RISE was the first of Web Summit taking on Asia. Hong Kong is indeed an excellent place for conference of this scale. Over 5000 attendees and 500 different startup exhibiting their products is indeed a mind blowing experience. The scale of the event started with having a separate immigration counter at the airport for Riseconf !!
The organisers were extremely professional and helpful in all aspects and though it’s obvious that managing such a large conference is tough, they managed it with very efficiently, always with a smile!
As a speaker, I had access to numerous pre-conference and post-conference exclusive parties, where I was able to interact and network with over 150 people including speakers, sponsors and investors.
Since I was speaking about Go (an Open Source systems language), it made for interesting conversations. The energy at such conferences is different from technical conferences that I have attended in the past – here it’s more about business, investments, connections and references. The proof of this arises from the fact that even before I got back to India, I had emails in my inbox asking about when we can talk to engage for some work!
There were different stages the conference – a Centre stage, Marketing stage, Builders stage and even a Machine stage where speakers were giving talks that had a vast spectrum – from drones, software frameworks, social media, IoT, languages and even community building!
The myriad startups that were involved in a Startup Pitch showcased their products and were reviewed by judges. To ensure that they get good exposure, there were RoundTables, one of which I conducted on ‘Open Source and how it changes your everyday life’ to mentoring session where you could go and meet people who have “been there and done that” and can guide you in your startups. There was also an investor corner, where people were encouraged to meet and interact.
There were quite a few startups from India exhibiting their products and it was the energy for these 2 days at conference left me really exhausted but inspired. An exhilarating journey — not to mention the Hong Kong night life that goes on well into the morning!
A must-attend for startups that are looking for getting better visibility, feedback and advice. I would definitely like to speak at more such conferences.