My Experience at iCEE.fest 2018

Two weeks ago I was at the iCEE.fest conference. I decided to go because it takes place in Bucharest where I’m based. Then the event mostly focuses on marketing and advertising although it’s promoted as a general tech conference. That’s perfect in my case, plus I know the owner and his great results over the years.

This is by far one of the biggest conferences in the CEE region, we are talking about 7 stages that have different speakers at the same time, and around 4000 attendees. In the halls you can interact with the latest technologies, outside there is a venue for networking and relaxing, and at the end of each day, there is a standup comedy show and afterward a party with live artists.

All these things are great but at the same time can be pretty exhausting, lots of choices, the schedule doesn’t always stay on track on all the stages (many factors can disturb the agreed flow). By leaving a good speaker to see a better speaker you can eventually find out that they almost finished the talk, plus when you come back to the previous speaker there’s no free chair. You start each day at 9 AM and finish at 10 PM, not to mention the traffic in Bucharest that, depending on where you stay, can add up to 2 hours in the morning and another 2 in the evening, or even more.

That’s why having Jeff Leach as a host is a smart approach, his controversial jokes are probably exactly what you need. To get the feel of it I recommend watching the first 5 min of the opening speech. Things were like that till the end, and the audience wasn’t the only “target” for Jeff, he told one of the speakers who was relying a lot on the notes that “he is really spontaneous”. 🙂

Overall, it was a great event and I’ll finish with some of the interesting things that caught my attention and are worth mentioning.

The Human Way of Shopping by Kate Nightingale, Founder @Style Psychology Ltd

  • We, as humans, have a natural and evolutionary preference for rounder shapes. That’s because in nature rounder things are safer. Architects started to implement this in malls and shopping areas. My takeaway on how you can translate that to online: maybe more curvy designs, CTA buttons with rounded corners, eliminate sharpy visuals.
  • Interesting fact, blue color plus powerful light and orange color plus dim light work great at pushing sales in malls but if you change the mix sales go down. Blue is associated with trust and the powerful light enhances that. Orange brings joy, but too much light can make us feel exposed. My takeaway: congruence in all the elements is really important, what may seem like a small detail in design can be a deal breaker for the customer.
  • New experiences create pleasure and make people forget about time. Sales in malls increase if there is music that’s not popular in the media. My takeaway on how you can translate that to online: maybe with innovative design and content approaches.
  • When you align the intensity of different senses you get spikes in sales, for example, music and scent. This is about consistency, you can also think of it as authenticity. My takeaway on how you can translate that to online: if you have an aggressive design you should do the same with your content and tone or vice-versa, of course, if that is consistent with your brand/product.
  • One aroma scents induce a spike in sales whereas complex aromas do the opposite. This happens because of the cognitive overload. My takeaway: KISS – keep it simple, stupid.

Facebook Ads Action Overview and Delivery Principle by Maria Manolioudi, Client Manager @Facebook

  • There were many speakers from Facebook and Google, most of them focused on opportunities in different products/areas, but Maria was on point with conversions.
  • Use all the placements available at the ad group level, not just the news feed, if you want the conversion algorithm to be effective and bring more plus cheaper conversions.
  • Don’t limit the budgets for the same reasons, add instead your optimum costs for conversions.
  • When conversions stop and you have a big enough audience, it might be because you are stuck in the same creative narrative.
  • Most importantly, for the conversion algorithm to work at its full potential you need 50 conversions/week. This is a lot, and in order to reach it, you should think of grouping multiple ad group audiences in only one.

GDPR by Romain Gauthier, Founder & CEO @Didomi

  • Be creative with how you interpret GDPR.
  • Should the consent be on the first page people visit, or can it be on the second, third and so on?
  • Can you use it for leads?
  • Nothing definite till the first trials and convictions, also till all the countries legislations will be correlated.
  • In some countries scrolling implies consent.
  • If interpreting GDPR in an extreme way, publishers will go bankrupt.
  • Why should anyone offer free content or be constricted on how to monetize it?
  • You have an excuse if you at least tried to implement it and are willing to change things fast when asked by authorities.

Growing Revolut from 0-2m Customers with no Marketing Budget by Chad West, Chief Marketing Officer @Revolut

  • They didn’t pay influencers but made for them nice boxes with special metallic cards and wrote them letters by hand. These were given in person by the local employees. The response was huge.
  • The surprise in the business growth is that eastern European countries like Poland, Romania, and Lithuania outperform Europe’s Tier 1.

The Token Revolution – ICOs and The Future of Innovation Financing by Richard Kastelein, Cofounder @Cryptoassets Design Group

  • The minimum cost to run an ICO is around half a million USD, this is now like the yacht industry.
  • Bitcoin is a no-go for too many reasons.

How to Make $1 Million in 5 Years or Less by Grant Sabatier @Millennial Money

  • You should know yourself really well, this will enable you to limit the money that you spend. For example, you might find that you enjoy relaxing in the park and don’t need something more exotic and expensive to fill those needs.
  • Are you willing to work thousands of hours for an SUV? That is crazy.
  • The money that you spend today will value much more in the future.
  • If you have debt with more than 10% interest rate pay it before starting to invest.
  • Don’t go in Bitcoin, US stocks are much better.
  • By organizing everything in the right way you can retire in a couple of years.

ETFmatic by Luis Rivera, Cofounder @ETFmatic

  • Always try to close, even when doing a speech. Tell people to open an account, to add their CV for some open positions, to invest, partnership etc, because it works.

Mass Seduction: Tools, Tech & Tactics to Master Live Video by Alex Khan, CEO @Attractive Media