Advertising and marketing veteran Pierre Haddad recently announced the establishment of a diversified event management, media and production company, dubbed 'Resonance'. It mainly focuses its activities on sport ceremonial events, exhibitions and grand openings. ArabAd sat with him to discuss his newest project namely organising and producing the second GCC games in Dammam, KSA taking place this October. His enthusiasm shone bright as he eagerly explained how staging such an event, which will be broadcast live on satellite TV networks and social media, will usher a new trend within the production industry thereby elevating the business to new heights.
After a long experience in marketing, advertising and brand development, what prompted you now to make your move independently into event production and management?
I am glad that you asked this question. In a way the step we took at Resonance is part of the natural progression in the media and communication arena in the Middle East. My experience in marketing and advertising and my extensive involvement in event production and management lead me to the conclusion that it is time for an independent entity created in Lebanon to take the event business to new dimensions. And we chose the events business because it communicates a brand, delivers a message and promotes ideas and countries.
Such as what? And what do you mean by “new dimensions”?
Lebanon is full of talent. And it is time to properly harness such talent under a corporate umbrella, which provides the guidance for Lebanese and foreigners to come together and prove themselves locally, regionally and internationally. And the new dimension that Resonance projects is the ability to exploit local and international qualifications to organise and produce events with distinguished creativity, accuracy and execution. This is what we expect will set us apart from others. Our success is based on our background in brand development. We always seek to communicate the idea and activate the brand.
Why Lebanon as a base of operations?
Well, first, it is my country and I am proud of it. Second, Lebanon is an immense pool of professional competence, particularly in the advertising and media business and its derivatives. Resonance is proud to make a humble contribution to local job creation and employment.
But your projects are not always in Lebanon...
Correct! The majority is abroad; however, some are in Lebanon and some are not. But all our projects at Resonance create local jobs through direct employment or suppliers and their support teams.
Recently, it was revealed that you have signed an agreement to organise and produce the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2nd GCC games in Dammam KSA in October 2015. What can you tell us about it?
Resonance and other companies were approached to pitch for executing the opening and closing ceremonies. Several presentations were made, and after a lengthy and meticulous process, our company was selected to execute the events.
How big is the show?
Very big! Two to three hundred performers on the field... It includes big elements, which I cannot reveal at this point. I expect those elements to become landmarks in the city of Dammam, as they may be placed around town on roundabouts after the show is over.
The duration of the show is fifty minutes, divided into five major scenes with an extraordinary ending.
The thoroughness and potency of our presentation made a difference. I must also make a humble reminder that I was closely involved in organising and producing the inaugural ceremony of the opening of (KAUST) King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal KSA; in addition to other main events such as the grand opening of Ferrari world in Dubai as well as many others. I am sure that fact played a role in our selection, at least I hope so.
Were you reasonably confident that Resonance would be selected?
I would say I was reasonably sure that we had a creative intensive, graphically elaborate and detailed presentation, which was perfectly clear in its message and objective as per his Highness Prince Abdel Hakim’s brief.
What plans do you have for your company in the foreseeable future?
Well, currently we have a schedule packed with events and excitement, the GCC games and other local and regional projects. We are working on the first Arabic Opera ‘Antar & Abla’ on a grand scale, which may premier in Dubai as part of a world tour. We are also considering a role in the management and administration of an event venue mainly in Riyadh KSA for performing arts, which includes cultural activities.
Locally, we are working with Venture DT and Solidere to organise and produce the “French Week in Lebanon”, a series of events and cultural activities towards the last week of August.
In short, my only plan is to work hard and produce memorable events that address the needs of the market and capture the imagination of the public.
What do you have to say about the event management market in Lebanon and the Middle East?
The event management is a constantly evolving environment. Technology and consumer awareness are becoming more sophisticated on a daily basis. The objective is to meet the changes with business plans that address the needs of the client and the audience. We, at Resonance, are keen on providing the know-how to create productions and events that meet a rapidly changing and demanding market place.