Right from Shah Rukh Khan’s antics on stage to a high dose of statistics and great insights, the first day of AdAsia 2011 was intense, and if any further proof was required, the shortage of seating in the session halls and the packed media lounge made up for it.
The opening ceremony, the event anthem and the flag hoisting impressed the foreign delegates, but industry stalwarts could not help comparing the event to the one hosted in 2003. The apparent feedback, though people were not exactly saying it on-record, was that although the content of 2011 was highly relevant and the event had scale, the “super-content” (hospitality, ambience, sightseeing and the overall experience as quoted by I&B Minister Ambika Soni) of 2003 could not be matched.
Well, Jaipur had its own charm, but one cannot deny that the scale and structure with which the New Delhi event is organised, is commendable. Much has changed since 2003 as well -- social media had not taken over the Adlanders like it has today; it did not have delegates tweeting; it was not as viral; people were not so connected and exposed to real time information and the most important difference was that India was still becoming an important market in 2003. Today, conversations have moved on to which the next growth markets are and how Indian companies are taking over the West.
One paradox apparent from the show was that even though almost all sessions touched upon the point of India’s young and growing economy, it was hard to see the key Next-Gen of the Indian advertising industry in the audience. Quoting KV Shridhar of DraftFCB Ulka, “the gathering is such that if you throw a stone, it will hit a legend.”
Are we missing something there? Is the conference sharing and discussing the future trends with past leaders? Where are the next decision makers of the industry?