If you want your company to be digital-first, it is not only important to work on digital projects, but also to stay connected with those who are driving the technological evolutions.
Each year we attend two of the biggest tech conferences in Europe: The Next Web in Amsterdam (we’ll be there tomorrow!) and LeWeb in Paris. Both are a mixture of inspirational speakers, bloggers, startups and investors. For us, this is a great way to keep an eye on what’s happening in the technology space.
We always walk away from these events with tons of fresh insights and ideas. It still blows our mind how few business people from corporations attend these conferences. It seems most of them are focused on traditional sector events and often miss out on the technological evolutions.
We have seen the CEO’s of Uber (picture) and Airbnb on stage, way before their services became popular and disruptive. Unfortunately very few taxi or travel companies were attending these events, so they got bypassed in silence. No matter what industry you’re working in, the disruptors that are attending and presenting at these tech events are impacting your future. They give you unique insights in the way the world is changing and how technology can drive your business forward or upside down. You better know what they’re up to, look into attending at least one of these conferences.
These events are also an opportunity to connect with the disruptors. Not just with the bigger players, but also with the early stage startups. Most of them are open for collaborations. A lot of them are looking for partnerships. Maybe you can drive the disruption together instead of only being impacted by them.
Just attending a few events won’t cover everything though. Make sure you’re subscribed to the right sources of digital information (blogs, sites, books, etc). Read techcrunch.com, theverge.com, thenextweb.com, gigaom.com, venturebeat.com, psfk.com and others. Inform people internally on a daily basis about the evolutions and provide them with the right insights and context to make sure they can see the business value of new technologies instead of just laughing about what’s new.
Next week we’ll post the follow-up of our experiences at The Next Web! Meanwhile you can follow us on Snapchat > ‘socialseeder‘, where we’ll be sharing our adventures with you.