The unique character of the conference is also reflected by the main event objectives, which are the following: (1) to offer many valuable discussions on the latest web trends, (2) share the best business practices and (3) provide a networking platform for the leading influencers of technology and innovation, startups with international growth potential and companies which have already achieved success.
Some facts about the TNW Conference Europe
The conference is an annual event founded by 2 serial entrepreneurs: Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten and Patrick de Laive in 2006 in Amsterdam. The conference soon attracted more international attention and became one of the “must-attend [events] for web enthusiasts and tech companies around the globe” (iamsterdam.com). This year the Amsterdam conference has already attracted over 3500 participants. The interest in the event is well illustrated with a long list of international partners supporting the project. There are such names as Startup Amsterdam, Adyen, Persado, Braintree and FlinchFactor, to mention a few.
The Next Web team also organises TNW conferences and other business events in the US and Latin America. One of their next projects is The TNW (TNW) Conference in New York in November 2015.
Programme and attendees
The TNW Conference Europe in Amsterdam is a 2-day event with a hectic agenda. There will be many talks, presentations, (panel) discussions, interviews, boost startup sessions and hack battle presentations, etc. The programme is still being updated. We would like to review some of the activities and present some attendees.
The conference will be opened by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Cofounder of TNW, and Neelie Kroes, former Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe. At the moment, she is working as Special Envoy for Startups in the Netherlands. Apart from Ms Kroes, there will be also other politicians attending such as Sophia in ‘t Veld, a Dutch representative in the European Parliament working on new European privacy laws, as well as Kajsa Ollongren, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam. Thus, there will be an opportunity to receive updated information relevant for digital business from the top-level politicians and ask them some questions.
The event offers many thought-provoking talks. For example, Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, will give a speech on Disruptive Innovators Under Attack, in which he will discuss the opportunities and potential challenges which the newest business models and technologies can bring. He will also invite to a discussion on how to balance government regulations on innovations and free market competition.
Another engaging speech will be No Gatekeepers – Innovation at Scale at Amazon.com by Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer at Amazon.com. He will share Amazon’s best practices of innovation management. He will stress the role of strong company values and culture. Finally, he will discuss some opportunities on Amazon.com platforms for innovative projects.
There are also many other talks worth attention with self-explanatory titles: (1) Why Most Digital Business Transformations Will Fail (And How to Avoid It) by Martin Gill, Vice President of Forrester, (2) The Secret to Creating Successful Digital Products and Services by Aaron Shapiro, CEO of Huge, (3) The Next New Thing: Trends in the World of Venture Capital and Startups by Deborah Magid, Director of Software Strategy at IBM Venture Capital Group, and (4) Getting to Alpha – The 7 Habits of Breakthrough Innovators by Amy Jo Kim, Cofounder of Shufflebrain, etc.
Furthermore, the conference will hold various panel discussions. One interesting example is Hollywood and Startups with the following participants: Cody Simms, Managing Director of Techstars, Robyn Ward, Head of New Media Ventures, UTA, Daniel Altmann, Cofounder and CEO of Naritiv, and Nick Adler, VP of Business Development at Cashmere Agency. Many questions will be discussed: startup engagement with Hollywood, entrepreneur relationship management in the entertainment industry, differences between talent agents, managers, influencers, etc. There will be also explained how content deals are done, whether startups should raise capital from the entertainment industry and the characteristics of tech startup work in the entertainment industry.
In addition, among the conference participants, there will be also some recognised business book authors, who will present some ideas from their books. For example, David Allen, Author of Getting Things Done, will share his expertise on personal and organisational productivity. Samuel Hulick, Author of The Elements of User Onboarding, will teach about growing a strong userbase by offering quality onboarding experiences for users. Gabe Zichermann, Founder of Gamification Co. and Author of The Gamification Revolution, will share insights on developing a successful gamification strategy.
Finally, some entrepreneurs and representatives of some big international companies will share their experience in the form of talks, presentations or interviews to guide others. The list of participants is quite long. There are such names as Samir Patel, President and CEO of Growth Machines and Growth Mentor at 500 Startups, Nicolas Brusson, Cofounder and COO of BlaBlaCar, Jitse Groen, CEO of Takeaway / Thuisbezorgd, Pieter van der Does, Cofounder and CEO of Adyen, Eric Brewer, VP of Infrastructure at Google, Xabier Ormazabal, Head of EMEA Marketing at Dropbox, Mark Randall, VP of Creativity at Adobe, Hugo Raaijmakers, Global Innovation Director at Philips International, etc.
It is quite difficult to describe the TNW Conference Europe 2015 concisely without risking of omitting some important information. Naturally, in order to form a more informative opinion about the conference, you should refer to the official event programme.