PubAcademy Singapore: A Milestone in Educating our Industry Peers

Professional headshot of Jason Barnes
By Jason Barnes, Chief Revenue Officer, APAC
December 13, 2017

Our third PubAcademy Southeast Asia event was a great success with over forty buyers and publishers from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and China attending the half-day event at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental Hotel in central Singapore.

The pressure was on, as this was the first of three PubAcademy events being held over a week across Singapore, India and Australia. Yes, we were very busy.

Setting up for success

The theme for all three events was ‘Let’s Be Clear About Transparency.’ With the intensity of the debate around transparency reaching fever pitch in APAC, the events provided a timely forum for debate.

We wanted to ensure that not only would we rise to the occasion in Singapore, but also carry that momentum to Delhi and then Sydney. No one craved this success more than our own Nigel Kwan, our APAC Marketing Director. He was a PubAcademy first-timer who was not only responsible for the entire organization of the events (along with a lot of help from the local teams), but also tasked with delivering a rousing opening presentation.

Discussions of transparency and auction dynamics

I had the honor of opening the event with a short but vibrant introduction and agenda walk-through. This set the tone for the ‘The Age of Transparency’ presentation, a view on the transparency issues we face and what the industry and what PubMatic is doing to address it. The content was very engaging and the delivery of the presentation was well received by the crowd.

Our first external presenter was Benjamin Yeow, Practise Lead for the Technology and Activations Group at Publicis Media. Ben gave a unique buyer’s perspective on what agencies want from our publishers. He touched on topics like the value of 1st and 2nd party data and the importance of independent measurability and verification solutions.

Next was the much anticipated ‘Understanding Auction Dynamics’ presentation by Andrew Baron. He is our VP of Machine Learning and Marketplaces who had travelled all the way from Redwood City, California to be at the event. We had adjusted the presentation slightly to ensure it was at the right level for the audience and I think we nailed it. Though, there were many furrowed brows and a few open mouths when Andrew was in full flight about the implications of a transition to 1st price and why buyers might want to implement bid shading.

Productive PubAcademy conversations

Feedback was very positive with many people asking for a copy of the auction dynamics slides and they received a very high rating in the post-event survey. There was also a Publicis trader at the event who stated she kept PubMatic’s report Understanding Auction Dynamics: A Primer’ on her desk at work. Having the author of that report in the room created quite the buzz.

The final event was a panel to explore ‘How to Avoid a Supply-Chain Nightmare’ and included industry luminaries from The Trade Desk, Xaxis, MediaPrima (a premium Malaysian publisher) and Andrew Baron to provide a US perspective. We discussed everything from existing and emerging business models, to whether transparency was an issue in Southeast Asia and what part industry bodies such as the IAB should play in governing our industry. An up-tempo moderation ensured the event finished on a high note and all attendees left feeling informed.

The PubMatic team worked the room afterwards to get feedback, answer questions and ensure our guests will be coming back next time. And we’re confident they will. All in all, the events were a great success and we were glad to further the discussion on transparency in the APAC markets.

What’s next?

If you are interested in participating in future discussions, make sure to check out our upcoming events. To learn more about what PubMatic is doing to increase transparency and clean up auction dynamics, tour our recent blog series.