The 40th International Advertising Association (IAA) World Congress is all set to kick off in Dubai on March 20, 2006 at the Dubai International Convention Centre. Over 2,000 local, regional and international delegates from over 50 countries are expected to take part in the event. The Congress will run from March 20-23 and is being hosted and organised by the UAE Chapter of the IAA, under the Congress Chairmanship of Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs.
The event has been themed ‘Challenges of Change’, and will include discussion topics covering ‘Succeeding in a where world’, ‘Anyone can do it!’, ‘Brands as people, people as brands’ and ‘Remaining credible in an incredible world’.
Speaking on the upcoming event, Mohammed Al Gergawi said, “When it comes to advertising, the United Arab Emirates has been both a witness and a partner in the growth and evolution of this industry. Dubai, in particular, has become the hub of regional and international congresses and conventions and we look forward to seeing and sharing the highlights of this Congress with the industry.”
The list of speakers includes former Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar; former deputy Prime Minister of Britain, Lord Heseltine; WPP’s Chief Executive, Sir Martin Sorrell; Sahar Hashemi, Co-founder Coffee Republic; Sergio Zyman, Coca-Cola’s former CMO; authors Tony Alessandra and David Taylor; Time Warner Inc’s Senior Advisor and former Editor-in-Chief, Norman Pearlstine; and Forbes CEO, Steve Forbes, among others.
Speakers from the business world include Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, President, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, who are supporters of the event; Walt Disney Parks Chairman, Jay Rasulo; MphasiS CEO Jerry Rao; Hameed Haroon, Chief Executive, Dawn Group of Publications; Jim R. Stengel, Global Marketing Officer for Procter & Gamble; Gregory Lee, Corporate Senior VP & CMO at Samsung Electronics; John Elkins, Executive VP-Visa International; and Emirates Airline’s Divisional Senior Vice-President of Corporate Communications, Mike Simon.
Industry speakers comprise representatives from the world’s leading media buying and through the line agencies such as Susannah Outfin, CEO of Carat International; Donald Gunn, author and compiler of the Gunn Report; Marcio Moreira, Vice-Chairman and COO, McCann Ericksson World Group; Colin Gottlieb, CEO, Omnicom EMEA; Tateo Mataki, CEO of Japan’s Dentsu; Tom Bernardin, CEO, Leo Burnett Worldwide; Jack Klues, Chairman, Publicis Groupe Media Worldwide; Howard Draft, Chairman & CEO Draft; Allen Rosenshine, Chairman, BBDO Worldwide; Bob Greenberg, Chairman, CEO, Chief Creative Officer, R/GA; and John Pallant, EMEA Regional Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi.
Joseph Ghossoub, IAA’s World President Elect, said, “This event is close to my heart as I have personally seen the advertising industry in the Middle East experience a renaissance over the past decade. Dubai 2006 will examine the role of advertising and explore the boundaries of creativity in an ever-changing marketplace. Our venue is the world portal between east and west and perfectly suited to the Congress theme – ‘Challenges of Change’.”
Platinum sponsors of the Congress are Gulf News, CNN, Dubai Television and Motivate Publishing, while Gold sponsors are Dentsu and EMAAR. Silver sponsors include the Choueiri Group, MBC, BBC World and Al Ittihad, while Khaleej Times, Dubai Duty Free, AME Info, FedEx and Arab Media Group (AMG), Al Wataniya and Diago have Bronze sponsorship status. The 40th IAA World Congress is being held in association with Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Dubai Media City.
Speaking on the regional creative industry, David Taylor, author of ‘The Naked Leader’ and European Business Speaker of the Year in 2004, said. “The Middle East is a fantastic business home and creative thinking and public relations are at the very heart of it. The next phase will be built on trusted networks and connections with word of mouth and word of web playing a critical role.”
Sahar Hashemi, co-founder of Coffee Republic and one of the keynote speakers at IAA World Congress Dubai 2006, is all set to share her experience of how passion and creativity can make things happen and how creative ideas can be turned into reality.
“The challenges of creativity lie in unleashing the potential in people and making them believe that their ideas can make things happen. One has to just stop ‘thinking about’ the great idea and ‘get on with it’. Passion and persistence and the courage to move out of one’s comfort zone can turn an idea into reality,” Hashemi added.
In addition to three days of speaker sessions and panel discussions, the 40th IAA World Congress will play host to a special industry exhibition showcasing creative capability and innovative solutions. Powerhouses such as Impact BBDO, Euro RSCG, Horizon FCB, Leo Burnett, Memac Ogilvy, Fortune Promoseven, Young & Rubicam, JWT, Grey Worldwide and Bates PanGulf have signed up to take part this March. This is in addition to major TV networks, publishing houses and marketing services companies.