Last week (30 May to 3 June) I attended the CeBIT exhibition and conference. CeBIT is the largest IT conference in the southern hemisphere attracting in excess of 35,000 people to the exhibition.
In addition, there is a series of specialist conferences targeted to groups including Executive Briefing, Retail which I attended, Webforward which I chaired with Bernie Sheehan from the ABC, as well as National Broadband Network, E government and E health.
It is a great opportunity to meet with leaders in the technology space and to see how companies are creating competitive advantage through the use of technology.
Here are some of the key takeaways from conference (for Twitter users, search #cebit and #webforward for more, and feel free to follow me on @justinkdavies):
- Mobile marketing is the new hot space. Mobile phones have moved from the ear to the eye.
- Geo location is the new form of targeting and provides much greater convenience in the way that consumers live and work.
- There is much greater effort than ever before and to integrate bricks and mortar into bricks and clicks, with large retailers such as Coles, Woolworths as well as shopping centre owners such as Westfield’s all paying significant attention to innovation in the mobile space.
- There is no such thing as new media anymore. The internet has been around since the early 90’s and absolutely mainstream since the late 90′. It isn’t new anymore and marketers shouldn’t consider it so.
- There has been a move towards developing apps and back again. Many companies have investigated and delivered to market iphone and ipad applications, and learnt great lessons along the way. Whilst many of these have been very successful, the ongoing maintenance cost has proved somewhat of a surprise so the lesson is to budget for support.
- Many organisations are now looking to use the functionality of HTML 5 to allow them to have a mobile version of their existing website and not build an application for each mobile platform.
- Media, in particular press, are beginning to successfully grapple with these substantial move towards digital consumption of their content. Fairfax have been a leader in this regard and I asked their CEO what we should expect from them in relation to the business flagship, The Financial Review. He was forthright in expressing that it still was a work in progress however the financial review is one of their most profitable mastheads and expect a new flavour for Ipad to be released soon.
A substantial delegation from Germany attended the conference and to the opening ceremony. Kevin Rudd delivered the opening speech in German, which was well received.
Another event was the launch of Digital Sydney, focusing on helping to grow Sydney as a digital marketplace for creative and entrepreneurial minds to congregate. Ross Dawson whom I was sitting with wrote an enlightening post about the event. The following launch was a terrific showcase of the great digital work coming out of Sydney and is worth watching.
In short, CeBIT is a “must attend” for me. If you’ve not been before and are interested in a taste of what it looks like, you can view the program for the Webforward conference or view the photos from the conference. I’m keen to get a larger group heading across for next year for 22 to 24 May, so please email me if you are keen to attend.
Many thanks to colleagues that made the trip to Sydney to attend and support the event.