Now into it’s 5th year, held annually in Cork, Ireland, this was a useful one day event organised by [email protected], European Tech Cluster, with Dervla Mannion working hard as the conference chairperson, and Ronan Murphy as chairman of [email protected] The content focussed on four key themes all increasingly topical, FinTech, Analytics, Cyber Security and finally the Workplace. A quarter of the day was allocated to each theme with some very interesting speakers in each section.
— Gene (@genemurphy) May 5, 2016
The timeslots were tight and they kept to their running order, however at the same time a lot of useful information was delivered. Pat Phelan, founder of Trustev (recently successfully sold) was entertaining with lots of useful insights from his own experiences of scaling an Irish company in the USA.
— Pat Carroll (@PatCarrollTouch) May 5, 2016
He also brought great news as he announced the creation of Nohovation a €25 million investment fund to help Irish startups to scale.
The Analytics section of the conference was really interesting too. Data can offer really interesting insights into human behaviour. There were a succession of good insights including George Murray from Munster Rugby who explained how much data analysis is now an integral part of how the team trains and plays.
— Dervla Mannion (@DervlaMannion) May 5, 2016
After a quick lunch, where again it made sense to try and speak to as many different people as possible. The conference resumed with a very entertaining, if slightly chilling talk by Bob McArdle who gave a very thorough overview of the world of cyber crime. Who was hacking what, and which areas in the world specialised in which types of nefarious activities.
These speakers mentioned were only some of many good speakers who shared specific, illuminating insights with the audience. With all the hype about the rise and subsequent departure of the Web Summit it is important to remember that there are still a large number of high quality tech conferences taking place all around the world with relevant and useful insights for us to learn from.
As with all conferences, a large part of the value of attending is to actually speak to people face to face. For speakers the optimal time is often just after they speak. They may be preoccupied beforehand about their talk, and often many speakers do not hang around long after their have spoken. Just afterwards is often the golden window of availability to talk with people who might not be so responsive digitally. Make sure to show you listened to their talk and have something positive to say about it. From there you then have a great opportunity to ask them what you wanted. Be sensitive to the fact other people may want to talk with the speaker too, or that the speaker may be about to hop into a car to drive to Dublin or catch a plane.
The other important opportunity when at a conference is to translate online connections into actual face to face ones too. We are all still humans, generally dealing with other humans, so events like this offer a great chance to meet people face to face. Within the first five minutes of being there we managed to talk to three people we had only known online previously. LinkedIn connections and new follows on Twitter soon followed too. A quick conversation face to face with someone will advance your business relationship far faster than a series of tweets / emails or LinkedIn messages. For this reason, despite any feelings of shyness, it is well worth getting out there and taking the opportunity to speak to people.