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The Collision, which is run by the Web Summit team, is one of the biggest conferences in the high-tech and digital industry in North America. Seasoned professionals, the fortune 500 corporations, and many start-up companies gather to discuss the next big things as well as the current market trends. It also provides priceless networking opportunities.
I’ve attended the Web Summit a couple of times, when it was still held in Dublin, and this was my first time at the Collision. While the exhibitors were more focused on the Canadian market, the talks on multiple stages were global and timely subjects.
The main topics include “Metaverse”, “Web 3.0”, “Digital Transformation”, “AI”, “Crypt”, and “Blockchain”, as well as “Equality & Diversity” and “Corporate Responsibility”. These topics were very different from what I normally hear at conferences, which was one of the reasons why I attended the conference.
I sat in multiple sessions related to these main topics, and the common theme was that we should think of upcoming technologies and trends. Metaverse and digital transformation in particular were big “keywords”. Although the discussions didn’t really go outside of the concept as these were in early-stage, it displayed that these were top of mind with everyone from small start-ups to big global corporations such as GM. I wonder if anything substantial comes out of this hype in the next 1-2 years. It may go away when the next “shiny object” comes out as the “Second Life” did.
Notably, speakers on crypt and blockchain related sessions were less enthusiastic at this time. This was probably due to the fact that the crypt market was crushed prior to the conference. I understand that “freedom” is the biggest attraction of the crypt, but it’s probably time to regulate it globally with the same standard. I’m curious how the talk on this topic will go next year.
Corporate responsibility was a big theme at the conference. From equality and diversity to environment to supporting developing countries, it is a welcoming trend that more and more big corporations and top-class influencers, and thought leaders are helping to make an impact.
On the exhibit hall, I saw many start-up companies working on micro-payment apps and e-commerce apps that help businesses in rural areas. Apart from the great networking opportunities, Collisions provides invaluable growth opportunities for start-ups. And for digital marketers like me, it gives a glimpse of where the industry is heading.