Written by: Bryson Chin
Edited by: Fajar
Digital Marketplace Exhibition was back again one last time this year as the final year students from the BSc (Hons) Business Management (BBM), BSc (Hons) Business Studies (BBS) and BSc (Hons) Marketing programmes displayed the culmination of an entire semester’s worth of hard work. This event showcased their innovative and creative digital marketing ideas to industry professionals and was also the final assessment for their E-Commerce and Marketing, Planning and Execution subjects.
“Changing the world one digital influence at a time” was the theme for the Digital Marketplace Exhibition 3.0. It was co-organised by Sunway University Business School (SUBS), Sunway University Marketing Society (SUMS), and Sunway Youth for Sustainable Development (SYSD). This event was made possible with the help of the event directors Jessie Lian Jue Xin, Rachel Yap Hew Wai, Katryn Yap Jia Ern and Nicholas Ngu Kek Hong from SUMS as well as from the club advisor, Dr. Derek Ong Lai Teik who is a Senior Marketing Lecturer at Sunway University.
This exhibition was held on a sunny afternoon on the 16th of November 2018 in the Art Gallery, Sunway University Building. At around 1:50pm, a small crowd gathered at the entrance with the SUMS members waiting to invite their VIP guests, passerbys and lecturers. At the front of the room, there was a huge floor space with the booths placed around the sides of the room ready to be presented upon the judges arrival. The room was filled with dozens of booth members that were nervous and busy preparing for the presentation while making sure that things were in position.
For this year’s assignment, the theme for the assignment was in conjunction with promoting the “United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”. There were a total of 14 groups of business students and the objective of the assessment was to sell any products or service online via the e-commerce platform “Shopee” with the added goal of creating awareness and support for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Besides that, the students incorporated the use of various tools to enhance their presentations which comprised of Quick Response (QR) Codes and Augmented Reality (AR) which allows guests to experience a much more immersive interaction at each of the booths that were on display.
The event started with an opening welcome message by the emcees of the event. The emcees then invited Professor Steve Williams (Sunway University Business School Dean and Professor of Management) to give an opening speech to kick-start the event. In his speech, Professor Williams welcomed the esteemed panel of judges for the event that comprised 8 judges from different working background from famous institutions and companies. Next, the emcees invited the judges to receive a token of appreciation from Professor Williams for coming to this event on behalf of Sunway University, SUMS and SYSD.
Shortly after that, the Sunway Dance Club performed a series of dance moves that very both funny yet entertaining to watch. The music used together with the performance was quite upbeat and contained a mixture of music played. Part of the performance contain scenes whereby the dance crew demonstrate how they can help be a part and achieve one of the sustainable development goal, Zero Hunger. As the dance crew performed, the event photographer and other students had their phone at hand recording as well as live streaming the dance performance.
After the wonderful performance was over, everyone applauded and the SUMS staff handed out the clipboard to the judges for them to write notes and rate each booths presentation. Everyone soon went back to carry out their duties while getting ready for the judges.
One of the booth closest to the entrance was the most attractive and noticeable booth as it was decorated with bright and multiple screens used to display and explain their presentation. The students Lee Wei Min, Chu Yenn Jiee, Wong Jun Yuen and Divisha Nair from the group, Mayday, presented their idea of incorporating games and tourism into a mobile app. Inspired by the online game MapleStory, the group introduced TravelStory where users can visualise attractive destinations via the mobile app and purchase attraction tickets through Shopee. The app has an integrated map with cartoon versions of the buildings and terrains mirroring real life. Besides that, they explained that the more the user explores and completes quest throughout their journey, the more points the user earns to level up. The higher the level, the more rewards you get such as free attraction tickets. Other than that, by watching videos before using the tickets, it helps promote and spread awareness. An example used to demonstrate was regarding on current situation such as the condition of the environment endured by orang asli. It manages to connect travelers with experiences that they want and need while also helping to achieve Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities of the SDG.
