How much is Possible’s future in Michael Kassan’s hands?

The second installment of marketing, media and tech tentpole aspirant Possible 2024 wrapped up last week, and for all intents and purposes it appeared to avoid the sophomore slump that often accompanies year-two efforts.

Attendance was up more than 1,000 over 2023 to hit 3,600, and by and large attendees felt they were able to network and catch up with colleagues and clients just as, and in some cases more, effectively there as other tentpoles – be it CES, Cannes Lions, Dmexco or Advertising Week.

Some people in the know at Possible said they see the potential of the conference taking a bite out of Cannes’ attendance, most acutely by U.S.-based marketers who could save money by staying on this side of the Atlantic. Others, meanwhile, believe the event may move to earlier in the year, as a possible competitor to CES’ C Space attendance (which, given Kassan’s current contract spat, would be a jab at Medialink).

Needless to say, there remain a few wrinkles to still iron out after year two. The first day of Possible, April 15, hundreds of attendees were milling about — but there was little to no actual content, which left some attendees wondering why they got there so early. But Possible was marketed as an event that ran from April 15-17.

Digiday’s senior editor Ronan Shields asked the question of whether or not Possible can become a cornerstone event on the scale of a Cannes Lions or CES? Well, the answer to that question lies largely in the hands of one person: Michael Kassan, the longtime CEO of Medialink, who’s currently battling with Medialink’s owner, L.A. talent agency UTA following a contract dispute that loudly spilled into the public arena. He is also the chairman of Beyond Ordinary Events, the organization that formally owns Possible alongside future-of-marketing association MMA Global.

Kassan, who spoke with Digiday at Possible (see interview below), has long coveted control of Cannes Lions, having been instrumental in bringing the media side of the agency world to Cannes Lions to what was just a creative celebration. He also brought marketers and media executives to CES about 10 years ago with the debut of the C Space at CES.

He certainly sounds like a believer in Possible’s role on any marketer’s calendar. “Apparently there was a void,” Kassan said. “Maybe it was a geographic void. Maybe it was a subject void, but I think this moved into the void … Possible has an opportunity to be a mini version of Cannes.”

However, as he told Digiday, nothing’s going to happen until he and UTA can resolve the current dispute. But it’s clear the power — however much he claims to not know what power is — to change the future of Possible likely rests in his hands.

Here’s the interview with Kassan:

Christian Muche, who’s the CEO of Beyond Ordinary, the organization that puts on Possible, also shared his assessment of this year, as well as what he hopes will be a solid place among those other tentpoles.

Muche shared his thoughts at the Digiday Studio, in this interview:

https://digiday.com/?p=541913

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