Dawn – Aurora Marketing Conference – Review

At the Pearl Continental Hotel on November 21, the much anticipated Dawn-Aurora Marketing conference kicked off with at almost 10 pm, surprisingly only a 30 minute delay and amidst an air of intense networking in progress from the very start. This was scheduled to be a 2 day conference, which apparently was crammed into one long, excruciating day, when this was announced a lot of participants were quite surprised!

The seminar was titled “Y is for Youth” and was aimed at addressing and discussing the challenges that marketers were facing in communicating their message to the youth.

At first glance, the schedule made sense, though a couple more breaks in between would have helped, people do, after all want to network and unwind. after listening to hours of talking. The sponsor probably forfeited his/her address at the event and after a typically interesting expression of thoughts by Mr. Hameed Haroon (CEO, Dawn Group), the event was formal inaugurated.

The key point that was made from the very start of all presentations was that you was more of a phycographic phenomenon as opposed to demographic, which it is usually considered by marketing professionals.

The host, Mr. Noman Nabi (CEO, The Brand Partnership) announced in a school teacher like fashion that the conference was now a one day conference and that they will try and make the most of it in what ever time they had available.

From the very beginning, the presentations started to stop making sense, purely because disappointingly, high level executives and industry leaders were dishing out case studies about their own business, as opposed to sharing their core learnings in this area. Examples can and should be quoted from real life scenarios, that’s where they can refer to their brand, but when the CEO of a company comes up and starts doing a case study of his/her brands turn around, many people stop losing interest. A surprising number of speakers did just that.

Even strange was the fact that the COO of City FM 89, despite having a great reputation on her skill set, started educating a room full of marketers (i’d say less than 10% were students) with the advantages of advertising on radio, as opposed to sticking close to the agenda of the conference i.e. potential means of maximizing youth interest in radio and/or their core learnings in this context.

The gentleman from ARY skipped his and so did Mr. Badar Khushnood, the country consultant from Google. This was a great dent to the effectiveness of the new media segment, considering ARY is the largest media network in the country and blogging is a rapidly increasing trend amongst the youth.

The panel discussions, in my opinion, failed to add any value to the effectiveness of what ever was presented. What would have been better, was if people were free to ask questions at the end of every presentation while questions regarding the presentations were fresh in mind.

By far, the best presentations were by Mr. Qashif Effendi, Ms. Shirin Naqvi, Mr. Farhad Karamally. Presentations by Mr. Hilmy Calder and Mr. Tariq Qureshi were generally still better than what ever else was presented.

On a general event note, the whole purpose of marketing and advertising is to communicate a message in the most effective means to ensure that people absorb it to the highest possible extent. Eliminating breaks and loading one session on top of another is highly ineffective, considering the fact that attention spans fall dramatically after brief periods of time. The need to keep sessions interactive was highly felt and so was the need for additional legroom in seating arrangements. To sum it up, a fair number of people had left by 6 pm and the departures progressed continuously till I left at 7.

With registrations priced at Rs. 3000 per person, value for money was hardly to be found. I have been to quite a few seminars and conferences held by various companies and based on previous experiences, had very high expectations from the event management perspective considering the Dawn Group had hosted this. Shattered.

10 Comments so far

  1. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2006 @ 12:25 pm

    Thank God, I skipped it..though initially I did planned to attend, but somehow decided not to.

    By way, Imtiaz, what was total duration of the event….any guesses??

  2. Adnan (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

    Conferences vs Personal Security [Alternative] .It’s just not matter of IDEAS2006 anymore. If this is really true then I feel ashamed that I’m part of this state.

  3. mansoor (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2006 @ 1:52 pm

    ouch! that must’ve sucked :S

  4. Mufta (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2006 @ 2:24 pm

    The conference was a total waste of time. We flew from Islamabad for just this and found it compeltly useless. The speakers kept on bragging about thier brand rather than any thing else(Warid/Wateen CEO just kept talking baout his two kids and thier lingo). The so called moderater (Mr. Salman Nabi) was a total jerk (read Prick) and kept on adding his two cent after every speaker.
    The workshop which was running simultaneosly to this conference was much better and speakers had some intersting stuff to show.

  5. Jamash (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2006 @ 2:43 pm

    Thank God, I too was saved by luck :D ..

