The offsite brought together BPG’s teams from its full-service hubs in UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, as well as BPG Cloudworks – a borderless remote team that stretches from North America and Europe to Egypt, Lebanon, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
The next decade will see “a Cambrian explosion of ideas powered by AI” transforming the creative landscape, according to Daniel Hulme, the Chief AI Officer at WPP, and CEO of Satalia. Hulme was in Dubai delivering a keynote at the 27th Annual Offsite of BPG (Bates PanGulf, part of WPP).
Some 530 million years ago, the Cambrian explosion caused a wide variety of animals to burst onto the evolutionary scene. Hulme believes the intended applications of AI technologies will similarly supercharge products and technologies used across ideation and development. Hulme defines AI as “goal-directed adaptive behavior” with immense potential for AI systems to be a force for good, adding value, efficiency, and creativity to the MarComms industry.
Avi Bhojani, Group CEO, BPG said, “We are thrilled to embark on the path of considering AI through the application lens and sparking further innovation in our services. From task automation and content generation to better decision-making and extracting complex insights from data, there are many ways that AI is transforming our business and industry. As first movers in this exciting realm, TeamBPG is bringing home these advantages to our clients.”
BPG’s renewed CX focus was the theme of this year’s offsite, BPG X, hosted at JA The Beach Resort in Dubai. The 2023 edition of the agency-wide event featured panel discussions, networking, and teambuilding games, tempered with a healthy dose of after-hours fun.
A highlight of the three-day event was a six-hour in-house MarCom competition using AI tools to market a real estate destination. Five finalists presented their ideas to a jury comprising Daniel Hulme, Clark Williams, Director MarCom, NEOM-Trojena, Najla Al Eisa, DGM Marketing, Gulf Bank Kuwait, Brian Anthony Kuz, Chief Marketing Officer, FAB and Faheem Ahamed, Group Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, G42. The winning team AIXI impressed the jury with their campaign’s elegance, creative power, and use of AI; each team member won $250 as their prize.
The 27th Annual Offsite gathered BPG’s teams from its full-service hubs in UAE and Kuwait, as well as BPG Cloudworks – the borderless remote team that stretches from North America and Europe to Egypt, Lebanon, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
“In our busy world, we lead fairly blinkered lives, now amplified with virtual meetings and hybrid work. BPG’s Annual Offsites foster team-wide interactions, build lasting friendships, and augment skill. My most memorable offsite remains the first one at Al Jazeera Resort, Abu Dhabi. As a young, impressionable AE, new to BPG (PanGulf as it was known then), the excitement of meeting the entire team, learning new skills, and making one’s presence felt memorable. Since then, the common thread has been establishing personal connections and capturing learnings to stay relevant in a constantly changing world,” said Suneesh Menon, Director of Projects, BPG, who has attended 23 annual offsites.
Souheil Arabi, Group Chief Operating Officer, BPG and CEO, of BPG Kuwait said, “Studies have shown that white space – unstructured, informal time – can play an important role in igniting creativity and nurturing great ideas. BPG’s incredible growth numbers this year testify to the power of creativity, with several high-profile strategic wins for our specialist MarCom services in UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. This year’s offsite was the perfect moment to celebrate, evaluate, and recalibrate for the future.”
Darius LaBelle, President, of BPG UAE further added, “The BPG Annual Offsite is a wonderful tradition that is perhaps unique to our agency. Even as we grow in teams, services, revenues, and clients, it’s important to stay connected with our culture and uphold our values. As always, the Offsite was filled with many memorable moments of learning and fun; reconnecting with old colleagues and meeting remote team members in person has been special. The team is re-energized and raring to go. We can’t wait to put our AI learnings into practice as we prepare for 2024.”