The main topic of conversation at this year's Media 360 conference will be how strategic planning and creative thinking can adapt to the challenging economy and rapidly evolving media platforms.
Media Week's showpiece event has been designed to give clients, agencies and media owners the opportunity to discuss their views and learn from each other.
Speaker Kristof Fahy, Yahoo's vice-president of marketing for Europe, is adamant that Media 360 is the place to be for high-profile networking.
He says: "Why should you turn up at Media 360? Because you'll have the chance to hear from the great and the good of the industry."
The conference will give the industry the chance to explore new, viable solutions for fighting the financial crisis. Rupert Howell, managing director of brand and commercial operations at ITV, says: "Rather than sitting in our little bunker and worrying about the future, we should see what we can do for the future."
Stephen Miron, chief executive, Global Radio, adds: "If there was ever a time to hear from experienced leaders on how to be innovative and apply fresh thinking, this is it. Media 360 will provide the perfect forum in 2009 to inspire, stimulate and hopefully provoke."
INTERVIEW WITH MARK CRANMER, CHAIRMAN, MEDIA 360
Although Mark Cranmer refuses to succumb to doom and gloom, he hasn't put his rose-tinted spectacles on either.
The former chief executive of WPP's Research International and Starcom MediaVest Group EMEA is chairman of this year's Media 360. As he analyses the structural and economic changes the media environment is going through, he believes the industry has been left in "shock and confusion".
Cranmer feels that choice, or rather the abundance of choice, is to blame. He says: "There is currently too much choice in the media environment - certainly more choice than can be economically sustained." He predicts the first victims will be the traditional media owners that are already facing decline, with some of their number already in a "life-threatening situation".
The Media 360 chairman is keen for all participants to try to understand the new world the media industry is living in.
He says: "We are in the relatively early stages in a shift in the media environment, moving from a very well-structured, easy-to-manage environment to one that is multi-dimensional and rich with colour."
What surprises him most is the discrepancy between industry players and media consumers. Cranmer explains: "The industry hasn't understood the change. The media environment is a magnificent and empowering place for consumers to be in. But our personal consumption is ahead of where we are at in the industry."
However, Cranmer relishes the challenge of knowing that the whole industry is "up for reappraisal" and wholeheartedly joins the quest for a new, relevant and effective commercial model.
"We have to create an economic model that will be a win-win formula for media advertisers, media owners and agencies," he says.
Cranmer sees Media 360 as the opportunity to create a "potent solution". He concludes: "I'm hoping that the diversity of speakers coming from very different perspectives will together come up with an effective solution for the future."
THE MEDIA OWNER - Rupert Howell, managing director of brand and commercial, ITV
"The whole media industry is going through a pretty dramatic time. It's incredibly important for everyone to get together and examine which part of the crisis is cyclical and which part is structural. Together we will be able to reassess the value of what we do and encourage our clients to use the media. I'll be talking about innovations in the media and how television offers incredible value nowadays. I'll show the effectiveness of TV as a medium and present a view of the future that won't be blandly optimistic, but a reassessment of why the medium is so strong."
THE CLIENT - Lisa Clark, head of media management, Premier Foods
"The speed and severity of the current economic recession is forcing societal changes. Money is tight, jobs are insecure and everyone is considering their purchases far more carefully. In turn, that is forcing advertisers out of their comfort zones at last. We have talked and talked about Media 360 communication, but now it has to become a reality. We can no longer keep doing the same things in the same way and expect the same results. The world is moving on."
THE MEDIA AGENCY - Jack Klues, chairman, VivaKi
"Paradigms have shifted. Audiences have fragmented. Technology has exploded. Screens have proliferated. Data has propagated. The economy has imploded. Marketers are navigating a new, digital landscape and consumers are opting out of consumerism at alarming rates. This massive change demands transformation from the media industry. The magnitude and pace of change has made it impossible for any single agency, marketer, media owner or tech company to solve the challenges of engaging consumers. When multiple stakeholders, visionaries, pioneers and provocateurs convene in a conference such as Media 360 to focus on the problem, it is imperative we all participate in the conversation."
BOOKING AND CONTACT DETAILS
Media 360 will take place between 13 and 15 May at Beaumont House in Old Windsor, Berkshire, within easy reach of London and Great Windsor Park.
For further information including discussion topics, booking arrangements and early booking discounts, please visit www.media-360.co.uk
This article was first published on Media Week