Game changers meet in CamSur for Ad Congress
PILI, Camarines Sur—All roads—and flights for that matter—lead to the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC), where the country’s advertising industry players and practitioners are holding the 22nd Philippine Ad Congress for the first time with the theme “Change the Game” in a facility built primarily for extreme sports.
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, who had been a principal player in the industry, will keynote the Ad Congress Thursday morning.
Some 2,200 people have registered to experience a unique outdoor venue unlike past congresses that were usually held in hotels or big structures, according to Blen Fernando, chairperson for registration.
“Here, it’s like a complex and then you a build a structure to accommodate what you want to show or exhibit,” she said.
The Ad Congress is a biennial event organized under the auspices of the Advertising Board of the Philippines (AdBoard). This year’s congress chairperson is Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez, president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
In a press conference, Romualdez described the congress as a conference for learning, a venue for sponsors to market their brand, and a fellowship of industry stakeholders. It is interactive with around a hundred booths and exhibit areas and a “shout out wall” where participants are able to share “game-changing ideas,” she said.
Fernando, who was the administration chair in previous meetings, said one must become a “game changer with a different mind-set” in coming to CWC. “It’s like a blank lot–you build on it and decorate it.”
This time, program topics include the Internet, digital or new media, and other major changes in the industry.
Moreover, the participants have to use information technology to their advantage as 90 percent of the transactions are done online, Fernando said.
“And that’s funny. On hindsight, a lot of people have feared doing transactions online even though they have been using the Internet, especially when transactions involve the credit card,” she said.
Some of the programs, though, had to be adjusted, she said. “We have to compartmentalize and only placed online the registration and hotel bookings while the flights were left out for them,” she said.
When the organizers decided to make the “game-changing” decision of holding the venue here, Romualdez asked people to keep an open mind.
“We’ve never hosted an event this big in Camarines Sur and Bicol but we were not daunted by the challenge. Our province is ready and set with good weather and warm people,” said Governor Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte.
Andre Kahn, chairman of the AdBoard, credited the “milestone” in “changing the game” to Romualdez and Villafuerte. He said he was “very correct” in the beginning to support the changes because, he added, it would be a great success.
For the first time, the three big competing networks—ABS-CBN, GMA 7 and TV5—will be on one stage on Friday to share their views on “Future of TV, Future of Media.”
Top honchos Eugenio Lopez III of ABS-CBN, Felipe L. Gozon of GMA 7 and Manuel V. Pangilinan of TV5 are coming here for a “friendly engagement” to find ways on how to make things better, Fernando said.
Fernando said many young talents were attending the congress. “You are seeing a new generation of talents coming up. And I hope the (Ad Congress) lives up to their expectations of seeing an industry that is very progressive,” she said.
The exhibits are world-class and environment-friendly vehicles, like the battery-operated “e-trike” and “e-rover,” help participants go around the venue.
“It’s very good for the AdBoard to be able to advocate that each Ad Congress be in a place outside of Metro Manila because we want to support local tourism,” Romualdez said.
The board is composed of Associated of Accredited Advertising Agencies-Philippines (4As), Advertising Suppliers Association of the Philippines (Asap), Cinema Advertising Association of the Philippines (CAAP), Independent Blocktimers Association of the Philippines (IBA), Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP), Marketing and Opinion Research Society of the Philippines (MORES), Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines (OAAP), Philippine Association of National Advertisers (Pana) and United Print Media Group (UPMG).