European Women in Technology 2018Meriem Alami
Last 28th and 29th November the conference European Women in Tech has taken place in Amsterdam RAI and Johanna Adamson, Business Analyst, had the pleasure to attend with a few of the awesome women we have working at Emakina.NL. Two days full of inspiration, tech talks, networking and oh my gee, tons of women! Want to learn more about the event and what was most inspiring according to Johanna? Read the blog that covers her personal highlights.
Sheer size and endless possibilities
Last year I attended as well, it was an inspiring event, quite modest in size but rich in content. This year, on the contrary, it became huge. As soon as we entered the Amsterdam RAI we were all gladly surprised about the reach of the event on how well organized it was. We downloaded the app which was a great tool to manage the agenda, book workshops, locate yourself in the building but they also build some interesting features to make the event really interactive.
During the presentations we were able to submit questions to the speakers using the app with the choice to use our name or be anonymous, we could also browse through all users, or search for specific users by name, company, or job title and even request meetings at specific time slots.
It would be impossible to cover all the experience we had during the conference in one article, the content was rich and abundant. In this blog post I will briefly cover three presentations that got me inspired personally and professionally.
Olivia Schofield: Be Boldly You:
Turbo Charge your Executive Presence
Olivia was by far the most enthusiastic and expressive presenter of all. Despite the title of her presentation, the insights and secrets she shared with the audience are incredible valuable for all, not just for women who have executive ambitions. Olivia made us laugh a lot using bold comparisons between typical men and women behaviors, but also realize how our upbringing to be “ladies” at home and school has an impact on how we present ourselves professionally through our whole life.
Quoted in Forbes Magazine, Olivia says “Most companies spend their energy on branding, marketing and sales rather than on polishing the presentation and delivery of their people”. We certainly have learned how to take our first steps on that from a different and refreshing perspective.
Rose La Prairie – Product Manager @ Android Digital Wellbeing:
JOMO (‘joy of missing out’) in an Always-On World
During the first day of the conference, Kim, one of my colleagues, shared a picture about the concept of JOMO: the joy of missing out. By now most of us are familiar with the concept of FOMO: The fear of missing out, and there are tangible examples in the market on how brands capitalize on that in their marketing strategies. Social media success is mostly based on FOMO; in the connected lives we have nowadays being disconnected or not being part of a specific social media platform can trigger this new fear we never needed before. Fear is to the brain a way to protect ourselves from danger, but since we live fairly safer lives that our ancestors our brain now reacts to other “dangers”.
Rose La Prairie gave an insightful and inspirational presentation on how Android discovered that Japanese customers where choosing for smartless phones. The reason? They appreciate more the JOMO than the FOMO and decided that there is no need to be connected 24/7 and the research indicate a correlation between JOMO and wellbeing. From that perspective Rose is leading a wellbeing product for Android that is currently in beta version with very interesting features added to Android settings to have a healthier relationship with our always connected assistants and bring more JOMO in our lives.
Rosie Srao & Kimberly Carr – Directors Digital Products @ Nike
Personalization: How Nike is Connecting with Consumers in a Meaningful Way
The presentation from Rosie and Kimberly was the one most connected to our agency life and the nature of the work we do at Emakina and it was simply amazing. Being a global well known brand with the mission to empower athletes, Nike has always focused on sports. With research they have learned not only people who like to do sports or who are professional athletes engage with Nike.
What Nike found out there are ‘sneakerheads’ heavily engaged and loyal to the brand. From that insight they saw an opportunity to further engage with them. Sneakerheads like variety and are creative, how to engage more with them in a meaningful way? On of the examples I liked best is that they give sneakerheads the chance to design and vote for the best design.
Another brilliant campaign was a quest to find hidden sneakers in different cities using the Nike app to play a game that only real sneakerheads could solve to get clues to find the hidden shoe. The result of that campaign was a tangible 400K user engagement in a single day, an unprecedented result so far. They have also shared how they listen to customers to customize the look and feel of their physical stores and how they allow their most valued customers to participate in the Nike Labs. A hardcore example on customer centricity backed up by a consistent brand presence, great ideas and of course, a huge budget.
Much more took place during the two days. Not everything was awesome, but we all felt the energy and the empowerment of an event driven by women and for women. Guys were welcome, many joined, and that was also strong. Sometimes it’s hard to believe we need events for women or that women not yet own the world as much as our male peers. Talking strictly about technology, the data is showing us that women are choosing less and less for STEM careers, but on the other hand, the industry and society need more women in technical jobs.
Events like European Women in Technology are great to recharge and attract more women in the field and to make men aware of the feeling. My biggest takeaway was a man talking near me being asked about how he felt being one of the few men walking around the conference. He said: “I am truly surprised about the amount of women working in technology! This is a great event! Being one of the few men here today I understand now how women feel when they attend technology events.”
As final note, the event had a spot on focus on diversity in general, not only the gender issue. I felt they did a great job at bringing people together and reminding how fast, interestingly complex and innovative our field work is and how diversity can only make us smarter as society and professionals.