The Call for Content is now closed. Everyone who submitted their proposals will be notified about the outcome by Friday 1 September.

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The Festival Content Programme is created through the Call for Content which is open for submissions to all players within the creative space including but not limited to creative agencies, media agencies, communications agencies, publishers, technology, social media platforms, advertisers, media, brands, film and music makers, government, start-ups, universities and any parallel sectors. Speaking proposals are open to companies locally and globally and should be submitted via our online portal before Friday 11 August. All submitted proposals will be reviewed and selected based on the merit of the idea and all the submitters will be notified of the outcome before Friday 1 September.

Download the full overview here

Content Programme Timeline

Athar Festival Themes for 2023

When submitting your speaking proposal you will be asked to select one of the suggested themes and sub-topics for the Athar Festival Content Programme. If you are unsure which topic is the most suitable for your idea, please select ‘other’ and we will review where we think it fits best.

Technology has become an integral part of the creative marketing, advertising and communications industry, transforming the way businesses work. With the rise of digital media and tech platforms, marketers have access to a wealth of data and insights that allow them to create more targeted, personalised campaigns. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality, and social media platforms have made it possible for marketers to reach consumers in new and innovative ways, creating more engaging and immersive experiences. We are looking for the most exciting and innovative technology applications to share with the Athar Festival audience.

  • AI applications in the marketing, advertising and communications industry
  • The use of technology in storytelling
  • Understanding customer behaviours and habits through data analytics and visualisation
  • Creating immersive customer experience (AR, VR, Metaverse)
  • Successful blockchain case studies
  • Virtual characters and influencers in the creative space

Growing a brand is a complex process that requires a well-crafted strategy that aligns with the business’s goals and values. Potential strategies have so many facets like understanding the needs of your target audience, developing a unique brand voice, visual identity and messaging that differentiates the brand from competitors and creates an emotional connection with consumers. Additionally, brands can leverage social media and other platforms to engage with customers, build relationships and create a sense of community around the brand. Partnerships and collaborations across different industries can also help brands stand out and gain access to new audiences. How do you create a sustainable growth strategy that focuses on long-term success?

  • Building and differentiating your brand
  • Innovative product design
  • Partnerships and collaborations across different industries, co-branding
  • Developing brand-agency relationships
  • Maximising creative effectiveness
  • Shaping creative integrated marketing strategies
  • Understanding your customers – hyper-targeting and hyper-personalisation
  • Creative ways to use social media platforms
  • Gaming as an advertising medium
  • Experiential and activation campaigns
  • Demonstrating campaign ROI to your clients

Creative ideas are essential for producing successful campaigns that engage and resonate with audiences. Inspiration can come from a variety of sources, including cultural trends, consumer behaviour and insights from data & analytics. Creative teams often engage in brainstorming sessions, where they share ideas and build on each other’s concepts to develop a campaign that is fresh, original and impactful. In addition, marketers may draw inspiration from other industries, such as fashion, music and art, to infuse their campaigns with a unique and creative perspective. Effective idea generation requires a culture of collaboration, experimentation and an openness to new unconventional ideas. Tell us what inspires you to develop campaigns that stand out from the competition.

  • Using local culture to generate creative campaign ideas
  • The entertainment industry (music, sport, film, gaming and beyond) as a driver for creativity
  • Telling the story in a way that is fresh, persuasive and inspiring
  • Getting inspiration from other industries
  • The science of creativity – what is it that drives innovation and creativity?
  • Gaming as a creativity booster

A positive work culture that values creativity, innovation and collaboration can inspire employees to produce their best work and contribute to the growth of the business. A culture that prioritises employee well-being, work-life balance and professional development can help businesses attract and retain highly skilled and motivated employees. In addition, a diverse team with a range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives can help businesses produce campaigns that resonate with a broader audience and drive business growth. Share what your company does to retain and attract the best talent in the industry and create diverse and inclusive teams.

