Unlocked and Unleashed: Tales of Laughter and Learning at MAU Vegas

It’s been two weeks since I left Vegas, and it took me this long to recover and gather my thoughts on Mobile Apps Unlocked (MAU), a remarkable two-day conference held at the MGM Grand. This event brought together 2,500 players from the mobile industry in a unique environment designed for learning and networking.

Having been involved in the planning of MAU Vegas for years, it was my first time attending, and I must say, it exceeded my expectations. Sponsoring MAU can be an intense and costly endeavor, as every aspect of the event is monetized, right down to hiring a bartender for $250 an hour to open a bottled beer at your booth, cause you couldn´t simply do this yourself! Fortunately, we decided against this service, and when we arrived and saw our booth was located next to the MAU Happy Hour free bar, we were grateful for that decision.

The Smadex team had a packed schedule, with over 40 meetings planned, two sold-out Smadex events, and a fun booth to manage. We were kept busy throughout the two days, and many of the team were found working long into the night at the Whiskey Down Bar, where the real business takes place!

The industry chatter and the majority of MAU sessions revolved around the constant pursuit of transparency, the integration of AI, budget constraints, and strategies for scaling in times of economic crisis. The stages hosted exceptional speakers who shared their insights on the latest trends, future predictions, successful strategies, and valuable lessons learned.

While it was challenging to attend all the MAU sessions, I managed to make it to the Women’s Forum on Day 1, which reached maximum capacity, and even had a waitlist, highlighting the growing role of women across all levels of the sector. The roundtable format over lunch provided an informal atmosphere where women shared experiences on specific topics. I left the table with actionable strategies and some new allies.

After a fruitful first day of conferences, covering topics such as our CTV capabilities, creative analysis reports, and our early SKAN 4.0 learnings, it was time to take a breather and explore the Las Vegas Strip!

We invited our clients and partners to join us for a spectacular Bruno Mars concert at the Dolby Live Theater. Coordinating our grand entrance into the theater turned out to be quite the adventure! Just when we thought we had it all figured out, security threw us a curveball by sealing our precious mobile phones in those pesky lock bags. As you can imagine, we needed our Mobile Apps Unlocked! But fear not; our trusty old Apple watches swooped in to save the day. We huddled together, covertly whispering into our wrists like secret agents, and voila! The gang was assembled.

Once the group made it to their seats, all donned in neon attire; we lit up that Dolby theater, both metaphorically and literally, and had the most amazing night.

Needless to say, there were a few groggy heads around the Expo Hall on Day 2, but there was little time to rest as the Smadex booth was bustling with people eager to try their luck at the “Ad Picker Claw” game. To our astonishment, the game began snatching up prizes at an unprecedented pace, resulting in a delightful avalanche of winners.

After another day filled with impactful meetings and a celebratory glass of champagne at Top Golf, it was time to dismantle our fabulous booth and bid farewell to our conference neighbors. As the team left the Expo Hall, heading towards Whiskey Down with newfound industry friends and partners, we were in agreement that MAU Vegas remains one of the best conferences in the US. It provides an unparalleled opportunity to build genuine relationships in a somewhat surreal environment, and it’s these shared experiences that truly bring people together.

If we didn’t have the chance to meet at MAU, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to discuss how we can support your growth plans.