SINGAPORE: This was the talking point right through the day at the Convention Centre at Suntec City: who will win the bid to host AdAsia 2009 – Lahore or Colombo? The buzz was that Pakistan has romped home.
The Pakistani delegation indulged in anticipatory celebration right through the morning, distributing embroidered caps, colourful scarfs and dockets and brochures. The fact is that the Pakistani delegates were all over the venue. They appeared to have come prepared. The other buzz was where were the Sri Lankans? The delegation from the Emerald Islands was obviously keeping a low profile.
At the end of Day 2, came the formal presentations and bidding. There were slide shows and cultural dances from the Pakistani side. The last slide said: ‘Say Yes to Pakistan for 2009’.
But the Sri Lankans floored the audience with their presentation and a fervent plea for votes. “We are small. Our advertising industry is fledgling. But we are a beautiful country, we are friendly people. We need your vote. An AdAsia is Colombo will do wonders for our industry. You will not even need visas to come. We will host you in our own houses. Give Colombo AdAsia 2009.”
The applause was thunderous. But the result was to be announced later in the evening at the gala dinner. The morning’s buzz in the convention hall turned out to be correct: Lahore was declared the venue for AdAsia 2009. Colombo will have to wait for another two years before it can make a fresh bid.
Of course, Lahore will be preceded by Jeju, South Korea, as the host and venue of AdAsia 2007.