  • Retaining and attracting the best talent in the creative industry
  • Attracting the young generation to the marketing, advertising and communications industry
  • Building strong leadership teams to drive the industry forward
  • Addressing inclusion, equity and diversity
  • The importance of work-life balance for creative ideas

The marketing, advertising and communications industry has the power to bring about positive change in society by raising awareness about important social or economic issues, advocating environmental sustainability and engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. By promoting fair trade products, supporting local communities and engaging in philanthropic initiatives, businesses not only help alleviate poverty and promote social and economic development but also improve their brand image which, in turn, helps secure a more loyal customer base. Does your company have any initiatives that foster positive change and social innovation?

  • Addressing environmental sustainability and climate change
  • Helping reduce poverty, improving living conditions
  • Raising people’s awareness about important social or economic issues
  • Successful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) case studies
  • Purpose and cause related marketing; Gen Z and their consumer behaviour

Saudi Arabia is a rapidly growing market driven by a youthful tech-savvy population, increasing consumer spending and a growing appetite for digital media. The government’s Vision 2030 plan, which aims to diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil, has created business opportunities for many sectors. With giga projects such as NEOM, the Red Sea Project, Qiddiya and Diriyah, the country demonstrates its commitment to creating a modern and forward-looking society that is open to innovation and change.

With the right approach, the creative industry can take advantage of the opportunities presented by this dynamic and rapidly growing market. However, the key to success is understanding the local culture and customs, which can help create resonating campaigns that touch the core of the local hearts. Let us know what ground-breaking campaigns your company has done in Saudi Arabia.

  • Which trends are the most relevant to the local creative industry and are likely to drive it forward?
  • Strategic planning that will ensure future social and economic brand impact
  • Saudi giga projects – what are they looking for when it comes to forming creative partnerships?
  • Successful local case studies and lessons learnt
  • Understanding local culture and behaviour patterns
  • What are the young generation’s expectations of the marketing, advertising and communications industry?

Other Important Information

  • A catchy session title
  • A concise synopsis that describes your speaking idea, including 3-4 snappy questions that your session intends to answer
  • A theme and subtopic selected from the list
  • Proposed session format
  • Speaker and submitter details
  1. Writing your title (10 words max)

When creating the title for your sessions, keep in mind that delegates will be scrolling through the programme to choose which sessions to attend. Your title should not only grab their attention but also provide a concise summary of what the session is about. While witty and catchy titles can be effective, make sure the subject matter is still clearly conveyed.

  1. Crafting your synopsis (100-300 words)

This is your chance to capture your reader’s attention and convince them to attend your session. Be focused – vague statements won’t appeal to your audience, and neither will lengthy convoluted writing. Ask questions, invite your audience in and get straight to the point. Remember this audience is skilled in communication techniques – writing with wit, style and elegance won’t go amiss.

  1. Ask yourself ‘Would I attend this session?’

Delegates of the Athar Festival are seeking enlightenment, inspiration and entertainment. It is important to keep in mind that just because you have a story to tell, it doesn’t necessarily mean the audience wants to hear it. They have a strong desire for intellectual growth but are often pressed for time, so it is crucial to be relevant to their needs. They have come to learn about fresh ideas and concepts, so it is essential to avoid rehashing old knowledge in a repackaged and unoriginal manner.

While submitting your speaking proposal you are welcome to select the format that fits your idea best. Please see the available options below:

  • Talk/Presentation

A ‘keynote’-style presentation, case study or a ‘how-to’ session focused on practical learning

  • Workshop

An interactive activity-based session, normally for a smaller group

  • Interactive session

Live performance/experience-led session, audience participation may be required

  • Discussion

Panel, debate or interview on stage

  • Please submit your speaking proposals through the Call for Content Portal –
  • All the submitted proposals are reviewed by the Athar team and selected based on the merit of the idea
  • There is no charge to speak at the Festival, however, please note that Athar Festival does not pay fees or cover travel or accommodation expenses
  • Sessions that are not panel discussions can have up to three speakers
  • If you plan on having more than one speaker, please ensure the diversity of the presenters
  • Speakers receive a complimentary pass for the two days of the Festival (please note that this does not include the Awards Ceremony)
  • Deadline for submissions: Friday 11 August 2023