This autumn marked the second year for IM World – an internet and mobile conference at Romexpo in Bucharest – and it promised to bring a lot of interesting keynote speakers as well as plenty of interesting exhibitors, to say the least. Hopes were high, expectations needed to be met and the enthusiasm was at it’s peak. So how did it play out?

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The anticipation

Because our startup caught wings at their last edition, we at 3S Studio thought it might be a good idea to also attend this year’s edition. For me it was my first such conference, so naturally I was looking forward to craming in as much info as possible and learning what I could from as many presentations as I could attend.

We bought our tickets at an Early Bird price and were all set up and ready for “the show” to start. Their website was constantly being updated with info such as what speakers will be attending, who will be exhibiting products/companies and what the focus will be on for the two days. Everything was ready.

How it went down

We got there the first day pretty early, missing the official opening only by a hair, and started browsing the agenda to see what each of us could attend. I myself was very interested in the Mobile & Apps Stage, passing on the Business Software and Marketing Technologies, at least for awhile.

It kickstarted with some nice presentations by Phil Hawksworth from R/GA and Den Odell from AKQA on web development and moved on to mobile app trends and best practices, with a very interesting speech from Petru Jucovschi from Microsoft. For the second part of the day, my attendion drifted more towards the Marketing Technologies Stage where some pretty great keynotes were held by speakers such as Bogdana Butnar from Youtube Romania, Corina Dumitrescu from Momobi and Oana Dumitrescu from Zitec. The team and I also got to meet interesting people and focused a bit on networking as well as testing out some of the technologies companies were showcasing.

On the 10’th, during the second and last day of the conference, the Mobile & Apps Stage was once again in focus as speakers such as Joel Blackmore from SOMO Global and Chris Heilmann from Mozilla were giving their keynotes. One event I particularly enjoyed was the panel on increasing your mobile app discovery, adoption and usage rates by Andrei Costescu from MReady, Mihail Purcarea from Decar Studios and Marian Anghelache from Global Inteligence. It was a good day for mobile and apps.

Recommendations

There were some interesting exhibits at Romexpo this year, out of which the following ideas really caught my attention:

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My overall experience

Pricewise, I can’t say I’m pleased with the outcome. If you consider the initial registration price (Early Bird or not), room accomodations (1-2 nights), food & transportation, time invested etc. and take into account what one had to gain from this entire experience: it’s not looking good, especially considering that as the event date came closer invitations were being given out free of charge. For me that translates into a lack of respect for the attendents: keeping prices high until the last minute and making give-aways due to poor sales.

It was indeed my first such conference, but even so I cannot say I was overall impressed. From a practical point of view however, I did gain some insight on approaching new projects, understanding the mobile market and figuring out what solution works best for my current projects, the main buzz this year being mobile app development in regard to the native vs. web vs. hybrid paradigms. I also brainstormed some ideas to improve some our products at 3S Studio as well as my own work, so all in all it was at least a team bulding experience for us at the studio.

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