1) I’ve never been to Singapore.
2) Acronym is a main sponsor of the show.
3) ad:tech is one of my favourite conferences and this is their first show in Singapore.
4) I get to spend a week working with our General Manager for that region, the deliciously scrumptious (and totally nuts), Farah Sadiq.
Singapore is a wonderful place. It definitely has hints of Hong Kong about it. But it’s certainly much cleaner than Hong Kong. And the fact that most people seem to speak English (or at least some) getting around is pretty easy.
The Marina Mandarin is built around a huge atrium. This is a shot I took sitting in the atrium bar looking directly up to the roof.
Myself, Anton and Selina flew in from New York to support Farah. And she already had members of the local team in Singapore briefed and ready to man the booth. Here’s Anton with Carrie, Jovis and Yasser.
And here she is, the one and only Farah Sadiq!
Anton came up with the brilliant idea of having a brilliant ideas room. Basically, we ran a kind of mini conference during the breaks between the main sessions. The idea was beautifully simple: 8 brilliant ideas in search delivered in 8 minutes. It worked so well, it’s likely to become a permanent feature for us at conferences. Here’s how the room looked.
Of course, like me, Anton has been involved online since 1995 so he’s been around a long time and many people in the industry know him well. However, not so many people know about the driving force behind the technology and brilliant ideas at Acronym, Vice President and Senior Strategist, Selina Allibhai. She has a tendency to keep a very low profile online. But as she’s my buddy, gorgeous and one of the smartest brains in the search industry, I thought it would be great for my image to have a picture taken with her (alright, and also to let everyone know just who this mystery woman is).
Yahoo! was very purple.
And then Farah took us to the most fabulous Indian restaurant where we sat outdoors. The food was wonderful. As was the wine. But what the heck Selina and Anton saw in the trees above us, I have no idea!!!
On the final day Selina and Farah invited me to join them doing a little shopping at Little India and then on to Orchard Road.
Selina only wanted to buy *three* digital cameras! So the famous Mustafa Centre was the first port of call.
During the process of bartering and bargaining her way through the sale of not only three cameras, but two computers as well, I was being sold a ton of new equipment to pimp-up my existing camera. Funny thing is, each time Selina got a discount, I’m absolutely certain they added the same amount to my bill!
So once my camera was fitted with a new sooper-dooper lens (and the thousand dollars worth of other kit I bought!), I just had to point it in Farah’s direction for her to automatically pose. Somehow, she can just sense a camera in her space and she turns into Farah Sadiq, super model.
So, let’s do it one more time Farah, honey. Give me your best, I want gorgeous, I want sexy, I want sensual. Do your thing honey.
Okay, Orchard Road, here we come. And to prove my point, even during trying something on, Farah could just sense my camera lens hovering around at the back of the store.
Singapore – I’ll be back very soon!