Techsylvania has become one of the most awaited tech events in Romania, by becoming the place to be for those interested in technology and innovation, for those seeking new information, new networking opportunities, or new ways to apply their knowledge base. At the last edition in 2020, over 4,000 participants had the opportunity to get valuable insights from the best people in the industry, like Daniel Dines, Mark Cuban, Tony Fadell.
Techsylvania also supports and encourages start-ups with innovative ideas by offering an application-based program that aims at launching early-stage startups to present their products to potential business partners, talent, and the media.
We had the pleasure of having an interview with Techsylvania and get a glimpse of how you can combine innovation and technology to adapt to the changes that happened in the industry in 2020.
Techsylvania has become an important event in the Romanian market over the last 7 years. What are some of the biggest achievements of the event so far?
Our mission is to bridge Eastern Europe to the rest of the world through events, knowledge, networking, business connections and investments, while the vision is to accelerate the growth of the regional technology ecosystem by bringing together the most inspiring founders, successful investors, and innovative technical experts.
In the last 7 years, Techsylvania has experienced continuous growth, reaching a caliber of 10x bigger than the year when it all started. In 2014, we were welcoming our first 380 attendees, and by 2019 we managed to gather 3.500 people from 40 countries in Cluj-Napoca, and 4.100 from 65 countries in 2020 at our first virtual edition. Moreover, one of our greatest achievements is keeping the content quality at the highest standards with business and technology leaders such as Mark Cuban – Owner Dallas Mavericks & Shark Tank Host, Tony Fadell – Founder of Nest & iPod inventor & iPhone Co-Inventor, Tim Draper – Founder of DFJ & investor in Tesla, Baidu, Tom Mueller – Co-Founder & Former CTO of SpaceX and many more.
The conference industry has gone under major re-adjustments in 2020, moving into the digital world. Can you tell us more about how Techsylvania has adapted to this and what solutions have you found most suitable for your conference?
2020 was certainly an unprecedented year for the events industry also, and most of the events have taken one of the following decisions: cancel, postpone, or migrate online. We chose the last option as we considered that Techsylvania’s added value goes beyond borders.
Going digital was the most suitable option for our conference, but there was no time for a thoroughly thought plan, as everything during those months was uncertain and we couldn’t find out any tangible stipulations from our local authorities in order to help us with organizing our event. Therefore, we adapted it on the go and tried to make the best out of this newly born situation, meaning connecting with tech enthusiasts from all over the world.
One aspect that defines Techsylvania and which we didn’t want to let go of was the variety of formats ranging from the multi-conference stage, technical workshops stage, Startup Avalanche competition, expo, and networking areas. We chose a suitable online platform that could organize our event with all its components, and we adapted them to the virtual dimension.
We have noticed that you are always up to date with the new trends in the markets. How do you see the events industry going in the near future?
After this major industry shake, we think everybody will be more prepared and will look for more options besides their physical side of events. The future of events looks hybrid, and this aspect can bring more positive outcomes to it — breaking the limits of participation and connecting with more professionals from around the world while keeping the essence of a conference alive by organizing it on-site.
What every organizer should have in mind at this point is an overview of the emerging tools we have at hand, and how we can make the content more accessible to everyone.
We know you are looking into always adding value to your participants. As your past editions have been a success, how are you planning to adapt to the new consumer behavior as we move more into the digital conferences?
2020 was also a trial and error for us as all the coordinates were new and didn’t know what to expect. Therefore, we have already tested some methods of adapting to this consumer behavior and got a hint at what might work or not.
One tendency of the digital environment is searching for quality information, as the Internet is over-crowded with many types of content. This is one of our strong points, as we’re always looking for the most inspiring speakers and their talks are noteworthy. However, part of adapting to this mostly digital landscape is providing new ways of consuming content and we’re launching more initiatives with this in mind — one of them is offering access to our talks, through a subscription plan.
Techsylvania has gone a step forward by offering valuable content to its participants for the 2020 edition. One of the new features offered is the ability to acquire individual or bundle videos from the conference. How did you decide to add this feature to the post-conference product?
As the world is rapidly developing towards a digital economy, and our events are well-known for the top speakers and their content, we felt it was the natural step to provide access to professionals that are interested in certain talks, but weren’t able to attend the live event.
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