UPRISE Festival Europe 2016 took over the RDS this October for a day of workshops, talks, and networking. UPRISE is unquestionably a tech festival as opposed to a conference, with a heavy focus on start-ups, discussion panels, and human interactions.
Always hungry for knowledge and productive chatter, I sorted it out my ticket, grabbed the phone charger, and switched on my festival mood. Having arrived at reception, I grabbed my wristband and headed inside.
I have attended many big expos in the past, and UPRISE gave me the sense that this would be a different kind of event. Exhibiting companies were peppered around communal tables where people could engage, catch up with their work, or check out the festival schedule. In addition, the organisers had created spaces for visitors to chill, with van food available, a bean bag area, and live music.
My main objective for the day was to check out some of the workshops. I started with JEM 9 Marketing Consultancy's Jane Morgan and her workshop on customer journey mapping. Through her presentation and practical exercises, Jane encouraged participants to think strategically about the questions and motives our customers face before checking out with a full basket.
Next stop, an innovation workshop with Neill Gernon from Atrovate. We were inspired to "adopt a culture, mindset and lifestyle of experimentation." Through experimentation, Neill said, we grow as creators, marketers, people. He believes it is THE essential ingredient of success and we should never shy from it - I can't argue with that.
I finished my workshops with Ivo Neut's session on Facebook advertising. Ivo expertly combined product information with best practice tips. I was particularly excited to hear about the Facebook Certification programme, which is now finally open to the public.
Between my edu sessions, I roamed around the hall stopping by various start-up stands, and the air was buzzing with creative thinking. The solar-powered food dehydrator KinoSol, the online clothes swapping app NU. Ethical, and the smart-home multi-tool My Octopus were just a handful of the many innovative projects showcased at UPRISE. It was fantastic to see everyone gathered in one place to pitch their ideas and connect with potential sponsors and partners.
I really enjoyed the vibe of the festival: casual, energising, friendly, and exciting. The UPRISE crew is currently prepping for their next event in Amsterdam, but they will be back to Dublin in 2017 so watch this space at http://uprisefestival.co/.