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Collision Conference 2021: Day 1 Highlights

The so-awaited event has now started. Collision 2021 Toronto is here and today was the first day.

Collision 2021 Toronto, is running online this year. The biggest tech event in Canada is organized by the same organizers as the Web Summit, which is usually hosted in Portugal, and the person to thank for these amazing events is Paddy Cosgrave, the founder of the Web Summit, and his amazing team. 

I remember when I went to the first Web Summit in Dublin 9 years ago; there were about 300 people in the audience. I had the opportunity to engage with Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter and met Chad Hurley founder of YouTube and Niklas Zennström founder of Skype. It was a conference room like a big classroom. The speakers talked from the front of the room and during the break, they mixed with the audience. There was just one door in the room and you could walk up to any of the speakers and talk to them. Social networks were just starting then, apart from Skype and some others, which were already established.

Now, the Web Summit brings around 70 000 attendees to Lisbon in Portugal and around 40 000 to Toronto with the Collision Conference. The Mayor of the cities opens the events with Paddy Cosgrave,  bringing tourists and business opportunities to these countries.

The Web Summit is not just a conference but a networking event too, one of the highest levels of networking you can be part of; you can network with startups, established companies, and the audience that are in many cases entrepreneurs. They also have 5 Tech Exhibitions right next to each other within the same venue, bringing the biggest corporations in the world together with the most innovative tech startups, for you to listen to, talk to and visit their stand. 


For the past two years, the events have been hosted online, using their own state of the art online event platform. Nothing comes even close to what they have created. If you want to experience the most innovative platform for online events, you will have to attend one of theirs. There are not enough words to explain how they have taken the offline experience, online.

These events are like no others, bringing all kinds of opportunities to corporations, medium companies and startups. Overwhelming the audience with a wealth of knowledge and new contacts which they can take away from these events.

Going back to Collision 2021, the first day was full of amazing speakers like Mark Ruffalo talking about his project The Solutions Project focusing on renewable energy. Nada Stirratt, Vice President of Facebook, spoke about the future of Facebook; Tom Keiser CEO of Hootsuite spoke about the future of social media marketing and Jim Whitehurst, President of IBM, spoke about innovation and society.

Some other great talks on Day 1

Reshaping the future of work with connected content- hosted by Christian Lund- co-founder of Templafy

Christian discussed how important content is in today’s working conditions since people are mostly working remotely and focused on the sharing of their content and work.
Also, he focused on the real-time tracking of who is downloading the content and how long they are spending on it, which provides more transparency at the workplace.
Another great benefit discussed was the freedom in sharing any size documents with colleagues and not having to worry about the size limits of the documents.

Q & A with Fidji Simo - Head of the Facebook App.

Fidji discussed the new Facebook audio feature coming and her thoughts on Clubhouse and finished with an uplifting note; she has noticed a change with communities of women lifting each other up and open conversations in the industry on how to support female creators between men and women.   
Full article about this coming tomorrow.

David Schneider, Co-founder & Executive Creative Director at That Lot - Social Media Beyond the New Normal

David discussed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on social media and online content. He said that the pandemic has been a time of huge changes for marketing teams, with all brands and businesses having to rethink and accelerate their digital strategies by an average of 6 years.

In 2021, he stated that social media was going back to its roots with the idea of creating communities. Now, brands have had to talk to their followers and listen to them; to create a DIALOGUE — a term that was mentioned frequently. He stated that content that resonates with a community can sometimes be more effective than a video that costs hundreds of dollars. And for the Gen Z generation, there is a desire to build back a better normal and for brands to be AUTHENTIC in what they do. It is key to a brand having a purpose. He used the example of Burger King and their controversial tweet, "Women belong in the kitchen", which tried to provoke conversation, but it wasn't authentic. In comparison, Nike Women's felt authentic and they have made many videos like thisthey received a lot of praise from viewers all around the world. However, AUTHENTICITY and DIALOGUE are not the only things necessary for success; it is always CREATIVITY that will win the day.

