ad:tech, Singapore

I’ve been looking forward immensely to this conference/trip. For four reasons, mainly:

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.

Already the city is showing signs of a growing economy by the sight of the growing skyline in the financial district.

We checked into the Marina Mandarin, hotel which is exactly opposite the Suntec Singapore Convention Centre where ad:tech was being held.

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.

And this is the view the other way, looking down into the atrium bar and lounge.

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!

We had a new booth design for this show. As usual though, it was very… Orange, as all our corporate stuff is.

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.

And here’s Anton in full swing at one of the sessions.

As usual, I took a shot of the audience at one of my main sessions.

And also got a shot or two of Anton at one of his main sessions.

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).

So, we were very Orange.

Yahoo! was very purple.

And Google was very white.

I had a chance to catch up with my buddy David Temple. He and I hadn’t seen each other since SES, Nanjing back in 2006. And so he roped me into helping out at the SEMPO booth.

My stint at the booth lasted about 90 seconds until I was distracted by a couple of small things and had to leave πŸ™‚

After the show closed, Anton, Selina, Farah and I got together to go for a little celebratory dinner as the show went so very well for us. We started with drinks in the Atrium lounge at the hotel.

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.

Also notice Selina in the background with one of the extremely well priced cameras I’m sure I helped pay for πŸ™‚

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.

Perfect. Captured like never before πŸ™‚

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.

And true to form, Selina almost bought every item in the store.

One thing I was really looking forward to while in Singapore was a visit to the famous Raffles Hotel. A little bit of colonial history still tucked away in the city and still just as striking.

So, I decided to take the girls there for lunch. And, of course, it being the place where it was invented, the world famous Singapore Sling.

It really is a beautiful place. And make no mistake, I’ll be coming back to stay in the near future.

All-in-all, it was a great conference and a wonderful time had by all. Well done to Farah and her Singapore team. You all did a great job.

Singapore – I’ll be back very soon!


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