As ArabNet kicks off it’s fifth conference in Beirut today, we assess the agenda which offers events for a wide variety of online business geeks. Here are our top trends to watch out for this year.
Online advertising: Does it work? Or do companies spend too much money on advertising online? Chahe Yervenian, CEO of real estate company Sayfco Holding, will be discussing the company’s experience in advertising on Facebook. Having the largest Facebook presence among Middle Eastern real estate companies, you’ve probably seen Sayfco’s ads sandwiched between posts. Yervenian will be discussing the resources they put into online advertising versus the sales they get from it. Catch his talk after lunch on Wednesday.
If you are still hungry for more in the online advertising department drop by the twin panels on The State of Growth of Digital Advertising, by global market research company Ipsos and online advertising monitoring company OOX. Catch them on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, respectively.
De-bunking Circular 331: Marianne Hoayek, head of executive office at Banque du Liban (Lebanon’s central bank), will be taking questions mid-day on Wednesday on the central bank’s $400 million stimulus to increase investments in the knowledge economy. Hoayek will hopefully shed some light on some of the issues revolving around the circular, particularly addressing the concern that Lebanon does not have enough deal flow to effectively utilize the amount of money being pumped into the ecosystem. (See our coverage on the issue here.)
Founder Omar Christidis launched the event on March 4, read our interview with him.
New ways to pay: Two panels on the last day of the event will discuss emerging methods for alternative payments and alternative commerce platforms. These new innovative business models will be discussed by panels of companies on the younger side. The first on alternative payment methods will feature mobile payments methods, PinPay and Bitcoin, and the second on e-commerce will bring together up-and-coming fashion, luxury and gift e-commerce sites to talk about their experiences.
Speed networking and creative combat: Both have one thing in common: intensity. After lunch on day two of the event, speed networking gives participants an opportunity to connect and grow their contacts in a structured networking activity. Participants sit in two rows facing each other, and the rows shift every three minutes. And voila: 20 new connections in the space of an hour.
Creative combat is a competition that aims to highlight young talent in regional advertising, communication and media. Teams of two-to-three members had a week to come up with a plan for effective digital marketing, and they will pitch it to a panel of judges who will stand on stage and give them direct feedback. The panel includes judges from Exotica, Silkor and Patchi. The competition is the last event before the closing awards ceremony.
Web design and development: Catering to the geek in all of us, the first day of the conference will be dedicated to workshops on web design and development. Topics include Typography in Web & Mobile, Developing for Windows, and Publishing and Monetizing Android apps on Nokia. Techies, don’t miss the chance to sharpen your skills.
Stay tuned for Executive’s coverage of the event and in the meantime check out our interview with ArabNet’s founder Omar Christidis here. Also take a look at the agenda of the event and let us know what you are most excited about in the comments below.