Retrospective: Inspire Asean 2016

Held at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra on July 20, the first Inspire Asean sought to set the stage with inspiration and expertise for the crowd of young professionals present at the event. Organised by Focus Asean magazine and supported by the International Business Chamber in Cambodia (IBC), the event hosted a series of speakers and an online “idea feed” where participants could ask questions and share their feedback via social media.

Speakers at the press conference before delivering their presentations

Chris Bryce, Consultant at Razorfish Commerce, enlightened the audience with his presentation “Digital Analytics and Insights for Business”. With his presentation, Chris shared knowledge on using scoreboards to collate information and KPIs in one place.

Chris Bryce, onstage giving his presentation

“Because you are young, because you are social and because you are hungry, you will leapfrog… So what took the rest of the world 10 years to accomplish, you will do in two years,” said Vishnu Mohan, CEO of Havas Media Group, Asia Pacific. He delved into the beginnings of major companies such as eBay and Airbnb in his presentation, “Marketing – Tryst with Technology”. Apart from discussing the economy of marketing and advertising companies, Vishnu shared tips for effective advertising as well.

Vishnu Mohan enlightening the audience with lively presentation

Zoran Vasiljev, Chief Strategy Officer at Axiata Digital, spoke about the importance of content strategy and creative ads in “Interactive Session: Marketing Strategy”. He shared videos of innovative ads that sold an idea in five seconds or less, and gave the audience insights on modern marketing. “Take risks, encourage something that is edgy, encourage something that is different. And if it works, celebrate. And if it doesn’t work, take it as a learning lesson. Don’t play safe,” He added. “Creativity is a way of being, it’s allowing everybody in the company to be creative, everybody to experiment, and everybody to feel good about contributing, innovating and being creative.”

Zoran Vasiljev giving insights to marketing and content strategy

Chris J Reed, CEO of Black Marketing, dived straight into a good-humoured presentation of LinkedIn dos and don’ts with “10 Top Tips for How to Use LinkedIn (and for Some What Not to Do)”. Through real life examples of successful and failed LinkedIn accounts, Chris discussed what it takes to add maximise the benefits of LinkedIn. On advice for aspiring entrepreneurs in Cambodia, Chris said: “You need to get on LinkedIn, you need to start blogging, start content marketing, start using your own brand, start getting out there, start showing what Cambodians can actually show the world. You need to be doing that on a platform where people are looking for entrepreneurs, who will support entrepreneurs, whether it’s through clients or employees or businesses.”

Chris J Reed’s lively presentation on the dos and don’ts for LinkedIn accounts

Following the presentations was a panel of discussion for the marketing trends of tomorrow. Sandra Rector, Senior Program Manager from the Graduate School of Global Politics at Freie Universität Berlin, shared the school’s online educational modules. Named Certificates for Professions (CfP), these modules are aimed towards working professionals who seek to expand their skills in an array of different topics.

Sandra Rector on the discussion panel

Towards the end of the panel discussion, the speakers collectively gave tips on being a successful working professional. “Start three businesses. Fail in all three if needed. You will [have] a bigger and better spirit, and you will grow into a different entrepreneur, a different person than before,” advised Zoran. “It’s okay to fail on Friday, and still be motivated on Monday and start something again.”