Ad:Tech 2012 at Suntec Convention Centre (13 – 14 June 2012)

After a long hiatus in blogging, I was pleasantly surprised to still be invited to the Ad:Tech Singapore 2012 conference to cover the event as a blogger. While my schedule did not permit me to stay for the entire conference, I managed to attend the press conference.

But before we go into that, I feel this year’s conference lineup is exciting! The theme of the event is about Driving Asia’s Digital Development and there were tracks of breakout sessions covering from Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, Digital Trends, Tools and Technologies, and Digital Adoption And Execution Trends of Emerging and Developed Markets, as well as an Exhibition Seminar Theatre in the Expo Hall.

The topics which the speakers are covering are really close to the ground. With breakout sessions like “Integrating Mobile Marketing Into Your Overall Business Strategy”, and interactive workshops like “Optimising Your Social Media Marketing”, I really see how the attendees can walk away with actionable insights that can be applied immediately in their digital marketing.

Ad Tech Press Conference

The press conference this morning featured a panel of 6 speakers to share their insights. Here are my insights!

  1. Enrique Baizas – Digital Marketing Champion, Zone AOA for Nestle touched on the idea that the strategy for marketing in social media needs to be different from one for the regular traditional media. The key difference in that, even when brands stop advertising or promoting online, conversation will still continue on the various platforms. It is therefore important for companies not only to have their content grid and marketing plan, but also be flexible enough to adapt, remix and engage with the responses they get from the different social platforms.
  2. Michael Lazerow, CEO and Founder of Buddy Media emphasised that it is the content that powers the connections, and it is in the human networks where the power lies. With right idea and great story to tell, digital marketing need not be complicated.
  3. Greg Dale, COO of Comscore Inc talked about the the trends and evolutions in Digital Advertising. Mobile is big, especially in Singapore. In fact, Singapore leads the world in terms of non-computer traffic! E-commerce, while slower to pick up in Singapore, are also still seeing positive trends.
  4. Jeffery Cole, Director, Centre for the Digital Future, USC Annenberg School touched on a point that is near and dear to almost everyone connected to the Internet – that nobody really wants to give up the Internet! But, many of us are tired of having it define our lives. The lines between and work and personal time have blurred and even though the Internet is supposed to make us more productive, we end up working more hours, working late at night and on weekends. There is a need to find a balance.
  5. Ranji David, Executive Director for Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Singapore told us how IAB has been doing to educate, enable, inspire and elevate digital marketing in Singapore. She also touched on some very important statistics – that as of the 1st half of 2011, only 8% of the advertising budget is spent online in Singapore, comparatively, the mature markets like US and the UK are seeing figures in the 30-odd percentile. More talents are hired today than ever, and Singapore is also getting a lot of support from the government in this industry
  6. Loren I. Shuster, Country Director, Singapore and Emerging Markets at Google spoke about the acceleration of everything! Soon everyone and everything can and will be online, and with the availability of the Internet on mobile and other platforms, consumers are becoming hyper-informed and they do a lot of their research online before they make purchasing decisions.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to drop in for some sessions tomorrow so I’ll be able to provide you with more insights!

IT Show 2011 at Suntec Singapore

The Singapore IT Show 2011 is just a few days away, from 10th – 13th March (Next Thursday to Sunday)! Like many other computer shows in Singapore like the PC Show (June) and Comex Show (September), this IT show is held at the Suntec Exhibition Halls in Singapore.

IT Show Singapore 2011

These IT shows are getting bigger with each exhibition – this time, there is over 350,000 square feet of exhibit space, taking up 5 entire show floors in Suntec! I guess I will be visiting this the exhibition this year early – first to find out about my much needed home broadband Internet connection plans (I heard from a friend that they will be giving out MacBook Airs for 2 year contract broadband plans!), as well as to get myself updated with the latest gadgets!

During the previous SITEX show in 2010 which was held in Expo, I bought a Canon MG5270 Multifunction Printer for $299 – it was not cheaper than what you could find at the retail stores, but at the IT fair, they give out more freebies like a pack of 4″x6″ photo paper. Maybe its time for me to head back and check out the price of the ink tanks.

Challenger Matches IT Show 2011 Pricing

As a member of Challenger member, I receive their regular emailing – and this year they are really going all out to grab the market share!

Exclusively for Challenger members only, they will match any show pricing for the products they have, as long as you present a valid IT show flyer! Of course, like everything else in the world, there are “terms and conditions”, but I think this would be a good alternative location for shopping for people who don’t like to shop in the sardine packed Suntec city mall or wait hours in the traffic jam.

Challenger Matches IT Show 2011 Pricing

So, what are the deals you are waiting to get at the IT Show 2011? Or are you going hold your horses (and wallets!) and wait for the next IT trade show in Singapore – PC Show Singapore 2011, from 9 to 12 June 2011?

Is the Global Economy Still in Crisis?

Come 13th January 2011, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) will be inviting Dr Jacques Attali – a French economist, professor, author of over 50 books, and Honorary Member of the Council of State, to share his thoughts on the recovery of the Global Economy.

Dr Jacques Attali is the founder and the first President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and named by the US Foreign Policy magazine as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the World.

This topic is near and dear to many of us, whether you own a business, or you are employed – even though the the Asian countries were less affected by the international crisis.

So, what of the future, in a world where there is little prospect of growth in the large economies of the US and major European countries? Can Europe provide economic leadership for the future?

Come pose your questions and get them answered by Dr Jacques Attali, at this public talk organised by ASEF! Registration details can be found on the ASEF website.

Visual Search with Google Goggles

After collecting all those photos on Google earth, integrated with location and GPS data, together with all the images they have in their search database – they mesh it ALL up together and tada!! Google Goggles!

Soon, you’ll be able to point an Android phone at someone and have his name pop out (together with his favourite food, lifestyle habits, and how many girlfriends he’s juggling – photos included) :mrgreen:

That’s Google’s mission – to organize the world’s information.

I must say, this is amazing technology.

The Online Stock Photo Monopoly

Stock PhotographyI’m must say, I am very impressed with the strategic moves made by Getty Images – to really raise the bar and monopolise the industry of online royalty free stock photos.

As someone who develops websites on a regular basis – I get my images from several online stock photo sources. These were my three main sources.

  1. stock.xchng for free images (quality of images not as excellent)
  2. StockXpert (where you can get a low resolution photo for USD$1. i.e. 1 credit)
  3. iStockPhoto (used to be priced like StockExpert – but has risen their credits prices, so unless you get 2000 credits at a go or use their monthly subscriptions, you can’t find credits less than USD$1)

Well, sometime in early 2006, Getty Images bought over iStockPhoto for 50 million USD, and then in 2009, it acquired JupiterImages, which owned stock.xchng and StockXpert

These acquisitions practically made Getty Images the monopoly for microstock photos, since the only other major competitor Corbis has been selling their photos at prices at well over what most web developers will be willing to pay for (e.g. USD110 for a royalty free sunrise photo!)

Well, today I received a notification from StockXpert, saying they are ceasing operations, and all remaining credits can be ported over to iStockPhoto.

We are sorry to announce that beginning today, StockXpert will no longer sell new credits or accept new members. On February 11, 2010, searching and downloading at StockXpert will cease. This will be the end of image sales at StockXpert.

All SXP members have the opportunity to transfer their remaining credits to iStockphoto. iStock offers the highest quality affordable microstock imagery in the industry. Come and see for yourself. SXP credits will be honored 1 for 1 at iStockphoto.

Its an awesome move. Bad news for web designers though – meaning that we probably won’t be able to get awesome USD$1 images anymore.

Yikes. Its time to be a photographer.