The strength of the Mumbrella360 Asia full programme makes the lack of sleep worthwhile

The networking session that kicks off Mumbrella360 Asia

A year of encouraging the industry’s best and brightest to get involved by submitting in the ‘call for sessions’. Three months of hard work to curate said sessions. Weeks spent crafting the finer details of the programme. 

Sleep-interrupted nights thinking about what was missing (after all, a conference named ‘360’ needs to live up to its name). Candid discussions with speakers to finalise the nuances of their presentations. And meeting after meeting with stakeholders, both internal and external. 

But finally, we are there. The Mumbrella360 Asia full conference programme is now complete. Phew. What a relief. The toughest part of the journey is now safely navigated and the end result is way beyond my wildest expectations. Even if, at some points, it felt like we’d never get here.

I am pleased to say that we have now, indeed, locked in some 150 speakers across 75 sessions as well as one-to-one networking and 12 content streams in all. These include our Masterclasses and, a new innovation for this year, our Speaker’s Corner.

Situated in the bustling exhibition hall, the area – sponsored by media agency PHD – will feature intimate roundtable discussions with some of the top speakers from the conference, who will adjourn to Speaker’s Corner following their main stage sessions. They will then host 30-minute deep-dive question and answer sessions with delegates. The idea being to allow for a human follow-up to the presentations in an intimate setting.

Despite the unrelenting path to get here to the full-programme milestone, the resultant line-up is something I’m deeply proud of. In fact, it’s perhaps one of the proudest moments in my career. There certainly won’t be another conference like it in Asia – thinking about it, probably not across the world actually – this year. In terms of the breadth and diversity, that is. 

Where else are you going to see the likes of the global president of Accenture Interactive Operations Nikki Mendonça and WPP global chief marketing and growth officer Laurent Ezekiel take to the stage? Not to mention a ‘pitch’ game-show hosted live on stage and a pre-recorded (but tailored) video address from the social media marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk.

Then – in a nod to the industry’s state of flux – there are the new players also onboard, talking about where the media and marketing industry is going next. They include the likes of TikTok, Twitch, Circles.Life and of course VaynerMedia. There will, of course, too be content from the traditional players such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Mars, Havas, Dentsu, Omnicom Media Group and the South China Morning Post – to name but a few.

In fact, the content submitted in the call for sessions was first-class across the board. The last time we did the event in 2017, we received 151 submissions. This time, the figure was lower at 103 but the quality was much much higher than two years ago. It seems word got out about our strict submissions criteria, including no sales pitches or all-male speakers panels – for example. 

If we had the space on the programme, I’d say around 80 of the submissions would have made the cut this year. Last time around, that figure was only about 50. Quality is what counts eh, not quantity. Thankfully, a much larger percentage of the submissions featured women speakers this time around too. It’s a welcome progression. In 2017, that wasn’t the case and we had to work really hard to overcome the gender imbalance. 

But I can tell you now, the excitement levels are certainly building at Mumbrella. For, it’s at this point that we turn our efforts to marketing, delegate sales (did you buy your tickets yet?) and ensuring we execute well on the event days (November 5-7). It’s of utmost importance to us that the delegate experience is the best it can be for those coming along to the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. Otherwise, we realise you might not want to come back next time. 

And who could blame you? Everyone in the industry is time-poor, so investing the effort and money to go along to such a conference is no small matter. I’ve attended enough bad ones in the past myself to know what a bad taste it leaves in the mouth, when conference organisers fail to deliver. You just feel like you have wasted your time.

Conversely, attending a great conference can leave you with ideas and contacts that last a whole career. There is nothing like returning to your desk, after going along to an event, with the feeling that you are now better positioned to approach your role and your professional relationships than ever before. Conferences can be transformational for individuals and businesses, when they have been organised with care and clarity.

It’s not enough to have great speakers. You must also have great topics that have high-level relevance to the audience, a steadfast stance on saving people from themselves by banning sales pitches and planned moments for people to interact and engage. Content curation and networking should be the touchstones and yet, most conference organisers ignore them. Many believe these things happen on their own, as if by magic. They don’t. They require unrelenting focus.

So back to 360, we are expecting that 1,500 of your C-suite peers will be there. Last time, the attendance was just under 1,200 and the Mumbrella Asia brand has moved on greatly in the last two years. The ticket price is $999 for the full three-day pass (this is transferable so you can share it with colleagues, if you can’t make it to the event every day).

Alternatively, you can buy a single-day pass at $599. For those aged under 30, there is a ‘Next Generation’ ticket at just $699. Meanwhile, students can buy tickets at just $299. For both these concession tickets, please note that you will have to bring proof of age and status to the registration desk when picking up the tickets at the event.

At this juncture, you will have to allow me a moment to applaud the sponsors onboard already including Bonsey Jaden, IPG Mediabrands, Wunderman Thompson, PHD, Unruly, Brave Bison, Verizon Media, Getty Images, Mediacorp, MediaOcean, Moving Walls, Shutterstock, Taboola, Turner, Hong Bao Media, CNBC, Tickled Media, RhythmOne, Qualtrics, Shootsta and The Code Co – with Singapore Tourism Board also supporting the event financially. 