Lee Wei Min was the group leader of Mayday and mentioned
“I never thought marketing would be this difficult until we had to prepare for this exhibition. We learned so much despite the limited time we had. This exhibition gave us an insight of what the working world has in store for us”
Another booth nearby presented their idea of using a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Spotify to help spread awareness. One of the group members, Carsen Chong explained his marketing strategy and idea whereby users can download this bot to control their spotify music or ask for music suggestion. This team had designed a main character which looks like a young orang asli child in a cartoon form which made it attractive and interesting. This bot would display a few cues to ask the bot any questions and if the user asks one of the cue, for example “I want to know more about you”, the bot will reply by explaining the lifestyle and condition of their environment and play short videos. By explaining the perspectives that the orang asli are facing to the user, it shows that this team’s bot is achieving Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. To help out with this awareness, the bot will notify users that Spotify will donate 1 penny for every song downloaded. Users can earn & collect points for every download and can be used to redeem orang asli handmade souvenirs such as phone cover on platforms such as Shopee. Carsen also mentioned & demonstrated that the artwork on the phone cover has an AR message behind it hence it can be scanned to watch a video explaining the orang asli’s lifestyle.
Meanwhile as other visitors came by and learned more, some of the booths were in the middle of presenting their marketing strategy, concept and design to the judges who were fascinated with the student’s plans and kept asking them questions yet giving them feedback and suggestions at the same time.
During the event, Dr. Sivasubramaniam highlighted, “What’s most important to have when you venture into the working world is the passion to do something you love. Then, you’ll be successful.”
One of the booths at the far end of the room was beautifully decorated and wonderfully prepared. There was a board placed directly behind the table booth with their social media platforms, group name and product brand neatly displayed. The table was filled with fairy lights, appearing appealing to the judges and viewers. Besides that, there was cotton and fur placed below a box full of skincare products that were being displayed. The whole box was decorated with flowers, shredded colour paper and gave a sense of being in a very relaxing and peaceful environment that helps clear your mind. Towards the right side of the table was a 14-inch screen display that demonstrated what was inside the box and how to use the various products. Shortly after watching the video, a member of the booth came and explained further. The box that comes in a set contains facial mask, moisturiser, cleanser and other various product that can be used for both men and women despite having an oily skin or pimples on your face. By having a unique facial set that can be used for both gender, it would make a big impact on Goal 5: Gender Equality in SDG as everyone would be given the same type of treatment equally.
Lastly, the ‘Beatles’ team was very interesting as they came up with the idea of a solar powered vacuum cleaner. One of the team representatives explained that they decided to partner with Samsung and iRobot as part of their product strategy as they can get access with their solar panel technology and attach it to the iRobot Vacuum Cleaner to help improve brand reputation and increase product life cycle. By developing a product innovation that helped reduce cost of bills as there was no need to charge, the team was able to achieve Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy under the SDG. Additionally, they plan to have a roadshow with a colouring contest for children hence they can use the time to promote their product to the parents while the children are enjoying the activities as part of their marketing strategy.
As the event drew to a close, the judges had the chance to ask the members some final questions before going to the deciding table to cast their scores to be counted by the lecturer in charge. At this point of time, the judges used their spare time to take photos with the team members before leaving the venue. There were many other fascinating booths such as apparel-based products, perfume product and other various marketing plans that stood out and impressed the judges during the event.
Dr Derek ended the event with a memorable session of having a photo with SUMS, SYSD and the business students. The students were smiling with joy on their faces during the photo session after a successful completion of their assessment. On that note, Dr Derek mentioned “Business graduates today are born into a world of Internet of Things (IoT) and new technologies are constantly being introduced every minute. They need to be ready and equipped to not only take advantage of this and make a profit but more importantly they must be able to understand the social awareness influence that online businesses can impact on society. Furthermore, one of the things that I wanted the students to highlight besides the incorporation of new AR technology is also to raise the social awareness of the plight of the indigenous settlements living in Malaysia, hence the incorporation of the UN SDG.”
Shortly after, the event ended early at 4:45pm and that concluded Digital Marketplace Exhibition 3.0.