Some Thoughts from iCEE.fest
Last week, between the 15th and 16th of June, Questia Group participated at iCEE: Interactive Central and Eastern Europe Festival. The festival was launched in 2008 in Romania as a local-focused event (RoNewMedia), and it evolved as a regional complex concept, attracting each year close to 4,000 attendees from over 20 countries and 150 internationally acknowledged speakers. In this article, we share our experience from participating in the event and what we’ve learned from the ‘tech giants’ and start-ups.
The first day was focused on the numerous challenges of nowadays digital and tech industry. In this sense, some of the speakers were Odysseas Ntotsikas, Founder and Managing Director, TDG, Meagan Lopez, Global Digital Business Director, The New York Times, Jan Jirsa, Brand Engagement Director CEEMEA, LEGO, Ela Moraru, Country Business Development Manager, Google, Catalina Ionescu, Client Partner eCommerce CEE, Facebook and Jessica Chapplow, E-commerce and Emerging Platforms, MEC Global.
Other talks were focused on the following topics:
- Key learnings from global readers, from Search to Mobile and all the way to programmatic and data.
- Innovation & disruption as a business model – involving VR in domains such as creativity and travel.
- The Internet of Things (where Smart Homes were in the limelight).
- The future of money, as well as Banks in the Fintech world
- E-commerce, content discovery & email marketing.
- Millennials and how to understand Generation Z, a talk offered by Jordan Schwarzenberger, Creative Strategist at the LADbible.
Here are some photos from day 1.
The second day started with discussions on digital marketing, social, video and influential marketing, as well as ‘out-of-the-box’ thinkers that deal with creativity. According to David Birss, “If creativity is the answer, the question is wrong”.
Our favorite session was held by George Carey Simos, WeRSM, regarding growth hacking. Growth hacking begins with the assumption that we start from an imperfect product/service that needs to find its fit. But mostly, it’s the idea that we should learn to optimize our sales/acquisition funnels. Moreover, it is a mindset that must envelop as a startup, as much as a tool set of specific processes.
The democratization of health, virtual reality surgery and global education, and reinventing healthcare using technology were other focuses of the second day. As for the ‘200 SECONDS OF FAME’ contest, the finalists were Symme3D, who won the contest and ProductLead, who took the second place. We were particularly impressed by ProductLead which is intended for those who want to turn their Instagram page into an online store; and we also appreciated the public’s favorite, EyeSight, a VR solution for treating amblyopia (lazy eye disease).
All in all, we were thrilled to have participated in the vibes of the iCEE.fest, to have met all the wonderful participants and to have gained so much knowledge on technology, start-ups and all the disruptiveness in between.
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