Brittany Fleit

As ad:tech nears, anticipation builds around some of this year’s most popular presentations and keynote speakers. Yet with 10,000 attendees, workshops, sessions, speakers and networking opportunities galore, it’s hard to distinguish where you should and shouldn’t focus your attention.

We’re eliminating that problem with our predicted highlights. Here are our picks for the top five speakers and a little about their backgrounds and what they’ll bring to the conference this year.

1. Guy Kawasaki, “The Google+ Guru”

We’ve already exalted the likes of Guy Kawasaki, but to give you a recap: he is best known as the former Chief Evangelist of Apple but has since gathered fame as the co-founder of, founding partner of Garage Technology Ventures, and the successful author of 10 novels , including “The Art of the Start,” a top-selling entrepreneur guide. One of his most legit claims to fame: being an employee at Apple dating back before the first Mac. In other words, he’s kind of a big deal.

Kawasaki will be discussing “Advertising in the Social Sphere—Deciphering Ways to Create Connections, Engagement and Presence.” Kawasaki will praise the pluses of Google+—specifically how the rookie social media site can help companies create strong, visual branding better than Facebook or Twitter. At the end of the speech, learn Kawasaki’s thoughts on the future of social (hint: it’s mobile) and how tablets are on the brink of an explosive rise.

2. Paul Adams, “Silicon Valley’s Most Wanted”

The nickname was coined for Paul Adams by Fortune magazine and he has certainly lived up to it. In the past, Adams worked on social research at Google, specializing in Google+, Gmail and YouTube. Nowadays, Adams is best known as Facebook’s Global Brand Experience Lead, author and blogger for

Adams is hosting “Thinking Beyond Influencers,” a session aimed at social media and how to target customers as groups rather than individually. Holding the theory that the web is “moving away from being built around content, and is being rebuilt around people,” Adams believes that marketers are much more successful when aiming ads at small but connected circles of friends.

3. Paul Gunning, “The Authority in Advertising”

Paul Gunning is the CEO of Tribal DDB Worldwide, an extremely successful advertising agency headquartered in New York. Tribal DDB is consistently ranked on top 10 lists of interactive agencies internationally with an international clientele including Johnson & Johnson, McDonalds, and Volkswagen among many others. Gunning is often sought after for his expertise in presentations about global advertising at mobile and social media conventions. Essentially, if you need advice in the advertising realm, Gunning is your go-to guru.

Gunning will be leading the discussion “Zynga, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft: Why to Budget for Ads in Games Today” in which he will explain how the titans of gaming are shaping social, mobile and connected console advertising. From the old method of in-game banners to new innovations, Gunning will elaborate in detail on rising trends and new technologies.

4. Lisa Utzschneider, “Amazon’s Secret Weapon”

Lisa Utzschneider is Amazon’s Vice President of Global Advertising Sales and an incredibly influential woman who helped shape Amazon’s present-day advertising practices. At Amazon, Utzschneider leads the product development team and plans sales strategies for ad solutions.

Utzschneider will be kicking off ad:tech Tuesday with a 9AM presentation entitled “Amazon — It’s Day 1 for Advertisers.” The session covers Amazon’s history from its launch in 1995 up through its current cloud infrastructure services and explains its bold advertising choices. Aimed at both customers and digital marketers, this talk will expand on Amazon’s display advertising program as well as upcoming advertising advances.

5. Terence Kawaja, “The $300 Billion Man”

Founder and CEO of advisory firm LUMA Partners, Terence Kawaja is a veteran investment banker. He frequently speaks at conventions, often interlaying jokes into his speeches to make them both enlightening and entertaining—a rare skill in speakers today. His best meet-and-greet ice breaker: being the key adviser on over $300 billion of transactions in the media and tech industries, including clients AOL, AT&T, Comcast, CBS, Cox and Clear Channel.

Kawaja will be presenting “The 2012 Industry Landscape—Challenges and Opportunities,” a discussion focusing on understanding the digital media economy. There, Kawaja will lay out critical problems and important options for businesses looking to grow in the tech and digital fields.

This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech San Francisco event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.