Event Stories: Sharing Knowledge, Creating Community [Mobile Trends Conference]
Mobile Trends Conference is the biggest conference about trends in marketing, software, design, and management in the mobile industry in Central and Eastern Europe. Speakers share their knowledge in various topics, mostly about mobile techniques and technology.
The person behind the event is Robert Rachwał. For over 7 years now, he has been running a company specializing in developing dedicated mobile sites, responsive sites, and web apps. At the same time, he’s passionate about the latest technologies and trends in the mobile industry. One day he has decided to combine his passions and launched an event that was about to change CEE mobile industry event stage.
Inexperienced and spontaneous in organizing conferences
When the Mobile Trends Conference was launched back in 2012, it was one of the first events of its kind in East Central Europe – We had no prior experience in organizing events whatsoever. It was a rather spontaneous decision to organize conferences devoted to mobile technologies. Many adventures ensued, of course, we had to research the market and were pretty surprised as far as the public’s interest went – says Robert.
The whole idea behind organizing conferences of mobile trends comes from the fact that it was really hard to gain knowledge about the mobile sector at that time in Poland. This has fueled the urge to organize a conference devoted to this very topic. There was a need for space, where people can share their knowledge about the topic, exchange ideas and experiences, and create a community. MTC was about to fill that gap.
Not only has the first edition of the conference turned out a challenge but also a significant success – it sparked the series of organizing conferences of mobile industry. Interest in this type of events devoted to mobile sector is on a quite high level. Over these 4 years conference has grown 3-4 times, now attracting over 500 people and still growing every year. This is why there were two such events held annually during some years. But this solution takes more special logistics and much more effort or time. It’s never an easy process to accommodate two such conferences in a short time.
– All the preparations, finding the right speakers takes time, which there was an extremely small amount. It’s always been a major challenge for us and that’s why the May editions of Mobile Trends have been smaller – confirms Robert Rachwał. Although with every next edition of MTC there comes experience and higher awareness about what can happen, what possible problems may be encountered. Of course, there have been pratfalls and difficulties present during the whole series of Mobile Trends and every nex t conference still brings surprises.
Oscars in Polish mobile industry
The conference is accompanied by the Mobile Trends Awards gala during which the best Polish projects are awarded. Criteria? Changing the mobile market and successfully having taken advantage of mobile technologies. Organizing conferences and carrying out the galas requires special logistics and extra involvement of the people responsible for it in order to make everything run smoothly. Essentially, two distinct events in two different places are held almost simultaneously, and each requires special involvement and preparations at different stages.
Even though Mobile Trends Conference focuses on technology and digital matter, people play a really important part. During our talk about MTC, whenever we ask about the beginnings of the event, Robert answers with “we” instead of “me” and it is totally understandable. Hardly any venture is as much a team game as organizing conferences. In MTC, there are basically three people responsible for setting things up. This small team of originators, including Robert Rachwał, is supported by many others – mostly the ClickMaster team members, who had taken part in organizing conferences since the first edition.
Thanks to them, things like graphic design, website administration or registration system are present and working. The team of organizers handles themselves a lot of things, including marketing, PR, and securing media sponsors. There are a few people involved in preparations for the whole year and some during the very event. Obviously, the event itself requires much more people involved, that have to come from the outside. Taking into account technical matters for example (nearly always provided by the venue) there are other important factors like catering, presenter or photographer.
Power of feedback
The next essential role played by the people refers to speakers selection. There are two methods used to choose the best ones for MTC. Online voting is one of them, giving the participants a way to choose who they’ll be listening to during the event. According to Robert Rachwał, the best promotion leans on the participants’ opinions and recommendations – Personally, I reckon that the best way to promote Mobile Trends is through testimonials and recommendations by the very participants – he says.
Most of the people who come to Mobile Trends state in the post-survey that they’ve heard about the conference from their friends and that’s why they decided to join. It’s essential to get feedback, know attendees view and improve the quality of next events accordingly. MTC audience’s voice is put to good use on many levels. During the events, the conference app offers a survey which the participants fill out during or after the show. There’s also a possibility to grade particular speakers and their presentations in the app.
This truly helps organizers understand which topics and which speakers have met attendees expectations and draw conclusions for the next editions of Mobile Trends Conference. What is significant, people can rate every element of the conference like venue, service, or catering. All these aspects count, since the conference isn’t just about the lectures, but also about what’s happening after, the place it’s held at, and networking opportunities.
In search for inspiration
Robert Rachwał draws inspiration and ideas for enhancing MTC not only using his and his team’s brains. He takes part in the biggest, most interesting events, and meets new people.
When asked if he attends as a regular visitor or more as an observer, he replies: both – I try to get the most out of the lectures, but my other eye is that of a conference organizer – he says.
Robert and his team have already started preparations for the next edition of MTC held in Cracow, but this time the returning visitors will see a completely new, very interesting spot they’re not yet familiar with and where no prior edition of Mobile Trends Conference has taken place yet. – We also hope to surprise the participants with great lectures covering the trends in the industry. We set the bar high for ourselves – adds up Robert.