Barry Eitel

In the sunlight, ad:tech has the button-downed persona of many of the conferences that invade the Moscone Center. People come from all over the globe to see how the best in the tech industries combine with the best in the marketing and advertising industries. After the last session of the day, however, the conference becomes far less starchy. Afterparties abound, including some with performances by Too $hort and Sisqo (how they found where Sisqo was hiding is still an unsolved mystery). The Ying Yang Twins are somewhere, too. Who would’ve thought techies have such an insatiable thirst for decade-old hip-hop?

The party starts early Tuesday, though, with the Networking Pub Crawl sponsored by Spanish software giant Softonic. Yeah, the final session might be educational, informative, etc. But the Pub Crawl has good beer. Beer that tastes even better because it is free.

Anyone hailing from the Bay Area knows that beer is very near and dear to the populous. Currently, this is very true for the expertly-crafted microbrews that are taking the region, and the nation at large, by storm. Local favorites include San Leandro’s own Drake’s, San Francisco’s Speakeasy Ales and Lagers and, of course, Anchor Steam, the old-style West Coast beer. Those are some of the big guys, but the official pub crawl is guaranteed to feature some of the smaller local faves. If you aren’t from the area, then you will be treated to some of the best brews in the country.

The party starts at 4:30 p.m. in Expo Hall A and B. The start time is right in the middle of the penultimate session and the beer samples will be served all the way to the end of the conference day. You may miss some key discussions but there will also be plenty of great chit-chat and networking standing around the tables glugging down premium suds.

This pub crawl is awesome because it won’t just include lots of beer and crawling back to your hotel room. The best and brightest of Silicon Valley and beyond will be sipping right along with attendees. It’s a fantastic networking opportunity so bring plenty of business cards. It would also be best not to overindulge here at the pub crawl — the shindig officially ends at 6 p.m. Save the crazy partying for one of the fantastic afterparties.

Probably the best tip for having fun at the pub crawl but still forging some business connections is to keep an open mind. Smile. Any conversation could turn into a potential deal or partnership. Check out some other great ad:tech networking ideas in this article by Brittany Fleit. Even though the free beer stops flowing at 6, the social and business repercussions will last much longer.

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.