24 Hours with Simone Krakowiak, country manager ANZ for Rubicon Project

In this 24 hours with, Rubicon Project's country manager Simone Krakowiak talks hot tea, Thai food and the behind the scenes of running a summit.

Thursday, 5:00am

Early start today. My alarm doesn’t always go off this early but I have a big day ahead of me with our annual Australian Automation Summit. There’s no time for the gym today!

Last night was a late one. Our new CEO, Michael Barrett, is in town for the summit and he joined the team for dinner in the city at INDU restaurant. I’m looking forward to spending the day with Michael and the team, and of course, catching up with many of our clients. We’re expecting a big turnout at the event.


I rush down to the coffee shop under my apartment to load up on caffeine for the day. I’m usually a decaf drinker, but today only the real deal will suffice.

With a coffee in hand, I jump in a taxi and head to Mosman where the event is being held. It is going to be a gorgeous day by the looks of it and what a perfect spot to enjoy the sunshine.


I arrive at the waterfront venue to help set up and check everything is in order before our guests arrive at 9.30am. I sit down to look over today’s schedule and reply to a few emails before my inbox gets too clogged later today.

There’s just enough time to squeeze in a quick brekkie before the day kicks off. The pastry bar is so tempting!


Guests are starting to arrive and I have a chat to Mark Mansour from eBay and introduce him to Michael. It is great to have such an event every year. I have been country manager for ANZ for almost a year now and it has kept me on my toes! It’s tricky to find the time to meet with everyone and the event gives me an opportunity to catch up with many of our colleagues in the industry.


I’m kicking off the morning sessions with a welcome speech. It’s great to lookout on the audience and see so many familiar faces. I’m excited to have Michael sitting in the front row and I’m very much looking forward to our VP of engineering, John Clyman’s brand safety presentation and panel discussion with Integral Ad Science, IAB Australia, REA and Publicis.


Quick tea break. Getting some hot tea into me is a priority today – I have a cold I have been trying to kick to the curb for the past three weeks while travelling for work.

I catch up with Dan Robbins from Spotify to finalise a few discussion points for our fireside chat that’s coming up later this morning, before I’m back on stage to introduce the next part of the morning presentation with our talented global head of audio, Amy Coveny.


It’s time to host the fireside chat. Great to hear from Spotify’s new head of programmatic and data about how he’s upskilling his team in programmatic and what creative audio solutions are in the pipeline.


It’s lunchtime and time to enjoy some sunshine on the deck. I manage to have a quick chat with REA’s programmatic commercial lead, Elle Vu-Doan over lunch.

After being our client on the demand side for so many years, we talk about how interesting her new role is at REA and what it’s like to be back working for a publisher.


As we kick-off the afternoon agenda, I realise I’ve been so busy with the event so far I realise I haven’t had a chance to check on my emails, so I take a quick moment to sneak a glance at my inbox to make sure it isn’t spiralling out of control.


I’m running eight round tables sessions tackling industry hot topics including the future of internal programmatic teams and the future of out-of-home. It gets loud pretty quickly in there, with lots of laughter and bonding over common experiences we face working in the programmatic space today.


We wrap-up the formal part of the day and move into the bar for some networking and happy hour drinks. It’s great to hear so many positive conversations taking place and all of our product specialists are on hand to answer any questions about today’s content over a beer or two. The hard part is officially over.


The event is supposed to wrap up now, but we’ve still got a crowd packed into the bar so we migrate onto the deck to kick on. We are always on the other side of the bridge, so why not hang out at such an incredible spot in Sydney. There is a pub quiz going on inside that I’m sure a few of our attendees would have loved to have joined to try their luck, but we manage to keep everyone in one place.


And it’s a wrap for the day! I jump in a taxi to go home and drop some of our US colleagues into the city on the way to sample some of Sydney’s best Thai food. I would love to join them, but my couch is calling.


My big plans for a quick Netflix session are abandoned as soon as I get home and I head straight to bed instead. It’s been a huge day and I can only think about getting to bed before another big day of meetings tomorrow.


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