Media Expo launches SOTI conference in Mumbai 21-22 February

Discussion on changing trends in advertising

Media Expo

Media Expo, India’s largest exhibition for advertising and signage solutions, has announced the launch of its first ever conference alongside the exhibition to highlight changing trends in advertising. With the theme being ‘Signage, Outdoor Advertising – Technology and Innovation,’ the SOTI conference will kick off on 21 February in Hall 3, Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon East, Mumbai. The conference is likely to be inaugurated by Vijay Balamwar, deputy commissioner (Election), Municipal Corporation, Mumbai, who will be the chief guest.

SOTI conference will discuss key issues in the advertising industry, with discussions centered round how technology advancements affecting conventional advertising for business in India, outdoor advertising impacting the road safety, green solutions for the advertising and printing industries, and changing trends and opportunities.

The conference will start with the registration of the participants and a welcome tea followed by an inaugural speech and welcome address. In the inaugural session, Balamwar, chief guest of the conference, will speak on ‘How outdoor advertising impacts the road safety’. After Balamwar’s address, Sudhir Soundalgekar, director of projects at Raymond, will talk on ‘Increasing the sales – Reimagining the store’. Dhruv Talwar, head of brand strategy at Godrej Properties, will discuss ‘Brands on street – Future perspective in India’. Nagendra Pratap Singh, head of retail design, Raymond will talk on ‘Dynamic vs static displays at retail business’. Jay Mehtaa, general manager at TDI India, will speak on ‘Enhancing traveler’s experience at Airport and Rail Metro – Latest advertising trends’. Sam Patel, director of Arrow Digital, will deliberate on ‘Wide format market trends’.

In the second session, eminent business leaders from reputed brands like Vyoma Media, MOMS Outdoor Media, Moving Walls, and CASHurDRIVE will speak on a series of topics – ‘How technology and big data is driving the OOH industry’, ‘Creative promotional outdoor branding and advertisement on billboards’, ‘The four letter word on outdoor advertising; MROI (Market Return on Investment)’, ‘Car wraps and branding scopes and impact in the evolving advertising industry’.

A panel discussion on ‘Best Practices in Signage and Outdoor Advertising’ will be held during the third session of the SOTI conference on 22 February. The panel will focus on balancing safety, environment, aesthetics and revenue in advertising, and will comprise members from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay, 3M India, Positive Images, Arrow Digital, Jasra Graphics, and HP. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A session.

During its fourth session, SOTI conference will highlight business leaders’ viewpoints on ‘Printing and material technologies – Achieving the best results’. A vote of thanks followed by high tea and networking will bring the SOTI conference to an end.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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