Tag Archives: TransferWise

11 conference ideas from #SLUSH15

This week I’ve been at #SLUSH15 in Helsinki – a start-up focused event that has grown from a few hundred people to 15,000 in less than seven years.

So whoever tells you that people no longer go to conferences are wrong. People are just expecting a different format than they used to – and here are a few ideas I took away from this monster-one:

People come because of people

1: Because they can meet likeminded people. Not just the fancy keynotes and all that.

SLUSH gets it – they’ve put the whole shebang in one hangar-sized space: 15,000 people milling, talking, connecting – all at once.

2: They’ve also dispensed with the bright lights – making an airport-sized experience feel intimate. Oh and they have lasers. And smoke machines. But I digress.

A good conference is a marketplace for connection

Not just content.

3: SLUSH have a great space set aside for connecting – where people can meet, discuss and kick off new collaborations. Because innovation is all about cross-pollination of ideas.

4: Also, speakers such as Google’s Sarah Drinkwater (Head of their London Campus) offer to spend time with people 1:1 to share advice. Adds a nice peer-to-peer touch – making everybody behave in a more accessible manner.

5: Many come to events to find a new gig. SLUSH have grabbed this challenge by the horns: they have a whole area dedicated to recruiters. Example? Exhibitor TransferWise is looking for all of these: CopywriterDigital Content ProducerEuropean Community ManagerPaid Social Marketing ManagerVideo ProducerHead Of Government RelationsHead Of PR – APACHead Of PR – Europe, Head Of PR – UKInternal Communications Manager, PR Intern (Paid, Immediate Start)Press Officer (Europe)

Technology accelerates the experience

6: Yet the experience is still human. A set of apps help play a part: the main SLUSH one providing the agenda etc. + clever real-time help via the folk at Ninchat.

7: Then there’s the swipe-right-left networking-app GRIP – which promises to work long after the event is over. Let’s see.

8: For those using Twitter (and at #SLUSH15 that is a lot of people) it always helps when slides have hashtags and handles so information can easily be tagged on the fly.

A few Old School things still worth the while

9: The humble business card is definitively not dead. I get mine from Moo.

10: Nor are name tags with nice big, clear and legible lettering. Font size 30+ or bigger. Some of us wear glasses.

11: Decent coffee helps. A lot. Thanks forbetter.coffee/

If this might be useful to somebody organising a conference near you, feel free to share it.

Meanwhile, I hope to see you in Sydney later this month, Los Angeles in February, Rotterdam in April and New Orleans in June 2016 – or somewhere in-between.

Let’s #createconnection like never before.

Michael Ambjorn