Conferences & Events

MENA Effie TLP Riyadh makes a stellar debut; demystifies immersive marketing through multi-perspective discussions

Over 50 executives attended the KSA debut of the MENA Effie Thought Leadership Program, engaging in scholarly discussions on immersive marketing, giving regional marketers a strategic direction, and creating a strong sense of community

March 20th, Riyadh, KSA: The MENA Effie Thought Leadership Program (TLP) – Riyadh was held on 6th March 2023, at Muvi Cinemas, Riyadh Boulevard City. Following the footsteps of the successful Dubai edition, the KSA debut of the prestigious event witnessed attendance from over 50 executives representing some of the marquee companies in the region. Attendees shared critical insights and best practices around immersive marketing, demystifying it and thereby encouraging regional marketers to leverage it effectively.

Organizer NordStella — a company specializing in hosting and publishing meaningful, insight-rich, and in-depth-yet-entertaining content — held the Riyadh debut of MENA Effie TLP due to popular demand, particularly from marketers. True to expectations, the debut event registered a good turnout, enabling NordStella and partners such as Snap Inc. to bring multiple nuanced perspectives on immersive marketing to the table, and delve deeper into the subject, the accompanying technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, and region-specific use cases.

Commenting on the stellar debut, Sahar Rafique, Managing Director of NordStella, said: “There is a strong appetite for immersive technologies among all sectors in the Kingdom. However, due to pandemic-related disruptions, the discourse surrounding immersive marketing was disjointed. Our objective, with the KSA debut of MENA Effie TLP, was to induce coherence by bringing efficiency-driven marketers and other key stakeholders under one roof. We will continue to build on this momentum every year.”

Immersive technologies were the key talking point at the event, with experts touching upon their utility and dynamism. Oliver Marriot, Client Services Director at Imagination, said: “Beyond AR and VR, there are immersive tools such as projection mapping or interactive experiences which are also a part of immersive technologies. Both AR and VR have been generalized as immersive technologies, but there is a lot more to this set than just that. Many such technologies, if discussed, help create out-of-the-world experiences and drive relevant and more advanced engagement among audiences than AR and VR can.”

Mohammed Bahmishan, CEO & CCO at FP7 KSA, echoed that sentiment, adding, “There are so many technologies in the market today that help brands tell their story immersively. However, it all boils down to the purpose of the brand enabling these experiences. After all, technologies are evolving rapidly and have the tendency to get outdated — it is a commodity and cannot become the brand offering in itself. Brands need to look at immersive technology as a part of their entire strategy to drive a holistic brand experience.”

The need to reconcile immersive technologies with brand purpose and customer expectations was the key takeaway from the keynote of Piotr Lysak, Independent Brand Consultant for Flyadeal and Brandworks. Lysak commented: “If we go back to the upstream — the route — it’s important to consider that the immersive technologies used by every brand should be very customer oriented. Lots of technologies are geared towards acquisition, but immersive technologies are acquisition-agnostic. They only enable brands to drive engagement; there is not a lot of giving involved there. That’s what makes them really powerful.”

Likewise, several other industry experts from leading companies contributed to the success of MENA Effie TLP – Riyadh by sharing critical insights and knowledge. Partners Snap Inc., Communicate, YourWordsmiths, and MKV Digital, too, contributed meaningfully to make it a debut to remember. The TLP series builds on the 13-year pedigree of the MENA Effie Awards, one of the region’s biggest and most-celebrated marketing events. In addition to the renowned MENA Effie Awards and the TLP series, Organizer NordStella has launched the ‘Marketing to Youth’ forum to empower and foster a young generation of agile marketers in the region

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