Overview – Athar 2023

The inaugural edition of Athar – Saudi Festival of Creativity brought together more than 100 global and regional speakers across 2 content stages, more than 1,400 senior decision-makers from the creative marketing community, 6 academies for up-and-coming young talent, Maheerah – a mentorship programme powered by Publicis Groupe for women executives in the industry and a CMO roundtable powered by Bloomberg for the most senior marketers at the biggest brands in the Kingdom. The final day of the festival saw the Athar Awards and Gala Dinner that celebrated the best of Saudi creativity over the last decade.

Athar 2023 took place across 4 days from 13-16 November 2023 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, RDC, Riyadh.

1,400+ 300+ 100+
delegates from creative
marcomms community
up-and-coming
young talent
national and
international speakers
1,500+
delegates from creative
marcomms community
300+
up-and-coming
young talent
100+
national and
international speakers

2023 Speakers

2023 Festival Content Themes

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, personaslaclised campaigns. From technologies like artificial intelligence – to virtual and augmented reality, we are looking for the most exciting and innovative technology applications to share with the Athar Festival audience.

Growing a brand requires a well-crafted strategy. Potential strategies have many facets like understanding your target audience, developing a unique brand voice, visual identity and messaging. Additionally, brands can leverage platforms to engage with customers, build relationships and create a sense of community. Partnerships and collaborations across 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?

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. 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.

A positive work culture that values creativity, innovation and collaboration can inspire employees to produce their best work and contribute to the business growth. 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.

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. 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.

Saudi Arabia’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. With the right approach, the creative industry can take advantage of the opportunities presented. 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.

Interested in speaking at Athar? Call-for-content opens April 2024. Contact speakers@atharfestival.com for more information.

CMO Roundtable at Athar Festival powered by Bloomberg

The roundtable hosts senior marketing leaders in a closed environment where they discuss the latest trends, strategies, and challenges in the field of marketing, with a particular focus on the Saudi market. To find out more, contact

If you would like to find out how we can help
your brand connect with key demographics, contact