  6. Kashif (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2006 @ 10:17 pm

    Dawn is a seth group and they suck big time. They should learn how to arrange events from Jang, or better from Pegasucks :)

  7. wasiq (unregistered) on November 24th, 2006 @ 7:25 am

    so how did the americans celebrated the HAPPY THANKSGIVING here in karachi…..?

    well,the dawn and other papers that usually print a lot of syndicated stuff to give an impression about their relations did not wish like they do on the naurouz or diwali….no ad for turkey sale…..McDonald’s offered special turkey sandwich or turkey meals NOT…,PIZZAHUT on tariq road had sewarage water overflowing outside and we all know the new Dunkin donut is next to what…!

    streetwise:baou jee hum ta suba khichrdi aur saam ka machli khaya…..hum ka kay pata turkey kahaan….,

    personally,i feel that if all this did not remind US of the hardships faced by the pilgrim fathers’ than nothing can….

    Soo..Bye, bye miss American Pie
    Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
    And good ol’ boys were drinking whisky and rye?
    Singing this will be the day that I die
    this will be the day that I die

    Did you write the book of love
    And do you have faith in God above
    If the Bible tells you so
    Do you believe in rock n roll
    Can music save your mortal soul
    Then you can teach me to dance real slow

    Well I know that you’re in love with him
    ‘Cause I saw you dancing in the gym
    You both kicked off your shoes
    Then I dig those rhythm and blues

    I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
    With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
    but I knew that I was out of luck
    The day the music died

    I started singin’…

    Bye, bye miss American Pie
    Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
    And good ol’ boys were drinking whisky and rye?
    Singing this will be the day that I die
    this will be the day that I die

    Now for 10 years we’ve been on our own
    And moss grows fat on a rolling stone
    But that’s not how it used to be

    When the jester sang for the king and queen
    In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
    In a voice that came from you and me

    And while the King was looking down
    The jester stole his thorny crown
    The courtroom was adjourned
    No verdict was returned

    While Lennon read the book of Marx
    The quartet kept practice in the park
    And we sang dirges in the dark
    The day the music died

    We were singin’

    Bye, bye miss American Pie
    Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
    And good ol’ boys were drinking whisky and rye?
    Singing this will be the day that I die
    this will be the day that I die

    Helter Skelter in a summer swelter
    The birds flew off with the fallout shelter
    Eight miles high and falling fast

    It landed foul on the grass
    The players tried for a forward pass
    With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

    Now the halftime air was sweet perfume
    While sergeants played a marching tune
    We all got up to dance
    Oh, but we never got the chance

    ‘Cause the players tried to take the field,
    The marching band refused to yield.

    Do you recall what was revealed,
    The day the music died?
    We started singing

    Bye, bye miss American Pie
    Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
    And good ol’ boys were drinking whisky and rye?
    Singing this will be the day that I die
    this will be the day that I die

    There we were all in one place
    A generation lost in space With no time left to start again
    So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
    Jack Flash sat on a candle stick
    ‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend.

    As I watched him on the stage
    My hands were clenched in fists of rage
    No angel born in hell
    Could break that satan’s spell

    And as flames climbed high into the night
    To light the sacrificial rite
    I saw satan laughing with delight
    the day the music died.

    I met a girl who sang the blues
    And I asked her for some happy news
    But she just smiled and turned away

    I went down to the sacred store
    Where I’d heard the music years before
    But the man there said the music wouldn’t play

    And in the streets the children screamed
    The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
    But not a word was spoken
    The church bells all were broken

    And the three men I admire most
    The Father Son and Holy Ghost
    They caught the last train for the coast
    The day the music died

    They were singin’

    Bye, bye miss American Pie
    Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
    And good ol’ boys were drinking whisky and rye?
    Singing this will be the day that I die
    this will be the day that I die

    A M E R I C A N P I E
    by Don McLea



  8. shobz (unregistered) on November 24th, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

    my brother was representing his school and he told me it wasnt worth it.

  9. Kashif (unregistered) on November 25th, 2006 @ 9:18 am

    @Wasiq: We (muslims)celebrate ThanksGiving by saying Alhamdulilah, giving out sadaqah and Zakat. That’s how we do it.

  10. wasiq (unregistered) on November 26th, 2006 @ 6:51 am

    @Kashif…..my thesis above is not about how WE(the muslims)do it,it is about how they the global leaders don’t(or can’t) do it in my backyard….!

    Btw,i want to thank all the bloggers,commentors,and readers of KMB…..for finally accepting me as iam….i am beginning to feel adopted…..

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