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Dentsu MENA hosts inaugural Now to Next event in Riyadh

International advertising group Dentsu held the first edition of the Now to Next event in Riyadh, bringing together global and local experts to discuss industry challenges and plan for future opportunities in the Kingdom and the wider region. 

“With every challenge comes opportunity. Beyond the pandemic, we are experiencing a slowing global economy where customer centricity has become more important than ever,” said Tarek Daouk, CEO of Dentsu MENA. 

Ahmad Haider, managing director of Dentsu Saudi Arabia, added: “Saudi Arabia is on its own path of transformation and creating better relationships with each other and the customer is what we wanted to deliver for both our clients and the community in which we operate.”

The event “delivered the fundamentals to do that, providing our business partners with endless possibilities that will transform the way they interact with their customers,” he said.

Speakers at the event included Thomas Le Thierry, CEO of Media, Dentsu EMEA; Sven Huberts, president of experience, Dentsu Creative EMEA and Yoshimasa Nakano, chief director of the Content Business Design Center at Dentsu.

Dentsu also hosted an activation at the event that enabled guests to experience the technologies created by Dentsu Lab Tokyo.

The technologies included All Players Welcome, a software developed to help artists create, write and perform music with eye-tracking technology, and Alt Skin, a physical representation of metaverse avatars that allows digital fashion fitting for virtual world avatars.

As consumer behavior changes, agency models need to adapt — “a challenge everyone in our industry is facing,” said Daouk.

However, he believes that this environment fosters creativity in business and media.

“With the ambitious growth plans of Saudi Arabia on their ongoing journey toward Saudi Vision 2030, we are delighted to be able to share our own vision for sustainable growth with our partners in the Kingdom,” he said.