18 October 2009

Subic ready for Ad Congress

After organizers of the 21st Philippine Advertising Congress pulled out of Baguio City due to safety concerns following the damage wrought by a series of typhoons in Northern Luzon, officials in this free port said Subic was more than ready to host the event.

"We're ready to accommodate them. Already we have the venue and hotel rooms are available," said Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Administrator Armand Arreza.

But Arreza said officials of the SBMA and the Advertising Board (AdBoard) have yet to finalize details of the congress' shift in venue to this free port, which hosted the biennial convention in 2007 and 1993.

"It is not final yet, although we are ready for them if they choose this venue.… The decision still lies with the AdBoard. I'm certain that they are looking for other venues. No agreement is in place yet," he said.

The congress is the biggest event that brings together the country's top corporations and advertisers and representatives and officials of media and advertising firms.

The SBMA, in preparation for the 2007 congress, built a convention facility that has a 2,456-square meter plenary hall and an exhibit area covering about 10,000 square meters.

Arreza said the SBMA has started contingency planning with representatives of the AdBoard.

Asked about the logistical challenge that the transfer of the venue might entail, Olongapo Councilor Gina Perez, chair of the city council's tourism committee, said the city has enough time to prepare for the event scheduled in November.

She said hotels and restaurants in Subic and Olongapo can easily reserve rooms for delegates.

"Like before, they are welcome here. We will make sure that if they choose us; we will be ready for their requirements," Perez said.(Robert Gonzaga, PDI Central Luzon Desk)