Convening Asia Pacific speakers shared their experiences — from leaning into challenges, marrying together creativity and technology to making a lasting impact and driving forward in a post-COVID-era.
If you missed any of the action at Convening Asia Pacific: The Global Recovery Forum, check out the highlights below.
On-site Session Highlights
Jack Delosa, Founder, Chairman and Executive Director, The Entourage, said of the challenges the event industry faces: “When you lean into a challenge it forces you to become better… It’s not circumstance, it’s strategy and how you choose to respond that makes all the difference.”
The Event Model Evolution Panel featured Rebecca Hallett, Google Asia Pacific, and Anna Patterson, George P. Johnson, who were broadcast from Singapore; Lucille Marie Essey, Jack Morton Worldwide who joined from New York; and Benson Looi, Utopian from Tokyo. The panellists agreed that event technology had ‘advanced 10 years in six months’, stressing that success today requires the fusing ‘at the hip’ of creative and technology. The panellists also predicted the end of ‘events’ and the rise of ‘experiences’, calling for producers to deliver the three ‘Es’: Engagement, Experience and Entertainment, to break through in a hybrid environment.
Demonstrating the intersection between live and digital were some of the region’s brightest and best marketers, who took to the stage for Reinventing your Digital Marketing. Moderated by Nicki Kenyon, Australian Grand Prix Corporation, she was joined by Lisa Ronson, Coles, Anthony Gregorio, Saatchi & Saatchi Australia and John Broome, Australia Association of National Advertisers (AANA), as they discussed how digital marketing is fundamental for all events and brand experiences, and while the data derived from digital marketing is interesting, it is the insights from data that adds value.
James Bennett, Project Worldwide, demo-ed ways he has helped clients create more interaction and enduring memories via breakthrough technology – you have to see it on-the-screen to believe it!
Closing out the Forum was Dr. Jordan Nguyen, CEO, Psykinetic, who shared his personal mission to make a lasting impact and the importance of driving forward by continuing to learn through reflection, reinvention and adaption. His message: we all need to thoughtfully adapt, using technology as a tool but not as a replacement for face-to-face relationships, to be successful in the post-COVID-era.
Breakout Session Highlights
In the digital-only opening session, Jennifer Kingen Kush, a PCMA alumni who later founded Kingen Kush Solutions, said digital events are no different than face-to-face in terms of the need to 1) know your audience, 2) determine the outcomes you want to achieve in advance and 3) test everything you are putting in place before go-time. There’s no one-size-fits-all technology platform; you need to consider the options based on your goals and scope.
Nitin Sachdeva, DES, Venture Marketing, plugged in from New Delhi to call out the benefits of DES Certification for event planners at all experience levels.
Is TED Conference the world’s most successful hybrid event? Sourabh Kothari, Mindcurrent, says it is. He also said the key to success for any organization is finding your audience. Once you pull them in for a one-time event, keep them engaged by reaching out with highlights from the event and/or fresh perspectives every 72 hours to 5 days. P.S. Engagement is cumulative. Don’t expect financial returns before your third event!
“Conversations with the Experts” were intimate, interactive sessions packed with practical insights across highly specialised topics:
- Customer Deep Dive: Incentive Travel and Events with Bert Li, Associate Director of Event Production, Amway China
- Customer Deep Dive: Corporate Meetings and Events with Deborah Caldwell, SVP Asia Pacific Head of Event Marketing, Bank of America
- Customer Deep Dive: Association Meetings and Events with Paula Rowntree, Head of Events & Experience, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and Kirsty Grimwade, Senior Manager, Events, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
- China Focus: Are We Back in Business? with Frankie Gao, Managing Director, China MCI Group and Stephen Zhang, President & Chief Distribution Officer of Manulife Sinochem
- Engaging Your Audience with Digital Events: Up Close and Personal with Sourabh Kothari, Co-Founder and CEO, Mindcurrent and Jennifer Kingen Kush, Founder and Strategist, Kingen Kush Solutions
On-sites attendees can still access breakout sessions on demand.