Friday, December 5, 2008

The Glitch Brand Forum?

Kudos to organisers Media Prima and the Global Brand Forum (GBF) who, on the overall, did an excellent job at the Global Brand Forum held on Dec 4 and 5.
While they made sure the participants had their fill of intelligent courses of information and tips of marketing and branding their products in their effort to push Malaysian brands to the global front, the press corp may have had a little bit of challenge.
Not to diss the public relations companies who were charged with looking after the journalists nor the organisers but it was a little impossible - unless you were armed with a DSLR camera - to take close up shots of the speakers on-stage.
There was an invisible camera for security reasons, one would gather, that photographers could not cross to get up close to the stage but the opportunity did come about at the press conferences held a level below (a five minute walk in heels and lugging bags aplenty; three minutes in flats).
At the media centre, unfortunately, there were four lines short of internet connection as there was only one LAN plug-in. Those who had the modern-day USB modem turned out to be the smart ones who did not need to waste any time.
The second day, as reported by Advertising + Marketing (www.marketing-interactive.com) saw the holographic and recorded video conference of Ivanka Trump who saw "a hand waving" shortening her 15-minute presentation.
Let it be known that each speaker had about 45-minutes to say their piece.
But in the defence of the Global Brand Forum, they had exhausted all options including a private jet for the one-time supermodel to turn up, said Karthik Siva - chairman of GBF.
Still, they were told two-days before her appearance, the emergency - an event - could not be forgone.
So the organisers resorted to rope in Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat as a surprise guest but for some reason, there was a delay in her appearance so the participants had a longer lunch break.
Which turned out to be convenient for the Muslim participants who had to attend Friday prayers.
Sherawat, in the end, shared a couch with panelists film-maker and director Samar Khan, Hollywood director Oliver Stone and Melium Group president Datuk Farah Khan to share her thougts on 'Creating Brand Leadership in Entertainment and Fashion Industry'.
Hollywood director Oliver Stone

Sherawat, in the midst of the discussion and taking questions, did get a little dressing down (pun intended as she was dressed in a tight grey-dress which rode up as she took to the stage) from a participant who is quite prominent in the Malaysian marketing, communications and advertising industry.
Stone also took a hit for being invited guest speakers at the Global Brand Forum as Hollywood did not have much to do with direct branding efforts.
She had emphasised that the GBF was "beyond" Sherawat's league.
Riz Khan, played the very mediating host, requesting that the participant respected the speakers who had made the effort and took time to attend the forum, to share their personal experiences and thoughts with the 930 audience who turned up.
"GBF's role was to educate the overall aspects about branding to just the marketing world but to show that the diversity of branding.
"That it goes beyond the serious business and the entertainment industry does have a part in it," Khan said, gaining the further admiration of the rest of the crowd who clapped and cheered for him.
It can still be said the organisers achieved what they had wanted to do which was to educate Malaysians on building their product and brands.

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