I spent an interesting and very informative day recently at ‘Asia Shopper Marketing & Insights’ conference. Sadly I could only attend half of this two-day event organised by Pacific Conferences.

The speakers were first rate and the presentations were excellent and insightful.

I think we overlook the contribution to our industry by Pacific Conferences and other similar event organisers. Yes, I know Pacific Conferences will by next week be organising, perhaps, an armaments conference or Corrosion on Oil Rigs workshop, but over the year, it is educating the advertising and marketing community on a regular basis covering topics such as ‘Public Relations in a Crisis’ or ‘Direct Marketing’. I myself have spoken on ‘Marketing to the Greys’ and on a few other topics. You will find many professionals giving up their time (it is unpaid) to speak at these events.

We as an industry cannot be congratulated on educating and upgrading our people. The advertising community tends to overlook this area. The Institute of Advertising Singapore used to play a major role in education but somewhere over the years the focus was lost.

It is the small independent conference organisers who have stepped up to the plate with year-round seminars. The larger event companies like Reed Exhibitions and rmg events also ensure we are updated with developments through their annual shows. rmg events organises ad:tech 2012 which has grown into a huge show and should not be missed by anyone in the ad industry. By the way, AdAsia has a booth there this June and I will delighted to meet you there.

The AdAsia Academy, in our small way, does also play a role. My copywriting classes, in particular, are always well attended as are the ‘Working with the Mad Men’ courses under another trainer. You know, if I had the knowledge to conduct classes in ‘Social Media Marketing’ , I could have accumulated enough funds in the last 12 months to buy a Singapore vehicle COE! There is a big thirst for knowledge this area.

I’d like to thank David Boden of Microsoft; Nik Laming of Aimia; Toby Desforges of Engage; Farrukh Shad of Philips; and Arnaud Frade of TNS of bringing me and the other delegates up to speed on developments in the retail trade as well as Pacific Conferences for organising the event.

The above was not, I must add, a paid or requested commercial!

Have a good week ahead.