IAA congress seeks more Saudi visitors

The International Advertising Association’s world president elect Joseph Ghossoub has said he wants to see more representation from Saudi Arabia at the IAA World Congress in March.

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By  Steve Wrelton Published  February 19, 2006

The International Advertising Association’s world president elect Joseph Ghossoub has said he wants to see more representation from Saudi Arabia at the IAA World Congress in March. Ghossoub told Campaign that delegates from 50 countries would be visiting the congress, but said there was still room for more people from the Kingdom to attend. Ghossoub is flying to Saudi Arabia on Monday to meet with representatives from the Jeddah and Riyadh Chambers of Commerce. He will also travel to Qatar and Bahrain to attend promotional events in the run-up to the congress. “We have a lot of people from Saudi Arabia, but we want more — I think that more is always better,” Ghossoub said. “At the end of the day we are going to Saudi Arabia first to thank those who have already registered and at the same time promote our congress, which is something we should do — we don’t just sit here and wait for everybody, we have to go to the place that’s supporting the congress and Saudi Arabia has been supporting the congress big time.” He added: “We have around 300 delegates from Saudi Arabia at the moment, so it’s not a small number, but we want more.” Ghossoub said that the IAA was aiming to secure between 2000 and 2500 delegates for the event, which he said would put Dubai on the world map of advertising and marketing. Confirmed speakers include WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, Lord Heseltine, chairman of Haymarket Publishing, publishers of Campaign UK, and Steve Forbes, CEO of Forbes. “There is a line-up of speakers that no other IAA conference has ever seen before,” Ghossoub said. “This event sends the signal that we are here, that we have standards that are on a par with the rest of the world.” The IAA World Congress will be held at the Dubai International Convention Centre from 20 to 23 March.

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