Tech Open Air Berlin = the Future of Meetings & “Un-Conferences” Right Now
Like any winning conference, TOA Berlin is brimming with industry leading pundits and strong networking and interaction opportunities -- but its content and experience delivery is done in a completely fresh, laid back and party-like atmosphere.
Last year some of the favorite entrepreneurs & thought leaders to share their experiences and visions at TOA included Chris Barton, founder of music recognition program Shazam who talked about what it takes to be innovative in the music business and beyond (hint: its not compromises
and second-best solutions), and Rand Hindi, CEO of Snips on how artificial intelligence will become part of the fabric of our devices. Pay Pal founder and Billionaire Elon Musk’s image for transportation via giant vacuum tubes was also brought to life by Dirk Ahlborn, developer of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Leaders of German start ups like Rocket Internet (internet platform), Zalando (e-commerce tech) and Dubsmash (video lip synching app) also opened up new ideas and minds.
Fresh Formats & Super Satellite Events
In addition to groundbreaking content and speakers, TOA also delivers unique spaces, ways and places to meet and exchange knowledge.
The main venue is the Alte Teppichfabrik (Old Carpet Factory), a historic Berlin brick building with a retro-chic vibe and its sprawling park-like grounds that participants spill out into throughout the event. Floor cushions, deck chairs and even stacks of hay serve as seating, and conversations and networking happen as much while playing table football, flying drones or listening to live music as much as they do in sessions.
Beyond the main venue, 150+ satellite events also take place throughout the city during the week hosted not by TOA organizers, but by members of a network of companies, techies, artists and innovators that has grown up around Tech Open Air “organized by the community for the community.”
Dumping Name Tags & Building Community
In an effort to spur deeper networking, traditional name tags at TOA are replaced with armbands which makes people more curious to ask about one another and builds a festival-like atmosphere.
Members of the TOA network are also asked for their planning input in advance at Town Hall Meet-Ups which has resulted in more space for inspiration and experiencing art, music and science. 150 community volunteers also help ensure smooth running of the event.
“Knowshops” & TOA LA
Since practical relevance is also critical to organizers and participants, a new format called “knowshops” has been developed to put big ideas to work with session like “How to test the viability of your idea for $100”, and “Disrupting Tech-Ed: The Developer Bootcamp Model”. Design Slams and Pillow Talks also push the sessions envelope.
Finally, building on the success of Tech Open Air Berlin, TOA Los Angeles will take place in November of 2016.
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