BCON Expo 2013

Need an insight into branding? The first ever BCON Expo showcased the cogs of the media industry, the results of game-changing integrations and brand-created content; what is defined as new, and who creates it.

The conference featured a range of intimate presentations hosted by Canada’s leading media and entertainment companies in the areas of broadcast, publishing and music. Called “The New Brand Content Upfronts”, media heavy-weights such as Bell Media, Shaw Media, CBC and The Globe and
Mail showcased their strategic integrations for the year, and how businesses could participate.

The highlight presentation, in our opinion, was the closing speech by Barry Krause, founder of Suite, a LiveLab company. Titled, “Helping brands become media companies”, Barry took the audience on a trip with his own personal, remarkable story, spanning the golden age of advertising to the new age of social media, online concert goers and the future of branding. In essence, his personal roadmap on how brands can truly create a connected, responsive audience.

As its first run around the track, there were a few hiccups, such as audio system glitches and lighting misses. There was considerable conflict in the fact that any one time, 1/5 of the audience would be excluded from certain presentations, “blacklisted” or “banned” from sessions with competitive media outlets due to sensitive, key metrics laid out during those talks.

Although the restrictions were understandable, several guests remarked that the blow would have been easier to bear if there were alternative, open-to-all sessions run concurrently with closed-door presentations. Perhaps the word “banned” should not have been used at all by door staff, and exchanged for words such as “restricted” or “limited”.

Minus the small operational hiccups, we believe that for its first showing, BCON Expo was a tour de force where real power players showed their hands in the alluring, ever-changing media industry. For those in niche branding, marketing or communications roles, merely observing these stalwarts in action is worth the price of admission. The entire, big picture, at a fleeting glance. 

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