The International Social Marketing Conference 2018, organized by the Australian Association of Social Marketing (AASM) in collaboration with James Cook University (JCU), took place in Singapore 15-16 July and culminated with a doctoral colloquium on 17 July. A total of 77 paper submissions were received and 53 were accepted. The conference organizers thank individuals who submitted their work and those who participated in the different keynotes, special sessions, panel sessions, paper presentation sessions and in the doctoral colloquium.

A total of 70 delegates representing countries from Asia and the Pacific congregated to share knowledge and experiences in social marketing field in the region. On the first day participants were welcomed by Dr. Abhishek Bhati, Dean JCU Singapore, and Professor Lynne Eagle, JCU Australia, opening remarks by Bruce Gosper, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore; and keynotes by Bernard Harrison, former executive director of the Singapore Zoo and by Teo Ser Luck, Singapore parliamentarian and ex minister, introduced delegates to the
conference. The second day started with key notes by Marieke Bink, Cyclying without Age Singapore, and Choong Weng Wai, Associate Professor, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

The conference had special sessions covering the following topics: ethics in social marketing, creating and accessing value, synthesizing benchmarks and planning steps, macro social marketing, and one session dedicated to discuss about a regional social marketing association for the Asia-Pacific. A panel session was
organized to discuss critical issues in social change in the Asia-Pacific. Paper sessions covered the following themes:

  • Environment and sustainability
  • Advancing theory in social marketing
  • Individual group community and/or organizational wellbeing
  • Creating and accessing value
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Non-mainstream communities and groups
  • Trans-disciplinary research in social change
  • Innovative and new research methods in social marketing and social change
  • research
  • Policy legislation and upstream social marketing

The ISMC conferred two best paper awards to Taylor Willmott and Sharyn Rundle- Thiele for the paper “Advancing social marketing: A reciprocal 4-step theory application process (TITE)”, and Amy Wilson, Svetlana Bogomolova, Cathy Nguyen, Timothy Olds and Byron Sharp for the paper “How healthy habits grow: Expanding marketing empirical generalisations to physical activity”.

A doctoral colloquium was held on 17 July that consisted in presentations by PhD students and by discussions related to life as a PhD student. In the first part of the colloquium, three PhD students presented their work and received constructive feedback. In the second part facilitators provided insights on the following topics:
Supervision and supervisors, the publication game, communicating the research topic, research ontology and epistemology, issues with research methodology, and provided tips for managing the PhD.

The conference success has encouraged discussions to host smaller social marketing events in Singapore in the near future, before the next ISMC in 2020.