I am honored to have been an organizer of yesterday's tech event in Dubai, STEP Conference 2013. It was exciting and inspiring to be in a room full of creative digital experts and global leaders discussing innovation and presenting new technologies that will essentially boost innovation in the region and form new channels for brands to engage with consumers.
My friend Tala Samman from myfashdiary.com participated in a panel discussing online relevance and generating interaction through online content engagement. Scott Feasey from iris Middle East gave an energizing talk on the need to build a cultural space where the brand and consumer can communicate and how brands need to show "passion & purpose, prototype, play, presence & propagation, and pivot”. Gavin Payne from JWT discussed how “ innovation is the art of failure and that technology should enable and enhance a great user experience”. Marco Blankenburgh from Knowledgeworx talked on tech, brand and culture stating that “Dubai is a mini version of the global economy”.
My favorite part of the day was listening to a panel that included Brent Davis from IBM, Neetan Chopra from Emirates and Yousef Tuquan from Flipmedia, (who is so digital he proposed to his wife on a website where she had to click yes), discuss IT Vs. Marketing in Digital Decision Making.
- “ Just marketing, just IT, or just digital, isn’t enough, they need to meet at an intersection” Neetan Chopra Emirates
- “ Innovation isn’t run by marketing or just IT, people make things happen and technology enables us” –Brent Davids IBM
- “ Marketeers are becoming scientists – and must have the ability to understand data. Data modelers a sexy job for the next decade”- Terry Kane Jumeirah Group
Regional events like this are important says founder of STEP Conference, Ray Dargham in order to create a change in the digital ecosystem and create innovators rather than followers. #STEP2013 also trended throughout the day so follow @stepconference on twitter and find out more.
A full house at STEP2013