What to do when things go terribly wrong? Have you ever faced a situation where a mammoth conference was called off just 12 hours prior to going live? Well, the team of Asiatic PR (APR) faced the very same drastically depressing situation when the much talked and hyped about Pakistan’s first Influencer Marketing Conference i.e. DigiConnect was cancelled by the management of IBA (Institute of Business Administration) City Campus on 8th of December, 2017. DigiConnect was a brilliant step towards strengthening the “Digital Fraternity of Pakistan” and such kind of event had never been organized in the past sans Digit series; which is an international thing. International Speakers along with the finest local business minds were supposed to share insights, experiences and tales significant for the followers, professionals and enthusiasts of digital and influencer marketing on 9th of December, 2017.
People were really excited to attend DigiConnect17.
I’m excited for #DigiConnect. With experienced professionals like these, it’ll be an amazing opportunity to learn from the finest #DigitalMarketing professionals.
All the best to the entire team behind #Pakistan‘s First Influencer #Marketing Conference. pic.twitter.com/ummTH2GORS
— Scheff (@shafiqulhasan81) November 28, 2017
— IAmPasha (@eisha_salim) November 24, 2017
As I was supposed to attend DigiConnect, I was informed with the following message by the team:
Digiconnect Cancelled By IBA City Campus
Karachi, 8th December 2017: It is with the deepest regret that we have to inform you that our Digi-Connect influencer marketing conference which was to be held on Saturday, December 09, 2017 has been cancelled. We were informed by the IBA very late in the evening of Friday December 08 that they cannot allow the event owing to security concerns, as intimated by Jami Moiz / Assistant Professor Dept of Marketing & Center for Entrepreneurial Development-CED, IBA, vide his email which states as below:
“We regret to inform you that given a security advisory put out in view of the prevailing security situation the IBA is cancelling the booking.”
Despite all the hard work and preparation put in for this event, the circumstances proved to be beyond our control and till now, we were still trying to find a solution. However, the matter could not be resolved and we had to take the extremely unfortunate decision for event cancellation.
Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused, however, everyone’s well-being and safety is our chief priority. We would also like to thank our sponsors and partners for their tremendous support throughout the planning for digi connect.
Participants who had already paid the fee will be duly refunded.
Furthermore another note was shared (shown below)
Alarming Situation For IBA:
It is alarmingly a bad situation for not only APR but also for Pakistan, as because of security threat/reasons. At one end it is an open question towards the security conditions of Karachi plus it is also a matter of serious concern for IBA’s management. Can anyone threat a reputed institution just like that? What about the security checks which should be management’s concern for the safety of the students studying at IBA?
Trend of Digital Marketing in Pakistan
Digital Marketing in Pakistan is going through a phase where a good chunk of professionals and students want to learn more about it. The field of digital marketing is growing with the passage of time and Pakistan is emerging as one of the quality-centric markets for sure. The growth of digital agencies is remarkable in Pakistan; professionals are doing their best to come out with interesting and better ideas at a very initial phase. Startups are coming up with brilliant ideas and need mentors to help them build their business and create better opportunities for human resource of Pakistan. Conferences like DigiConnect are actually a way forward to bridge the gap between mentors and budding talent of Pakistan.
Food For Thought
In Karachi, same day, there were two mega-music-events where the turnout was gigantic as well. Events went smooth, should we give credit to the able security checks? If yes then why can’t IBA improve its security checking standards?
It isn’t a piece of cake to arrange a venue for more than 300 attendees in just 10 hours or so where the time starts ticking after 7 PM in the evening. Imagine the loss faced by APR in terms of monetary aspect as well as the trauma the entire team had faced. What a sad situation for those people whose event was sold out within just a few days and was expected to be one of a kind conference organized in Karachi.
Following was the reaction over social media by attendees, speakers and team;
Just wanted to give a shout out to the organisers of #DigiConnect in Pakistan… Pity the event was cancelled the PreEvent Management was fantastic and if that had anything to say about the event itself, I’m sure it would have been amazing! #SadafZarrar pic.twitter.com/5jS860OzYR
— Sadaf Zarrar (@SadafZarrar) December 9, 2017
This is a huge disaster and one must get to the bottom of this. Knowing the scale of the event, what a terrible terrible impression of #Pakistan goes out at this knee jerk of the threat perception of goons who should be pushed back instead of given into #DigiConnect https://t.co/5om08pWNln
— afia salam (@afiasalam) December 9, 2017
Unfortunately digi connect has been cancelled due to the reason mentioned in the below email. Despite all the hard work and preparation put in for this event, the circumstances proved to be beyond our control. #digiconnect pic.twitter.com/CLSOv06aJN
— Asiatic PR (@asiaticpr) December 8, 2017
— Faiza Yousuf (@FaizaYousuf) December 8, 2017