Cancel culture: You can run, but you can’t hide by Dino from Falcon.io

Very insightful and full of tips masterclass. Dino discussed Cancel Culture,  a concept and practice trending and growing which not everybody in the marketing industry knows well. Cancel culture is tumultuous and unpredictable and, when it strikes, the result can be detrimental.
In his masterclass, Dino explained very well the concept and practice and how brands are the target and should be aware of it and work with it.
He showed as well how to create a social media marketing plan and gave numerous tips. He answered very good questions from the audience and gave not only Falcon.io opinion about things but his own as well.
Full article coming soon.

Marketing 2.0: how amazon prime video innovated and pushed boundaries during the global pandemic.

Discussion between Ukonwa Ojo (Global CMO at Amazon Prime Video & Amazon Studios) and Connie Guglielmo (Editor-in-chief at CNET), they discussed how the pandemic has brought with it a massive boom for the video streaming industry and that during this time Amazon has been working hard to keep an open dialogue with viewers so their content is produced according to the wishes of the audiences. 

Ukonwa Mentioned the Lord of the Rings series and the need to tailor their advertising campaigns to the communities they want to reach, and that each campaign is designed uniquely for the piece of content being released.

They discussed as well the importance of diversity at Amazon Studios, as well as improving their image, both behind and in front of the cameras. This leads to the responsibility of streaming platforms, in the wake of the BLM movement and the violence against Asian American communities, to educate, represent, and present different outlooks on some of the most controversial topics. 

The Power of Online communities- Jen Wong (Reddit), Chris Jaffe (Youtube), and Joshua Cohen (Tubefilter)

They spoke about the incredible impact that online communities have had both before and after the pandemic. As well as the way in which online communities have begun to improve, with the dialogue shifting from hurtful comments to actual helpful tips and advice on navigating the pandemic. This includes topics such as unemployment, social welfare, health and hobbies, to keep you occupied in one of the loneliest times many of us will experience. They also mentioned a boost in people searching for educational content and how that in turn has affected the stock markets and e-commerce. 

They ended the discussion by restating the huge impact that their platforms can have on the world and that there is a responsibility shared by all social networks to ensure their community standards are upheld and that hate and violence is no longer dispersed so easily.

Video games will take over the world- Daniel Alegre (Activision Blizzard), Kimberly Weisul

They discussed how gaming is helping people connect during the pandemic and how games are very much being built with embedded social media platforms to help players connect more. In addition to that, they mentioned the nature of games now becoming more and more cross-platform especially at Blizzard. 

Gaming becoming more like a social network was mentioned as well today by Tom Keiser CEO of Hootsuite, in his Masterclass about the future of social media. He also mentioned that Gaming platforms are becoming more and more interesting for the retail market.
Full article about these 2 talks coming soon.

These are just a few of the talks out of many more, there are more than 10 talks happening at the same time each hour, covering many different topics in different industries; finance, society, technology, innovation, cryptocurrency, education,  entrepreneurship, PR, Human Resources, Communications, Sales and many more.

The day has now finished with a session of Mingling, another great option on the online platform that allows you to meet other attendees randomly over 3 minutes video chat, just like a speed dating experience but to network with other businesses and obtain great contacts and continue the conversation on the mobile app. 

Looking forward to tomorrow's speakers and to sharing with you the highlights.

Read the highlights of day 2 and 3 here:

The Collision Conference 2021 @SocialSongbird_ press team

Mili Ponce 
Jack Glidewell 
Megan Howe 
Adrienne Lucas
Tamara Alzayat
Abigail Gamble, she did not write anything in this article but wrote an article about one of the masterclasses run by TikTok at the event, have a look; Jumpstart your Business on TikTok

Collision Conference 2021: Day 1 Highlights Reviewed by Mili Ponce on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 Rating: 5

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