The Dublin Web Summit is an event for the tech community taking place in Dublin, Ireland, on October 30th and 31st. Nearly 20 Dyners are in attendance on the show floor, at our booth and for appearances like CEO Jeremy Hitchcock’s security panel discussion on Thursday.
What follows is our Director of Brand Marketing’s observations as a Summit first-timer. Dublin may never be the same again.
Today was the kick off to the #WebSummit, starting with a NASDAQ style-bell ringing. What started as 500 people in attendance three years ago has grown to over 8000 tech enthusiasts from around the world under one roof. Only a few hours into the event, I’ve already garnered an abundance of insights and key learnings.
First Key Learning: Logistics. It Matters!
The wifi was not prepared to handle the load of all of these social-savvy techies. The irony of a poor wifi setup at a technology conference is interesting to ponder for a moment. Given this unfortunate situation, my once-intended live blog will have to wait until I get back to the hotel to write it.
The Web Summit app was a great add to the show. I love the idea of saving the endless reams of conference handouts, which usually end up as floor ornaments throughout the course of the event. However, the app also couldn’t handle the strain of us knowledge-hungry humans and found itself in the same situation as its cousin, wifi.
Second Key Learning: Stories Are Everywhere. They Are Ours to Embrace (Or Not).
I had the opportunity to catch a few talks this morning on the Digital Marketing stage, starting with the tail end of Xaxis’s Caspar Schlickum talk on “The Big Data Myth.” Caspar pointed out that data is crucial. However, numbers lack the ability to get to the heart of the matter.
Brant McLean from Tumblr talked about “The New Creatives’ Canvas” and how technology has allowed anyone to be a content generator. Brant pointed out that tools encourage creation. Brands that have adopted users as a part of their brand identity and embrace them as being their brand marketers are able to organically increase their fan base. As my former employer use to say, let the market market the message.
Ben Jones from AKQA opened up his talk on “The New Factors of Disruption are Inevitable” by saying, “If you’re not shitting yourself, you’re not doing something new.” Ben pointed out brands that failed to do just that, and eventually withered away as a result like Kodak and Blockbuster as opposed to brands like Netflix that did (a Dyn customer – yes, a shameless plug). Innovative brands remove complexity and create a simplified experience.
Ben also touched upon something near and dear to my heart: creating an emotional connection with customers. An emotional connection done right will cultivate into a relationship, and a key component to any relationship, as we all know, is trust. Trust is a very tight bond that is hard to break; something to think about for all those who keep a watchful eye on competitors instead of focusing on building connections with customers.
Third Key Learning: Dyn Rules, The Others Drink Coffee And Get Shaved.
In my stroll around the show floor to scope out who had the second best set up (ours being the best), I was rather impressed with two. The first is the VineCafe, set up is just outside the Main Stage where users are encouraged to make a Vine video in exchange for free coffee by a legit barista with a full-on coffee station.
The second one is the Movember Foundation, an independent global charity that raises funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. The setup includes a professional shave, complete with a relaxing chair, hot towels, straight blade, the works.
Wednesday commences with the Night Summit on Dame Lane where roughly 8 sponsors will host 30 of Ireland’s best musicians.