Quite an eclectic mix I’m sure you’ll agree. Without them, the event – and the knowledge transfer, inspirational content and high-value networking it brings – would not be possible so thank you. And thank you in advance to those of you who will be supporting us by buying tickets and coming along as delegates.

The final thank you though must go to our fantastic expert speakers, who are giving us their time and knowledge in order to take a collegiate approach to growing and bettering the industry. That sort of commitment and altruism normally goes without recognition. So below, in no particular order, is just a taste of some of the talent I’ve yet to mention – who will be speaking at 360:

  • Nicole McMillan, AMEA vice-president of marketing, Mars Wrigley
  • Megan Yulga, regional senior campaign manager, Circles.Life
  • Michelle Yip, Singapore chief marketing officer, Lazada
  • Mark Britt, co-founder and CEO, iflix
  • Deidre Smalls-Landau, United States chief marketing officer and global head of culture, UM Worldwide
  • Lynette Ang, chief marketing officer, Sentosa Development Corporation
  • Jyoti Jain, Asia-Pacific head of consumer and business intelligence – health, Johnson & Johnson
  • Christina Lim, now a consultant and former vice-president of marketing at Honestbee
  • Chris Riley, Singapore CEO, Ogilvy
  • Joon-Nie Lau, Asia director, World Association of News Publishers
  • Tarun Deo, managing director for Singapore and South East Asia, Golin
  • Dominique Touchaud, Asia integrated communications leader, Procter & Gamble
  • Pat Law, founder and CEO, Goodstuph
  • Nandu Madhava, South East Asia general manager, Twitch
  • Sheila Rasu, Asia vice-president of marketing and communications, NBA
  • Avery Akkineni, Singapore vice-president, VaynerMedia
  • David Dahan, CEO, WPP@Unilever
  • Helen Duffy, Asia managing partner, Grace Blue
  • Barbara Guerpillon, Director, Unilever Foundry Asia
  • Leigh Terry, Asia-Pacific CEO, IPG Mediabrands
  • Mike Amour, Asia-Pacific chairman and CEO, Havas
  • Siew Ting Foo, APAC and Japan regional chief marketing officer, Hewlett-Packard
  • Chris Stephenson, Asia-Pacific head of strategy and planning, PHD
  • Kamil Yadallee, South East Asia marketing manager, Netflix
  • David Tse, global eSports director, Razer
  • Andrew Au, executive director, Eight Inc. 
  • David Mayo, APAC non-executive director, Grace Blue Partnership
  • Ashutosh Srivastava, chairman and CEO of AMEA and Russia/CIS, Mindshare
  • Norio Ichikawa, creative director of the X Design Centre, TikTok
  • Erica Kerner, senior adviser, One Championship (and Marketing Society Asia chairwoman)
  • Edward Pank, Asia managing director, Warc
  • Georgina Zhou, APAC head of marketing, Herman Miller
  • Clare Woodford, APAC director of consumer and digital communications, Hilton
  • Susana Tsui, CEO, Tickled Media
  • Aaron Pearce, APAC managing director, Virtue (a Vice Media agency)
  • Kristy Castleton, founder and chief memory maker, Rebel & Soul
  • Nicola Eliot, APAC director, BBC StoryWorks
  • Wendy Walker, APAC marketing director, Salesforce
  • Scott Munday, director of media sales for South East Asia and Pacific, The Economist
  • Robert Simons, head of channel partner and developer marketing – international markets, PayPal
  • Andy Wilson, Asia head of strategy, BBDO
  • Piotr Jakibowski, brand and marketing consultant (and former Gojek chief marketing officer)
  • Michael Toedman, APAC regional CEO of the media division, Kantar
  • Jacqui Lim, Singapore CEO, Havas Media
  • Jacob Wright, chief strategy officer, BBH Singapore
  • Tony Harradine, APAC CEO, Omnicom Media Group
  • Ian Loon, Singapore managing director, Starcom
  • Elsie Cheung, chief operating officer, South China Morning Post
  • Shahid Nizami, APAC Managing Director, HubSpot
  • Hari Shankar, CEO, Singapore Media Exchange
  • Vivek Misra, director of strategic initiatives, AnyMind Group
  • Felicia Li-Gaillard, APAC marketing director, Integral Ad Science 
  • Gavin Buxton, Asia managing director, SpotX
  • Ryan Pestano, APAC general manager, Iponweb
  • João Flores, head of creative, Dentsu X Singapore
  • Justin Peyton, APAC chief strategy and transformation officer, Wunderman Thompson
  • Rohit Dadwal, APAC managing director, Mobile Marketing Association
  • Emma Scales, APAC managing director, Publicis Sapient 
  • Kate Ferguson, Australia chief client and operations officer, Edelman
  • Kiri Sinclair, founder and CEO, SInclair
  • Michelle Eve A. De Guzman, marketing campaigns and content manager, Cebu Pacific Air

Now if that array of industry leaders doesn’t whet your appetite, then I don’t know what will. And if you want to check out the entire programme or buy your tickets to come along, you can do so here.

I hope to see you there. That will make the entire journey, and the lack of sleep, a worthwhile exercise. While I have to admit that, yes, 360 is a business. We can’t deny that. Although it’s also a community and one we hope will be as inclusive as possible. 

Catch you at MBS in November. It is going to be quite something. Be sure to get there or you might spend the rest of the year regretting what you missed out on.


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