Philippines, September 2021 – Facebook will host the 3rd Facebook Summit on Tuesday, 28 September 2021. The Summit will feature more than fifty global and regional leaders who are pushing the boundaries in the industry, spotlighting ideas on how companies are using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, to better creatively engage and serve their communities.

John Rubio, Country Director of Facebook Philippines, who will open the Summit with a keynote, said: “We understand that COVID-19 recovery is occuring at a different pace everywhere. Our teams continue to focus on accelerating recovery across Southeast Asia by doing what we do best – providing access and connections, sharing insights to help communities, and businesses navigate the new normal. At this year’s Summit, we will shine a light on business resilience by going deep into emerging trends, as well as key tools that can save time, drive performance, and accelerate digitalization.”

Studies have shown that digitalization is a key driver of business resilience in the post-COVID economy, with the increase in home-centric consumption. According to the latest study by Facebook and Bain & Company, 70 million people in Southeast Asia have become digital consumers since the start of the pandemic.  Nearly half of them, or around 30 million people, became digital consumers from 2020 to 2021 alone. By 2026, Southeast Asia’s digital consumer population is expected to reach around 380 million, which is 1.4x bigger than it was in 2019.

In fact, 8 in 10 Filipino consumers will go digital by the end of this year.

Discovery Commerce

With more people now multi-screening than ever before, a new consumer way of life is emerging – new purchasing habits, new ways to discover, and new expectations. In the meta-analysis carried out by Kantar and Facebook examining 64 multi-media campaigns across six Southeast Asian markets during the course of 2016-2020, it’s shown that digital channels help businesses reach more audiences (awareness), facilitate emotional connection and sense of preference for brands (association), and turn the audience into consumers (motivation). In light of COVID-19, 72% of businesses in Southeast Asia shared that social media helps them engage more and better with consumers.

For businesses, this represents a scenario where any given moment is a moment for discovery, inspiration and connection. But this can be incredibly complex to figure out. Whether it’s a large business with a portfolio of products or services or a small business with a really good idea  –  the main questions would be how to get the product or service discovered and how to provide a personalized experience that is also respectful of privacy.

“This is the question we sought to answer with a system we are calling Discovery Commerce, which our teams, alongside some of the region’s business leaders, will be sharing at the Facebook Summit next week,” added Rubio.

Business Messaging

The Summit will feature Matt Idema, VP of Business Messaging at Facebook, where he will speak about WhatsApp’s commitment in supporting small and micro businesses through product innovations, such as WhatsApp Storefront. This new feature will enable businesses to further benefit from conversational commerce and is being rolled out starting with countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.

Inspiring Business Stories

The Summit will also feature inspiring stories of businesses of all sizes that have displayed resilience, reinventing their business model to adapt to challenges. An example is Mindvalley, an ed-tech company with over 18 million students globally, aimed at democratising education by promising anyone, anywhere the best education, a global network, and AI-powered curriculum.

Mindvalley navigated through challenges and embraced the moment for discovery, inspiration and connection with their consumers despite the pandemic through moving to a subscription business model, integrating artificial intelligence (AI) for personalisation, and shifting power to their community. This is the kind of business story that people can learn from and connect with at the Summit.

“Additionally, we’ll also have 50+ global and regional speakers at the Summit, such as Sudarshan Saha, Managing Director, Mediacom Vietnam; Anisha Iyer, Chief Product Officer, OMG Thailand; and Wahib Kazhim, President Director Photostory Indonesia, who will share their vision on the latest industry trends, creativity across social media, and success stories from Southeast Asia’s small businesses,” explained Rubio.

The 3rd Facebook Summit sessions are available for free from Tuesday, 28 September 2021 for one month and can be accessed via following links: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines. People can choose to enjoy the sessions via Livestream, Facebook Watch Anytime library, or listen to podcasts, which are particularly helpful for those that are on the move.