The 2018 edi­tion of Mar­comms360 was themed around ‘The State of Change’ and ap­proached this from an­gles as var­ied as tech­nol­ogy, leg­is­la­tion and mar­tial arts. By and

Austyn Al­li­son Ben Wel­ham

Campaign Middle East - - CHANGE IN THE AIR -

This year’s Mar­comms360 event – the sec­ond time the Cam­paign con­fer­ence has been held – fo­cused on the changes af­fect­ing the re­gion’s mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try. Agen­cies, mar­ket­ing man­agers, sup­pli­ers and oth­ers gath­ered at Dubai’s Fair­mont The Palm to lis­ten to a speaker line-up from back­grounds as di­verse as law, so­cial me­dia and re­la­tion­ship coun­selling.

The Mid­dle East, and Dubai in par­tic­u­lar, em­braces the no­tion of change in all as­pects of life, but speak­ers were keen to em­pha­sise that we should not fall for what Dan­ish Farhan, CEO of Xis­che & Co, called “the Kim Kar­dashian ef­fect” – that is, we all want it, but we don’t know why.

He was talk­ing about the adop­tion of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, and was sup­ported in his views through­out the day by speak­ers in­clud­ing Ab­dul­wa­hed Juma, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of brand and cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tion at UAE telco Du; and Kristoff Cop­mans, se­nior prin­ci­pal trans­for­ma­tion ar­chi­tect at Or­a­cle, who both em­pha­sised that ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (Cop­mans prefers the term ‘adap­tive in­tel­li­gence’) is bet­ter used to sup­port us in our jobs than steer us.

Other con­ver­sa­tions ranged from fu­tur­is­tic and more ab­stract dis­cus­sions of how block chain could ben­e­fit the com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try to more fo­cused and prac­ti­cal dis­cus­sions such as Al­fan Group’s work­shop on de­vel­op­ing in­flu­encer strate­gies suited specif­i­cally to the re­gion.

The con­fer­ence was marked by a high cal­i­bre of both speak­ers and at­ten­dees, which lent to some in­dus­try-mov­ing con­ver­sa­tions both on stage and on the side­lines of the con­fer­ence.

Mar­comms360 not only dis­cussed change; it may have cre­ated some as well.

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