re:publica, the Berlin based conference, has been influencing the European technology scene since its inception ten years ago in 2007. Innovations and trends are exhibited and discussed throughout the various conference halls, helping visitors to feel super informed. That’s one thing we pride ourselves on at Ballou PR, so we were once again happy to mingle with the innovators, as well as grabbing as many free drinks as possible with friends old and new.
This year there were more than 8,000 visitors to re:publica TEN, and 770 speakers drawn from 60 countries. Despite that number, It’s still hard to become a speaker at re:publica. It’s not enough simply to have a successful product or company. A review of the speaker list shows that all the speakers have strong and often unconventional points of view.
One of the speakers was Franziska Broich from the European Parliament. She spoke about the impact that Snapchat has had on the Parliament. Last year the Parliament had no presence on Snapchat, but that’s all changed. The Parliament is desperately keen to engage with young people, thus chose to try and do this via a hugely popular social network. Now the Parliament has 15,000 followers. She and her team feed the storyline with daily updates: Sometimes that’s a simple photo or video, at other times it might be a video that helps to boost engagement with young people. Franziska’s talk attracted many on-line journalists, all of whom were keen for insight into commercial uses of this social network.
Other topics under discussion included advertising trends, ad-blockers versus ad-blocker-blockers, content marketing, the new generation of “pseudo journalists” and many many more topics.
re:publica covers all aspects of digital culture, so we also had the chance to join workshops covering societal issues such as the minimum wage and the future of the music industry. Virtual reality was everywhere too, giving visitors a chance to fly high above the clouds or dive with virtual sharks on simulated reefs. Big media powerhouses such as Google, IBM and ZDF were displaying the latest technology they feel we will be experiencing in the not too distant future, from high resolution broadcasting to more specific search engines and algorithms.
This three day event is always inspiring, and for PR professionals looking to place our clients at the heart of evolving stories, it’s invaluable.
VR is one of the most promising markets - and only emerged very recently.