The World Out of Home Organization is hosting its first face-to-face MENA Forum in Dubai from February 15-17. WOO President Tom Goddard explains why the event is so important.
Covid was a massive interruption for the worldwide Out of Home industry but it also gave the world Out of Home Organization the opportunity to reset our objectives for a rapidly changing world. Our post-covid priority was to bring the industry back together to facilitate the all-important exchange of ideas and experiences and we began this process with a highly successful virtual Europe Forum in May 2021, featuring WPP CEO Mark Read among many others.
When restrictions eased this was followed by our in-person Global Congress in Toronto in May 2022, the first global gathering since 2019 in Dubai. This was the first of our in-person events and over 400 delegates attended, despite remaining travel restrictions in many parts of the world.
Next was the the APAC region in Kuala Lumpur in October 2022. This was a phenomenal success with well over 200 delegates from this diverse region where we were able to learn about developments and innovation in a key testing ground for Out of Home and, crucially, exchange ideas with our colleagues from all sides of the industry.
So now we turn to our MENA Forum in Dubai from February 15-17 where, again, we expect to broaden horizons with an in-depth examination of Out of Home in one of the world’s most dynamic and innovative markets, a regional market that is playing a key role in the spectacular recovery of Out of Home in a challenging global media marketplace. Many commentators are predicting that OOH will be the fastest-growing worldwide media sector in 2023 and beyond and MENA will be a vital element in that growth.
The MENA Forum will include a full programme of presentations and speakers from the region and the wider global Out of Home industry. Topics to be covered include Maintaining OOH’s Advantage in a Digital World, The Increasing importance of Sustainability, Driving Growth in OOH through Audience Measurement and making the most of OOH’s Programmatic Opportunity.
The Keynote speaker on day one of the Forum will be Elda Choucair, CEO of Omnicom Media Group MENA. Choucair has a 15-year history at Omnicom and was previously COO of OMG MENA, where she led the group’s response to the impact of the pandemic. She accelerated the group’s transformation through developments in automation, predictive modelling, and eCommerce, as well as driving programmes to bring the agency’s training and upskilling to the very highest level.
A keen advocate of using her expertise for the benefit of the ad industry, Choucair is vice-chair of the Advertising Business Group, a board member of both the Interactive Advertising Bureau GCC and the International Advertising UAE Chapter and a founding member of the Unstereotype Alliance.
On Day Two the theme is ‘The Science of Out of Home’ and the Keynote speaker will be JCDecaux Chief Data Officer François-Xavier Pierrel who will discuss the overriding importance of date in today’s OOH industry including its role in audience measurement and programmatic trading. JCDecaux is the world’s biggest OOH company.
Pierrel joined Microsoft as head of ad tech solutions for France and Benelux in 2011, moving to Facebook in 2013 as head of marketing science for Southern Europe. He joined Renault in 2017 as global director of data, CRM and Social.
The Forum Venue is the Habtoor Grand Resort, Al Falea Street, Jumeirah Beach Dubai.
The MENA Forum will commence with a reception on Wednesday, February 15 followed by a full programme of presentations on Thursday, February 16 followed by dinner at the Salamar Restaurant in the hotel complex. There will be a further half-day of presentations on Friday February 17.
Click here for a Forum overview including the provisional speaker programme.
We look forward eagerly to welcoming our many friends in the MENA region who have much to teach us about the current reality of Out of Home in the region and the role it will surely play as we develop and grow in a dynamic modern global media marketplace.
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