Day 2. Waking up with a bit of a hangover after a great Belgian party organized by the awesome people of Teamleader. I wanted to keep it to just beers, but somewhere along the way I made the switch to Vodka 🙂 Anyway, like I said before, that is all part of the Websummit. They seem to have adopted the Japanese way of doing business. If you haven’t gotten drunk together, you can’t close a deal. Hearing the deep voices and seeing the small eyes of the exhibitors, a lot of deals were done that night 😉

Popped out of bed and felt that the world had changed. Donald Trump became president of the United States, the world in shock, democracy announced dead. Whatever your opinion is, you can’t avoid the fact that after the Brexit, again a clear message was send. Food for thought, not only for politicians, but also voor tech innovators at the Websummit. Announcing that the world will run on drones and robots isn’t exactly helping 🙂 It’s inevitable, but we have to realize a large group of the population doesn’t have the resources or education to keep up with the speeding technology train. The days are coming that we will have to deal with that.

After some exploration on day 1, I decided to stay with marketing innovation at the Panda Conf stage. The reason for the Panda has been broadly discussed. Some say it is because marketers always have to work hard, so they often have black eyes of exhaustion. Some say it is because marketers are too lazy to innovate and therefore move too slowly. Others say it is because at the first Websummit all marketers came in suits, making them stand out against the very casual tech/startup dresscode. Many more reasons were given. Is there one clear answer or will the Panda remain a Websummit mystery…?

To me there were a couple of speakers that stood out that day on the Panda stage. Below are their names, companies and what they said that made a lot of sense to me 🙂

Community building – Sarah Leary (NextDoor)

  • A community is built from a small core group. The reason why big corporates always fail at building a community for their brand, is they start too big. A community can only grow from a strong core, too many people at the start will just create a group with no connection or value. So remember, don’t go too big, too soon. The most known example is Facebook. Going from school to school, one campus at a time. By the time most of us heard about it, it already had slowly built up a core audience for 5 years.
  • A great test to see if you really created a strong community, is when your website/platform/app is crashing. If you get an immediate flood of panic reactions, you know the community is strong. If not, you know you have a group of users that doesn’t really care if it exists at all. Of course it is best for the community to have no crashes at all 🙂

Mobile apps & bots – Ted Livingston (Kir Interactive)

  • If you are still investing in apps as a brand or building your company around one, you are an idiot. The current new app download percentage is between 0 and 2%.

Authentic content – Alex Ohanian (Reddit)

  • We are moving past perfect lives and pimped Instagram pictures of food. Look at Facebook live, the Reddit communities, the vloggers and your own personal content. We no longer want to see the perfect holidays that people so called had or the most unnatural ways of waking up that makes us look like models after 8 hours of snoring. We want to see real stories that are happening now and are unfiltered. Authentic and real are becoming even bigger keywords for content than they were before.

Day 3.
 I only had one goal and that was making sure I got a great seat in the Meo arena, to see Gary Vaynerchuk (Vaynermedia) perform live. He filled that arena up in no time and rocked the stage like never before. You can find all his talks online, so no reason for me to write the whole thing down 🙂 Just try to see him live once in your life, it is worth it! I’ll only give you the 3 main take-outs he closed his keynote with:

  1. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. Nobody gives a f*ck! The only people that will care are the other losers around you.
  2. Have no fear. If you want to be successful in business or entrepreneurship lose the fear. Scared people fail, because they know they can’t take a punch. As a business owner you will get punched in the face 24/7, 365 days a year.
  3. Donald Trump, Brexit, taxes, loans,… Nobody gives a F * C K! If you go for it and work your ass off, have what it takes and do what is necessary, you will become big and rock your world.

For the people that missed day 1, you can read my findings here : Land of flyers and Mojito’s.

An article written for us by Senior Digital Manager Marnick Vandebroek as he was one of our 6 lucky winners for a Web Summit ticket.