Industry veteran Rick Parkhill joined Videonomics earlier this week as CEO. Previously, Rick was the founder and CEO of iMedia Communications, having created the iMedia Brand and Agency Summits in 2001. Rick’s media and event career date back to 1989 and include the launch of leading publications including: InfoText, ResponseTV, and DigiTrends, and events such as: WebINNOVATION, Camp Interactive, BreakThrough, and more. In short, a lot of us have benefitted from the foundation Rick laid with iMedia and these other companies. We caught up with Rick to ask what’s next.
The MakeGood: Rick, it’s only been two years since you accepted the ad:tech Lifetime Achievement Award for “advancing the interactive media industry.” Why come back -and why now?
RP: Well, truth is, I’ve never gone away. I stepped back from the event business a few years ago and launched Poptent, which gave me a really good inside look into the way brands and their agencies are attempting to respond to today’s video-centric, media sharing environment. Videonomics was an event concept that I came up with during that time, because I have this dominant event gene, and Josh and the team ran with it. They’ve done an amazing job bringing TV and digital together and have been serving the industry in a really productive way. You know, I thought the last decade or two were pretty darned exciting in the media business and I enjoyed serving the industry by bringing the right people together in ways that would advance the business. Today, the media environment is even more thrilling, which is not something I ever expected, frankly, but it happened and I can’t help but dive back in.
The MakeGood: We all know that YouTube’s revenue is in the multiple billions, and that Facebook and Twitter have committed their platforms to video. How can Videonomics help enable the segment’s development?
RP: Well, it has been doing just that for the past three years now. From the start, Videonomics approached the video industry holistically with a mission to bring digital and TV together and that is what they have done. The mission from the get-go was to create events where TV and digital buyers and sellers would come together to figure out how this convergence could possibly happen. Nobody was really serving the needs of businesses that were crashing into each other and Videonomics stepped up to play that role. The “segment” is not digital or TV, it’s all digital video. The events we produce are not about pushing an online or offline agenda, they are about helping brands and their agencies figure out how to engage with their target audiences in a media environment caught up in frenetic change.
The MakeGood: Josh Messinger, your longtime colleague at iMedia, is president at Videonomics. In fact, some of the other Videonomics team members were on your iMedia staff as well. Are you trying to replicate the iMedia Summit series?
RP: No, been there, done that! Mike Pubentz and I created iMedia along with Josh and team back in 2001. The world was much different then and the industry we served had a much different need. We were the crusaders for interactive then, ergo, the “i” in “iMedia.” We carried the banner into major brand organizations and their agencies and screamed for them to not just consider digital, but to invest. We advocated for a digital future, that was our crusade and look what happened, we won.
The team I am joining at Videonomics is completely comprised of people I’ve worked with in the past and they happen to be the best in the business. So, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be back with them. They are passionate servants of the media and marketing industry with a fire in their belly to help advance the business.
Everyone I talk to agrees that the pace of change in the media business has never been greater. Video, mobile, social, automation, data, programmatic, analytics and measurement are all top-of-mind opportunities and challenges for marketers. Our events will serve an important role to bring stakeholders together for essential knowledge exchange among marketers, their agencies and industry partners. It’s a thrilling time to be in the media business and I’m grateful to be a part of it.