Infoshare takes place in Gdańsk in May and is the biggest CEE tech conference. According to the organizers, the core values of Infoshare are technology, growth and community. Each year the event attracts over 6000 attendees, 200 speakers, 500 startups, with 10 side events. This year was our second time attending. Previously in a larger team, this year just one secret agent. Hi, I’m Paulina, the Marketing Specialist at itCraft. As my colleagues attended Pioneers 2019 event in Vienna, I went to Gdańsk to see what was going on at Infoshare. Here are my thoughts about 2019 edition of Infoshare.
Speeches, Stages, and Events
The main attraction of Infoshare are speakers and their presentations. Last year I actually found it impossible to attend all the lectures I wanted to. Each time I found a great event I wanted to attend, a better one came up on a different stage. I kept struggling with choices – what will be helpful for my work? Where will I find knowledge and inspiration?
This year however it seemed hard for me to find anything of interest. I understand that not everything is for everyone. I am aware that it is hard to share all your tips & tricks during 20 or 30-minute speech, but last year’s edition seemed much more attractive than this one.
Let’s focus on Inspire, Growth, Marketing and DevTrends stages
I wouldn’t want to judge any of the typically technical events as they are not the ones I frequent. I focused mainly on the Inspire, Growth, Marketing and a little bit on the DevTrends stages. The most important to me was obviously the Marketing one as Marketing is what I do at itCraft. The event’s first day, in my opinion, was unusually weak considering topics covered. That is why on Tuesday, I didn’t focus much on marketing, but more on networking -talking to people, meeting new startups and companies’ reps present at the expo. The second day really saved the conference as I found plenty of inspiration, learned about some new performance marketing techniques and finally got what I expected from the event.
My personal inspirational highlight was Sean Percival who is an American entrepreneur, investor, and author, who put his money in over 120 startups and founded several of his own. He is Currently the CMO of appear.in – in his 20 minutes speech he gave me so much inspiration, so much confidence in what I do and many new thoughts. I can definitely recommend talking to this guy and look out for his events.
Brief summary: 2018 was definitely more interesting. In 2019, Day One didn’t quite meet my expectations but all in all it wasn’t too bad. I found some inspiration as per organizers promise, although not at the Inspire, but at the Growth stage, and got some new marketing ideas that were shared on the Marketing Stage. I must admit, however, that it was the second day that saved the stage event part this year.
Feels like I am just complaining and saying that 2018 was better. Unfortunately, that’s how I feel about the expo. Last year I could talk to the companies’ reps, I could share thoughts, exchange opinions, learn about new technologies, found out new things about companies and theirs and my goals.
This year, however, it felt like all they wanted was to hire me. They didn’t seem to care much about what I had to say. They didn’t care to talk about what they do. Even when I tried to ask about their activities all they did was to try to talk about open job positions. Even when I explained that I do not want to change my company, all they tried to do was to achieve their KPI’s and get my email address to send me job offers.
Not cool. Not cool at all.
Brief summary: This is why I am really disappointed with the expo part as I couldn’t talk to anyone as I wasn’t interested in finding a new job. For people from Gdańsk or Warsaw, it could have been an interesting part of the conference as they could look for their dream job and talk to someone about employment options.
This is the main point for any startuper or investor. Last year, as itCraft, we took part in the event with our Truckersky startup. Infoshare is the perfect event to show what you do. What is more, you can win 20 000 euro in funding. Even if you don’t get the cash, you still get to present what you do and how you do it, meet investors from different countries, share ideas and improve your own.
I decided to take some time to meet the startups. To see what changes we will see in the near future and what is hot nowadays. Maybe meet someone who would be interested in our own services.
I was both amazed by some of the ideas and a little bit disappointed with others. So many startups seem to be doing the same thing. I gather that chatbots for facebook and new payment systems are hot topics. I found quite a few startups that do almost the same thing in those areas. The hashtag “new version of PayPal” is not really convincing any more as PayPal is doing fine as a company, is used globally and works exactly as intended.
I was looking for some groundbreaking solutions. Couldn’t find any.
Brief summary: Startup area was the day saver during the first day of the event. I could talk to people focused on technology or marketing, I could share some thoughts and opinions and I found what I was looking for at the expo area. I was expecting some more revolutionary solutions but it was definitely one of the strongest points of this year’s conference.
So… was it worth going to Infoshare?
Yes and no. For people looking for jobs – definitely yes. For people looking for inspiration and networking – partly so. Maybe it just depends on what exactly you’re expecting and on the speakers involved. As much as 2018 was perfect, 2019 was maybe a ¼ of last year’s. For startups – all kinds of exposure are great and Infoshare gives that opportunity to all those starting and wanting to promote. From itCraft’s business perspective – I don’t see any advantages or need to take part in this event for an application and software development company.