There’s something about Hong Kong.
It’s hard to put your finger on it, but between the five-pronged attack on the senses, the people and the general hustle of the place, there is an overwhelming air of opportunity around every corner. It’s a true example of awesome. Throw in one of the biggest tech conferences for entrepreneurs, startups, investors and the media, and it’s the only place you want to be in July if you have any aspirations of making it as a tech startup in Asia Pacific. The event of course is Rise Conference Hong Kong, and DigitalMaas was there in force.
Now that we’ve had a couple of weeks for the adrenalin from such a massive event in such a magical place subside, we can reflect on some of the highlights and opportunities from the trip.
If you haven’t heard of the Rise Conference, you’ve definitely heard of some of the companies that were there: Google, Airbus, Trivago, Tata, Alibaba, Mazda, Coca-Cola, Cisco, Twitter, HSBC, Uber, JP Morgan Chase, Volvo, Bloomberg, Facebook, GoDaddy, YouTube, Logitech, Saleforce, CNN, Hewlett Packard, Amazon, Dropbox… just to name 23!
Forbes reckons Rise Conference is “The new hot ticket on the tech conference scene”. We’d go along with that, and we got the distinct impression that the more than 250 speakers and 15,000 attendees from over 100 countries thought so as well.
The sheer size of everything at Rise was staggering. So it was the perfect stage to launch our latest release of the DigitalMaas platform to the world. In the lead up to the conference, our amazing engineering team burnt all the candles at all the ends to put out the most impressive version yet and the people loved it.
We were set up in the startup section of the Rise Conference exhibition and all our team members did a fantastic job of selling the new platform to a lot of very receptive conference attendees. Many of them ran site audits and it was awesome to see that website scores became like badges of honour, and of course competitive bragging rights amongst friends’ sites. It was also a bit awkward at times when CEOs asked some pretty strong questions of their marketing managers when they got low scores!
But the best thing was that we were always busy. The news spread and the DigitalMaas stand was bombarded with crowds and queues to keep us on our toes all day long. The feedback was all positive and looks like we won’t have any problems getting global customers in the future when we expand beyond Australian shores.
It was also great to be amongst other founders and startups who were putting their best feet forward and pitching their hearts out. The entrepreneurial atmosphere was electric and all those connections that were made will no doubt lead to some very big and profitable deals down the track.
The reason why Rise Conference is one of the most popular conferences and draws such massive crowds is because of the incredible speaking talent and all the global companies that attend. That, and everyone wants to make it big in Asia. With an audience of billions, you can understand why it’s on everyone’s radar. For example, China has 1.3 billion consumers. WeChat has 877 million logged in users every day, with 50% of those customers using it for more than 90 minutes a day. Opportunity much?
But before you can take on Asia, the message was clear that you need to master your local market first. Build a world-class global product, but for your local customers. And how do you do that? With a kick-a$^ team.
A lot of focus was on the importance of staff, culture and fit, and how to hire as a means to success. Blake Irving from GoDaddy also touched on how the $3billion revenue company is an advocate for gender diversity in the workplace saying that 50% of new recruits for their engineering roles are females straight out of college which is a great statistic. Diverse teams make great products, and gender diversity is an excellent thing for products and customers.
He also mentioned they fight for the little guy by helping people get online and help them become successful. So, while we’re not exactly in the same class as GoDaddy (yet!), it gives us the warm and fuzzies knowing that DigitalMaas has a very similar workplace culture and the same motivations.
The tale of the travelling DigitalMaas booth banner at Rise
We took some senior managers from Sydney and Philippines, as well as the winners of an incentive competition we ran earlier in the year. It was the first time in Hong Kong for almost everyone and Rise Conference and Hong Kong in general blew everyone away. But the best part of the whole trip had to be our booth banner and how it went everywhere we did – from the streets of Lan Kwai Fong to the pool deck at the hotel and everywhere in between – street corner marketing at its best. And this was reinforced after a few crazy days, not much sleep and an overload of great content, we have a kic-a$^ team and we’re going to crack this thing!
If you want to attend Rise Conference next year with DigitalMaas, check out our current job openings. We’d love to have you on the team!