The Marketing Society Middle East is the fastest growing element of the MarSoc world (London, Edinburgh, New York, New Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong). So it’s a delight to put on our first conference in an excellent venue, the Vox Cinema in Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, The Brave Conference. #braveleaders.

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#braveleaders in the audience as well as on the stage

Recurring themes underpinned the excellent and unique presenters. Unique in their storytelling and unique in their outlook. All demonstrating different themes of bravery. Let’s look at some of these themes.

Honesty and relevance are key to bravery. Ros Atkins, presenter, Outside Source, BBC World News and BBC World Service, gave an honest story of passion, preparation and purpose. Which turned out to be the three Ps of #braveleaders in business as a whole and marketing in particular.

Accessibility and going against perceived & received wisdom are key to bravery. Asad Rehman, Chair of the Marketing Society Middle East and Director Media, North Africa and Middle East, Unilever, is one of those few business people that makes his successes accessible. Accessible because he will share his #bravery in business openly. He talked of his colleagues and how they went against the flow, the zagged while others zigged with Unilever’s now award winning campaign.

Marketing today is about embracing technology. Vikram Krishna, Executive Vice President, Head of Group Marketing & Customer Experience, Emirates NBD, was quick to share his story of leadership and future-proofing through digital means. Artificial Intelligence is key to ENBD today.

When asked about bravery amongst his peers, Bradley Ismail, a 17 year old E-gamer who exclaims “anything less than that would be an insult”. Gamers have to be brave to compete, win, survive. Later he points out how brands are now welcomed by gamers. Brands that “get” his world.

Passion and energy. The young Bradley Ismail turned out to be the star of the Brave Conference, explaining how brands and businesses can engage with his – otherwise elusive – age group.

Case studies from the Middle East are these days so exciting. Lucy Aitken, Case Study Editor, WARC, along with Dana Al-Kutoubi, Head of Strategic Planning, JWT plus Olga Kudryashova, Strategic Planning Director, Y&R Advertising were quizzed by Ros Atkins about the ability to get brands and agencies to collaborate to be brave. And they have great regional examples.

Finally, Dr Emma Barrett, Author and Psychologist, demonstrated the power of The Marketing Society’s Brave Conference by at once being in London (presenting live) and engaging us all here in Dubai with a series of indisputable heroes who show how bravery isn’t anything other than a means to an end for each and every example. Each of her brave heroes live by the passion, preparation and purpose mantra too, it appears..

If you’d like to join the Marketing Society Middle East, please ping alasdair@marketingsociety.com. Membership is a few quid, but it’s worth every penny to meet people like this, regularly. It’s an honour. Thanks, everyone.

Thanks specially to my colleagues Asad Rehman, Khaled Ismail, Maria Gedeon and the rest of the Marketing Society Middle East board.

I’ll post here the video(s) of the event when available.

Buzzwords from the day: #Energy #ContinuousFluidity #Passion #Preparation #Purpose #ContinuousFluidity #RiskAnalysis #SelfEfficacy #RoleModels #FutureProofing #BraveLeaders … oh and @TheMarketingSoc

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