Dubai Congress 2019

Dubai Congress, May 1-3rd 2019

Dubai Congress 2019

60th Annual FEPE International Congress, Dubai 1-3rd 2019

FEPE International is to become the World Out of Home Organization - announced at last week’s Congress in Dubai - and its next Congress, the first as WOOHO, the 61st for FEPE -  will be held in Toronto.

Toronto 2020: Dates and venue to be confirmed.

425 delegates from across the world gathered in Dubai to hear from an impressive line-up of speakers from all sides of the industry on the theme The Fame Game.

A masterly Keynote Address from Jean-Charles Decaux on the first morning set the tone for an event which analysed the big global issues facing Out of Home, in particular the need to boost its share of the $635bn global advertising market from its current 6.7 per cent.

Barry Cupples, the new global CEO of Out of Home specialist agency Talon and a former head of investment at Omnicom Media Group, said progress shouldn’t stop at ten per cent but should aim even higher.

Other first day speakers included Tim Delaney, Chairman of creative agency Leagas Delaney, who provided an invaluable leading creative’s perspective on the medium, in particular how to use it for best effect.

  • Stephen Whyte, Global CEO of Posterscope, said the medium needed to become more dynamic while Christof Baron, Global Head of Media at Sanofi Consumer Healthcare, said the medium needed to “connect the dots” to win its rightful share of global ad budgets.
  • Nancy Fletcher, the outgoing President and CEO of the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) provided a long view for the medium with her customary insight and grace while Peter Egart, Vice President International Regions of Daktronics, looked at the journey of digital Out of Home in the Middle East.
  • PJ Solomon Head of Media Mark Boidman’s market update and predictions is one of the annual highlights of Congress and he pointed to ways the industry could navigate its way to a successful future.
  • Stephanie Gutnik of Broadsign  invited Congress delegates “not to be dinosaurs” in a sparkling presentation before Innovation Consultant Dino Burbidge of Dinomo began the Awards session of Congress which culminated in the presentation of Creative, Lifetime Achievement, Leadership, Technical Innovation (decided by delegates) and Rising Star Awards at the first evening’s Gala dinner (see separate Awards report.)

The bar had been set very high for the second day’s speakers but, led by Kinetic Gobal CEO Marc-Antoine de Roys, who examined the burgeoning mobile market, they rose to the challenge.

  • Natalia Pavlikova of Russ Outdoor provided a fascinating insight into Russia’s huge and rapidly developing Out of Home market while Rick Robinson, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer of the biggest independent US OOH specialist Billups, echoed creative Tim Delaney’s plea to use the medium to best advantage - to create fame for brands, the theme of the Congress - in a rousing presentation.
  • Jean-Christophe Conti, CEO of programmatic OOH platform VIOOH began an examination of programmatic with all its challenges, followed by a panel with Sheldon Silverman of SmartBomb Media Group, Andreas Soupliotis, founder of Hivestack, and Andy Sriubas from US OOH giant Outfront Media.
  • Richard Sunderland, CEO of brand consultancy Heavenly which worked with FEPE on its rebrand, said it was time for OOH to get closer to the consumer. Gabriel Cedrone, President of Asociacion LatinoAmericana Out of Home, WOOHO’s newest national associations member, described the growth of OOH in the region.
  • Zhao Jian, Deputy General Secretary of the China Advertising Association, and Jim Liu from BNR Communications, demonstrated how the medium was contributing to growth in one the world’s biggest and most dynamic markets with ‘New Retail, New Out of Home.’
  • Kym Frank, President of Geopath, and John Ellery, Executive Director of FEPE updated Congress on the Associations and Research Meeting, an important part of WOOHO behind the scenes.
  • CEO Heather Andrew and Director of Sales and Marketing at Neuro-Insight, which measures brain response to communications to measure ad effectiveness, spoke of ‘Fame on the Brain,’ with her colleague Peter Pynta, the neuro-science of how OOH can make brands famous.

This was a fitting end to an inspiring Congress that endeavoured to strike a balance between OOH’s essential ability to create big, famous brands economically and efficiently while seeking to incorporate the changes brought by data-driven developments, most notably programmatic.

FEPE President Tom Goddard says: “In my experience, this was by far the best FEPE/WOOHO Congress to date.

“Dubai marks an important staging post for the industry as we move into a challenging but potentially immensely productive period for Out of Home.

“It was a truly global event with a record number of delegates from every worldwide market and the ground we covered was extraordinary. On behalf of WOOHO I would like to thank all the speakers and delegates for making this such an outstanding event.

“We will do our level best to make Toronto in 2020 another unmissable occasion for the global OOH industry.”