The annual event, the Outdoor Advertising Convention (OAC), organised by VJ Media Works, returns with its fifth edition, the OAC 2009, to be held on June 18-19 at Taj Land's End, Mumbai.
The OAC will again bring together all the interest groups in the out-of-home industry, including brands, agencies, media owners and solution providers, to interact, network, discuss and debate issues of current and strategic importance to the medium.
OAC 2009 will continue with the same format as the earlier editions -- two days of interactive presentation sessions and panel discussions, concluding with the Outdoor Advertising Awards (OAA) ceremony. About 20 speakers and around 500 delegates are expected this year.
Speakers at the convention include Pradeep Shrivastava, CMO, Idea Cellular; Lloyd Mathias, CMO, Tata Teleservices; Ravi Kiran, CEO, South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group and Sanjay Dhar, co-founder and COO, Integrid Media.
Amiya Chandra, the head of the Department of Outdoor Advertisement and additional deputy commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi will make a presentation on 'Optimising between regulation, infrastructure development/beautification and advertising - The Delhi Case Study'.
Sandip Tarkas, president, customer strategy, Future Group, will elaborate on the key drivers required for the growth of outdoor advertising spends, or what outdoor needs to do to remain relevant. Ashish Pherwani, senior manager at Ernst & Young's Risk Advisory Practice will discuss the slowdown, the outdoor advertising industry and what the industry can do to cope -- the impact, the implications and the imperatives.
Providing an update on the Indian Outdoor Survey, Sabina Solomon, general manager, Media Research Users Council will talk on 'IOS: Unlocking the Potential of Outdoor'.
Noomi Mehta, CMD of Selvel One Group will discuss the dos and don'ts for concessionaires, specialists and regulators, especially in hard times, from a concessionaire's perspective.
Sharing his insights on the state of the industry in 2008-2009, on the parameters of spends, trends, growth, categories and projections will be Pratap Bose, COO, Mudra Group.
There will also be a panel discussion on the 'Fallout of the Slowdown -- How to deal with it'. The panelists for this will be: Vivek Lakhwara, CEO, Aaren Initiative; Sunder Hemrajani, MD, Times Innovative Media; Gour Gupta, COO, Platinum Outdoor (part of the Madison Group); Praveen Vadhera, country head, OOH, 141 Wall Street; Kalpesh Vora, director, Creations and CDV Subbarao, CEO, Prakash Arts.
Conspicuous by their absence at the convention this year are international speakers. Sachin Jante, marketing manager, VJ Media Works tells afaqs!, "In today's scenario, local learning is more important than international learning from the business perspective. Stakeholders would be keener to discuss the local issues and learn the ways to address them. Keeping the objective of the convention in mind, local speakers fit the bill."
As always, there will also be a dedicated Expo space at the OAC, which will showcase state-of-the-art solutions for the OOH industry -- scrollers, trivisions, LEDs and other new technologies.
The grand finale to the OAC 2009 will be the awards, the OAA, that acknowledge and reward creativity and innovation in OOH advertising. The awards, judged by a seasoned jury from the advertising and media industries, serve to appreciate and encourage all those who provide constricted urban environments with a canvas for creativity, be they creative agencies, media owners or printers.
Discussing the general feeling among speakers and delegates this year, Jante says, "As the outdoor occupancy has increased in the last couple of months, the recession phobia has taken a backseat and the brands are readily investing in the media once again. I am sure that the mood of speakers and the entire outdoor community is upbeat and the morale is high. The industry is getting positive vibes from all fronts and I strongly feel that this positivism will be reflected in the speeches delivered."
Watch this space for more on the OAC 2009.