Once considered a separate part of the overall cable business, the success of new technology applications and the growth of cable network brands have made advertising one of the most talked about and anticipated elements of the 2008 Cable Show.

In 2007, cable advertising generated nearly $25 billion in revenue with advertisers utilizing the various elements of cable (national, local regional spot and new media) to carry the heavy water of their marketing plans.

With a vibrant business and new technologies, there will be issues upon which to debate—and we’ll try to address each of them here in the Crescent City.

Industry flashpoints such as television measurement in a digital age, the explosion of political advertising dollars and the continued growth of multiplatform integration are just some of the subjects that will be tackled.

In response to all the fervent interest, the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau unveils CAB University—its advertising ‘campus’ at the Morial Convention Center.

Located at the center of the show near the main entry will be our full-fledged campus setting allowing attendees to learn more about the many developments in cable advertising.

Additionally, the "advertising alley" exhibitors area gives show goers the full breadth of what cable advertising can deliver in one location on the exhibit floor.

Now in its second year integrated into the Cable Show, the CAB sales management conference is designed to be a "show within a show."

Our agenda includes sessions, panels and exhibits focused on providing the cable professional (whether you work in advertising or another part of the cable business) actionable information that can be used immediately upon returning to the field.

As with every year, the networks also play an important role by providing journalist talent to moderate panels, and this year’s roster is no exception.

TV One’s Roland Martin and CNBC’s Scott Cohn (CNBC Squawk Box) will each moderate sessions, while AJ Hammer, anchor CNN and Headline Prime’s Showbiz Tonight will emcee the 26th annual Cable Advertising Awards our annual black tie event that honors local cable advertising excellence, recognizing the best in sales achievement, creative production and sales promotion.

On Tuesday, cable advertising will take center stage with a Cable Show general session keynoted by top-200 advertiser Chrysler Motor’s Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Meyer, who will discuss a number of topics important to advertisers in the video world.

Whether it’s advanced advertising applications or original programming content, cable is being relied upon by marketers both large and small to engage consumers and carry them down the purchase continuum from initial awareness to in-store sale.

Advertising’s presence at the Cable Show now reflects this reality.

Rather than simply celebrate cable’s success, the CAB University sessions will delve deeper into the issues facing our business by attempting to answer key questions with insightful information that any guest can apply to their everyday job function upon departure from the Big Easy.

(Chuck Thompson is evp, stategic operations at the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau).

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