In Dublin, Ireland's fair city, 22,000 people showed up for the annual phenomenon that is the Web Summit. And for those of you who don't know, this is Europe's biggest tech conference.
It showcases over 2,000 new technologies, attracts 1,300+ local and international journalists and serves up 600 speakers from such diverse backgrounds that they included a desperate housewife, a rock star (Bono of course), a film producer, English football star and an actor from the series Entourage, and they all sat alongside and presented next to the big names from the IT sector.
It was dazzling and not for the faint-hearted. To take part in this event as an exhibitor you have to pitch why your solution is 'cool and sexy' next generation technology, and then, only through a panel decision-making process, you may get in.
What can I say? StarLeaf clearly fits the bill with its next generation cloud video conferencing and calling solution. We had a great craic [Irish for good time with or without Guinness] as the only professional video solution on display. Despite a rotten and ropey network, we served up crystal clear HD video and kept our live connection to StarLeaf London on display at all times. It was eye candy for all passers by.
We were inundated with people and at no point was there any discussion about 'why video is good for business'. No! This is the event where you get to meet a new generation of entrepreneurs. I don't care, call them the millennials if you like, but every single visitor to our booth was blown away by the quality of video conferencing that we deliver. The reason is simple, all of these new businesses know that their success relies not just on new technology or a good idea that can be monetized, but also on being global, lean and agile. Video supports them, it allows them to collaborate: it is what they are used to and what they want to use for business communication.
So here's the rub, and without exception, they are all looking for something better than Skype and Google Hangouts, which is where they've started but not where they will end up!
Highlights - in all shapes and sizes
The Web Summit had various zones from Enterprise to Food to Marketing and everything in between, we didn't meet everyone but here are some of our favorites.
Airify works for businesses and homes. What is it? WiFi out of the box, and all you need is power and an Internet connection. Hey presto, secure public WiFi throughout your business
There were hundreds of marketing apps, and these two caught our attention. Screendragon, SaaS, with a suite of products for managing and controlling all aspects of a marketing plan and its execution. And Moosend, with their one question 'After millions of years of evolution do you still want to work with monkeys?' No surprise that they have brought to market a new campaign and email management tool, where the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.
Ever heard of videotexting? Glide has developed an instant video messenger, which they claim combines the expressiveness of live video chat with the spontaneity of messaging. Very cool!
It was dazzling, there were numerous applications slicing and dicing big data, an application that claimed to retrieve sent text messages and even a 3D printer that uses paper! There were drones for business, including UK manufacturer Colena, and a huge amount of technology designed for the medical profession, including wearables! If you want to know more visit the Web Summit site and, of course, I'd like you to check out why StarLeaf was such an attraction, why not get a taste for yourself?