For the last 3 days, me and my colleagues have been in Lisbon for Web Summit 2016. Called "the best technology conference on the planet", we just couldn't miss this event. And with more than 50.000 attendees, we weren't the only ones.
Though this amount of people is causing a lot of problems (like huge queues, bad wifi and personal space issues), it still is really impressive to see so many interesting people in one place. And to hear so many interesting talks in 4 days. It's impossible to write about each and every talk we listened to, but here are our 5 takeaways from this conference so far:
1. Privacy is clearly top of mind
With the movie Snowden playing in cinemas worldwide, (online) privacy and data security are a much debated topic nowadays. And that isn't any different at Web Summit. As the largest social network, Facebook couldn't keep silent about this issue and were happy to explain how they are constantly trying to improve their privacy & login options. They even launched a Safety Center with all information needed. Be sure to check how your own security settings are set up and if you have chosen at least 3 trusted friends, just in case your account and/or email address ever gets hacked.
2. VR and AR are changing our reality
Virtual and Augmented Reality have become more and more integrated in our society and even brand strategy. Founder of Blippar, Ambarish Mitra, showed us live on stage how different brands are already using AR with their products, which you can see here for yourself. And William Sargent from Framestore showed us this cool video of a real life VR experience with an education purpose:
3. US elections have an impact on everyone
This morning was a shock for a lot of people and that was no different at Web Summit. Dave McClure (500 Startups) even stood up on stage with such a rage, that everyone with a hangover from Night Summit or the Belgian meetup from Teamleader and Startups.be (thanks for the free drinks btw!) immediately got sober again. A lot of people at the conference were complaining that politics have nothing to do with tech, but they couldn't be more wrong. Online media can alter the way you think about a person and can also give someone way more attention than they deserve (you know who I'm talking about). Several talks today discussed this attention economy and how it has real life influence.
4. Robots are taking over the world
I always say that Chinese people will take over the world, but now I may have to reconsider my words. Bert Goertzel from Hanson Robotics showed us a real life robot on stage and I don't think I have been so amazed since a really long time. Robots are getting more realistic by the day and that robot was even talking about her rights and robot citizenship. One day they surely will take over our jobs. David Buttres from JustEat talked about drones delivering your food, but I'm certain it will evolve even more. What this will mean for us, is something that is going to be discussed a lot more over the couple of years.
5. Live, the experience
Although Vine is officially dead, video certainly is not. You may have noticed already that you can view the centre stage of Web Summit, even if you haven't bought a ticket. Thanks to the Facebook Live videos on their Facebook page.
Live video definitely is an interesting thing for brands to incorporate in their communication strategy, but be sure to do it right. America Silva (Shell) talked about 4 principles you should consider for live video reporting:
- Be prepared. Although it looks like it's spontaneous and in the moment, you need to plan your content carefully.
- Community management. Be ready to answer questions from your audience during the live video. Engagement is key. Live video is all about the experience. That's why it is most suited for events.
- Amplification. Organic reach is ever dwindling. So think about which audience you want to reach. And then use targeted ads to reach them.
- Get it right the first time. Attention spans are short and hard to win back. If you need help, we are happy to help you out.
Tomorrow is the last day already, so be sure to check their Facebook Live video if this blog post raised your curiosity.