:


    Sounds like a fun time.

    Did you find any new ad networks that you’re going to try out? Did you come away with any specific software / sites / tid-bits that you can point us towards?

  22. Zedomax says:

    Hey John,
    I did a review on CX Digital Media, you should check it out:

    Have u tried this? I guess they are based on Toronto and the affiliate manager Winkie Lee was trying to meet you too.

    I can get you in contact w/ her if you want… πŸ™‚

  23. Infogle says:

    all was good but at last it was looking all gay-ish :mrgreen:

  24. Ed says:

    Nice post.
    I am also out of States so I can’t subscribe to Revenue. Great magazine.

  25. Siddharth says:

    In the ad news where the gays come? I think when we are looking to the left and the right? 😎

  26. Great jokes….the gay ones and the replies.

  27. unnikuttan says:

    looks like in frankfurt

  28. Ecko says:

    What..? 1/3 of San Francisco is gay..? I’m sorry, John. This is the only point I really interested to. πŸ˜€

  29. Make Money says:

    San Francisco population 1/3 is gay lol ;).

  30. Make Money says:

    Is it gays that’s all matters in San Francisco? What about their Starbucks? πŸ˜€

  31. Hannah says:

    When I saw the first part I thought we were going to get a clever analogy… not a story about how it literally costs more to park!

  32. Wade says:

    I like your conclusion. I hope you saw gays to your left or right πŸ˜› Nice to have you back from ad:tech.

    Shudogg Dot Com – Make Money Online Blogging

  33. snh says:

    Thanks for sharing your nice experience! πŸ™‚

  34. Sunduvan says:

    I am a Gay. πŸ˜› Don’t belittle us gay. 😈

    1. Infogle says:

      Really…? with the name looks like you are indian ?

  35. AMAR BHAGAT says:

    Nice site with very technical information. It is very useful for newbies like me in this tech world. Bravo, keep up the good work..

  36. Kevin says:

    ” It Cost More To Park a Car Than To Rent One” This is really funny.

  37. The car thing is common sense for any big city, and SF is no exception.. NYC is the same way, only parking is even more expensive! Next time, utilize their public transit systems, and leave your luggage at the hotel.

  38. Syed Balkhi says:

    the gay joke is funny … Now I won’t look neither at the left nor at the right.

  39. Fitness Site says:

    lol. car parking cost more than hiring 😯
    Then I am sure, car hire service would be top industry there. :mrgreen:

  40. Sha says:

    I could’ve told you about #3 years ago!

  41. Parking costs and traffic is one reason why I take cabs more often than I used to when I’m speaking in big cities. I know the last time I was in Chicago I just took taxis everywhere and hitched rides a few times.

    PLUS, one of the benefits is that when you travel that way, you meet some very interesting people you might not have otherwise met.

    Stanley F. Bronstein
    Attorney, CPA, Author, Blogger & Professional Motivational Speaker

  42. Ronin says:

    ” If you look to the left, and you look to the right.
    And if they’re not gay.
    You are!”

    hahahaha – funny stuff

  43. Flimjo says:

    Funny read. I agree that face-to-face networking is still king. The Internet and e-mail remain impersonal forms of communication. Even after our previous generations are gone, our generation will still covet face-to-face interaction. It breeds more trust.

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