North America’s largest technology conference went online this year, and it did not disappoint.
Of course, we would have preferred to be in the same room as Ashton Kutcher, Collision was able to offer thousands of entrepreneurs, CEOs, celebrities, and team members of start-ups and established organizations across the globe the opportunity to participate in the three-day event.
For those not familiar with the annual event, Collision is referred to as “Olympics of tech”, where the best of the best compete for the prize of “best start-up”. (Spoilers, of the 1,300 start-ups who registered, Workwolf’s pitch made top 24, landing us a very cool pitch session… read on to find out with whom!)
The lineup of celebrities and well-known CEOs, founders, and leaders in technology and business was impressive to say the least.
There were also partners, start-up owners and workers attending, as well as marketers, advertisers, journalists, creatives of all kinds, freelancers, and truly, anyone who was curious about what the event offered its audience and how they could make connections in the mingle feature (which was quite literally speed dating for professionals).
So, what did the Workwolf team have to say about the conference?
Roundtables, interviews, and breakout rooms
Kendra: Collision provided its audiences an incredible variety of events from masterclasses, talks, and press conferences to Q+A sessions, general roundtables, start-up roundtables, and investor roundtables. With most channels running an event simultaneously, there was always something that piqued my interest.
While I really enjoyed the thrill of meeting others in the mingle sessions (minutes long sessions to introduce yourself and chat with one other person matched with you based on shared interests), this was a bit overwhelming to do on a large scale, even though I did feel like this was a lot easier and more approachable than it would have been in person.
I’m imagining walking up to hundreds of strangers and introducing myself—this was so much easier.
My favorite events were roundtables, as they allowed everyday folks to have their say and discuss a topic at hand while still being moderated by a professional.
Of course, this made the conversations flow and unfold in an organic way, and this opened up the conversation to a lot more people that seemed more relatable than a CEO of a massive company like Amazon or Google.
Namely, the roundtable led by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Dorry Segev was one that made me feel included in the conversation and felt as intimate as a physical roundtable event would.
This was a particularly intriguing one because of the contributions from the roundtable participants, who varied from business owners, start-up CEOs, students, public servants, and more.
In this discussion, we spoke about the implications COVID-19 has had on their everyday from work to interactions in public.
With that said, nothing compared to watching stars like David Beckham and Jameela Jamil speak in their respective interviews (these were pre-recorded, so unfortunately, Jameela did not see how much I applauded every word she uttered).
Agustín: It was hard for me to pick one specific session I enjoyed the most.
I think I had the most excitement and maybe nerves for the event called “Pro tips for pitching with Dragons’ Den investor Michele Romanow” because our very own CEO, Erik Simins was first in line. It was stressful even for us, his employees, so I can’t even imagine what it would have been like in the hot seat.
All I can say is that session got all our hearts racing. By the end of his time slot, Erik had left a great impression on Michele and made this conference for all of us one to remember.
Pictured: The Collision 2021 event “Pro tips for pitching with Dragons’ Den investor Michele Romanow”.
Click here to check out the pitch that got Erik to the front of the pitching line at Collision 2021.
Mike: There were so many great talks throughout the conference—I’m still processing and digesting it all.
Some that stood out for me were “Creating digital freedom in a private manner”—since I am a strong believer in privacy and digital freedom—and “Building trust in AI”.
In “Creating digital freedom…”, Avast CEO Ondrej Vleck and Stack Overflow CEO Prashanth Chandrasekar spoke with VentureBeat’s Manasa Gogineni to explore if and how source and privacy could ever reach a middle-ground.
In “Building trust in AI”, we got to learn about AI and its potential impacts and advancements from Scale founder and CEO Alex Wang, moderated by CNBC’s Julia Boorstin. It was so cool to hear Alex Wang’s story and what he’s built at such a young age.
He had some amazing points about building for the future and whatever you don’t do now is basically taking away from tomorrow.
Jeff: My favorite masterclasses were the discussions by Tom Keiser of Hootsuite (one of which was titled “What’s next for social media marketing?”).
As a digital marketing professional and overall Hootsuite fan, I found these discussions about the future of digital marketing, social media management, and advertising very reassuring to hear.
The information he provided didn’t really surprise me in anyway, but rather reassured me that I knew what direction social media was going in, and how I should continue going about our digital marketing strategies.
It was interesting to hear him recognize that even Hootsuite isn’t all-encompassing, and that there was a lot more that is needed to be successful these days beyond Hootsuite, but I appreciated his honesty and recognized the same myself.
There are so many approaches to marketing and advertising, there’s no clear-cut path, nor is there one platform that can do it all (yet).
Erik: Overall, I found Collision to be a great experience. You get to be aligned with resources you just would never really have access to at that volume and scale at that compact amount of time.
The mingle part of the tech was everybody’s favorite part, from whom I heard. Even meeting Michele was a sort of mingling, and that’s what made this conference special—you really have the chance to meet anybody, which is something you don’t typically get.
The conference also offered good access to venture capital, PR, experts in technology, and programs run by enterprise corporations. Speaking of which…
Some of my favorite sessions were in the mentor hours with Freshworks and AWS. These offered great advice from the pros and offered it in a way that was helpful and resourceful beyond a blanket piece of advice you could find anywhere else online.
Sean: Overall, I found Collision very insightful; the speakers at the daily events were truly amazing. I particularly enjoy the lessons shared by the founders, as their insights were very valuable.
One overall note I had—naturally, as Workwolf’s in-house head of engineering—was the way in which the technology functioned between the web and mobile applications.
The initial login requires downloading the mobile app and scan a QR code is unnecessary in my opinion. All the streaming can only be done on desktop why do they force us to download their app that I did not touch after initial login.
It would be also nice to be able to download slides from the session instead of locking them behind an AWS login.
Ultimately, while it was great that the entire conference was accessible online, I hope that next year will be in-person by the time late April rolls around again.
If you met with anyone at the Workwolf team and want to say ‘hi’, feel free to add us on LinkedIn. While you’re there, make sure to follow us and keep up to date with all our latest blog posts, webinars, and ventures into more tech conferences. There’s more where that came from!
*This post is not sponsored by any organizations or websites outside of Workwolf.com. These tips are offered purely in the best interest of the Workwolf user.