The data journey is often arduous, but the results can be transformative. Quite similar to the physical journey from India to San Sebastian for the I-Com Data Summit - 24 hours of travel and three flights to a quaint and historic town in Spain that has culture and cuisine nestled between the sea and mountains.
This was my first time at I-Com, and I really liked the eclectic mix of participants – from across technology companies, startups, agencies and client organisations - leading to very different perspectives on how data can transform businesses.
I also found the format of the sessions very interesting. The presentations were short and snappy, not more than 10 minutes long. The presentations of the finalists from the Data Creativity Awards sparked off a lot of opportunities in my mind, and some of the startup challenge finalists were very interesting.
Beyond the sessions, I feel the real benefit came from the networking. There was very little hard-sell, and more swapping of stories and experiences. All facilitated by truly unique culinary experiences. I was particularly thrilled to interact with my Mindshare/GroupM colleagues from across the world, and winning all the awards was the icing on the cake.
One observation is that this is still largely a USA and Europe-focused summit, with little participation from Apac and emerging markets. I’m sure this will also shift over time, leading to a richer mix and sharing of experiences.