By Chris Robb
It has been almost two months since I sold Spectrum Worldwide to Ironman and I am excited to have started the next chapter of my Mass Participation journey.
Planning is well underway for the second edition of the Mass Participation Asia (MPA) conference which will take place in Bangkok on 29 and 30 November later this year.
Building on the huge success of the inaugural event last year in Singapore, I am delighted to have the opportunity to take the event to Thailand which is undoubtedly a fast emerging market in the Mass Participation space.
Whilst the core objective remains to provide an opportunity to encourage collaboration and foster best practice within the industry, I also believe there are many opportunities to learn from other sport sectors and indeed other industries.
Accordingly, the theme for this year is “Inspiration from beyond Mass Participation”.
I am delighted to have already confirmed Victor Cui (CEO, ONE Championship) as one of the keynote speakers. Victor will share his vast experience of helping develop the mixed martial arts industry over the past six years through ONE. There is no doubt that Victor and ONE have played a significant role in transforming a fragmented, disparate industry into a much more collaborative and aligned group and I feel certain that there will be some valuable take-outs for the mass participation industry.
We are also in discussions with a number of high profile teams including BPL clubs to share their strategies around fan engagement especially in the off-season. I believe there are potential learnings and huge opportunities across mass participation to treat our customers as fans on a year round basis rather than participants that we only engage with for a few months around event time. Whilst there are certainly a number of events and organisations that already have excellent year-round participant engagement, I believe our industry as a whole still has much to learn.
A great example of learning from outside the industry is the Music Run. We are delighted to have Sam Middlehurst and Tim Johnston who will be sharing their journey as “industry outsiders” from startup to running events in 10 countries in just three years.
The speaker panel will still include a number of industry experts and day two will be broken into two core streams – commercial and operations.
We are committed to bringing an inspiring range of new speakers each year and will also bring back some of the top rated speakers from last year. We will be making further announcements over the coming weeks and are excited to have confirmed Josh Black (CEO, GroupM Content APAC) and Neil Stewart (Head of Agency, APAC, Facebook).
I am honoured to have the support of a number of experts on the Advisory Board. Special thanks to Josh Black, Wilfred Uytengsu (Sunrise Events Chairman and CEO), Shoto Zhu (Founder and CEO of Ocean Marketing), Craig Dews (CEO of Limelight Sports Group) and Sam Renouf (General Manager, Sports and Consumer at ACTIVE Network).
We are planning to add two exciting new initiatives to the event this year. Firstly, we are in discussions with a number of leading industry members to use Mass Participation Asia as a launchpad for their version of annual industry reports.
Secondly, we are committed to using the event as a platform to drive innovation in the industry. We are working on an “Innovation Incubator“ whereby interested groups or individuals can submit their innovation ideas across all aspects of the industry from technology to new event concepts with finalists having the opportunity to pitch their ideas to potential investors at the conference.
Reinforcing the key objective of promoting collaboration within the industry I would welcome any feedback either directly on this post or via email@example.com.
I look forward to welcoming you to this year’s event.
More details will be released soon at the MPA website: http://massparticipationasia.com/
Registration opens in September and if you register your interest here, you will receive a special discount code: http://eepurl.com/b_41T9
For speaking and partnership opportunities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org