Digital technology is driving tremendous growth in the creative sectors, both globally and across the Middle East.
Online music revenue will rise globally by 31% in 2015 to hit $7.7bn, with MENA contributing one of the highest growth rates by region. Global sales of artworks online are bringing in 7 figure sums, and video will account for 90% of all consumer internet traffic in 2013. Web and mobile are proving to be highly conducive to the food and beverage industry, the most popular search category with users of daily deal sites, while food is the #1 content category on Pinterest. On the whole, online advertising is expected to grow 35% across the MENA just this year.
“As the Arab digital sector booms, the Levant has emerged as a hub for the creative and digital talents required to meet the increasing demand in the industry,” says Omar Christidis, Founder and CEO of ArabNet, the hub for Arab digital professionals and entrepreneurs. For three years, ArabNet has been hosting the premier gathering for the region’s digital sector in Beirut, and this year is no exception. Building on Beirut’s location at the heart of the Levant, where adverting and media agencies, production and development houses, and design studios bustle with talent, ArabNet Beirut will address a range of topics relating to the web and mobile landscape while placing special emphasis on the creative and entertainment sectors.
Taking place from March 20-22, ArabNet Beirut will feature more than 80 top speakers from the region and beyond, and is expected to attract over 600 executives, entrepreneurs, developers, designers and creative participants. The event will kick off with “Design+Code”, a day targeting designers, developers and entrepreneurs with practical workshops focused on building great web and mobile products. It will then continue with a two-day Forum focused on digital in the creative sectors and covering media, entertainment, advertising, arts, culture, fashion, design, food & beverage, as well as entrepreneurship and social impact.
In line with the event’s creative focus, ArabNet Beirut is also introducing a new competition for young digital talents in advertising, marketing and communications. Dubbed “Creative Combat”, the competition will challenge teams to develop an effective digital marketing campaign around a creative brief in one week. The conference will also feature ArabNet’s signature Ideathon and Startup Demo competitions for entrepreneurs with bright web/mobile ideas or promising digital startups, allowing them to pitch to an audience of more than 600 attendees and connect with investors, executives and media.