(Part 2) The world’s premier tech conference, Web Summit 2022: Where do we go from here?
If you missed part 1 of this article you can read it here.
Day 2... With great power comes great responsibility
On Day 2, the question, “Are we going into a marketing recession” was posed to Sir Martin Sorrel, and - with the best will in the world of the panel mediators to keep the sentiment of his messaging as vanilla as possible - Sir Martin gave his frank evaluation of the landscape over the next 5-10 years.
Consumers and businesses alike are tightening their belts. BOTH are looking for more value. Customers want to know that what they’re spending their money on is well informed and justified, while businesses, CEOs, CFOs are going to start piling the pressure onto their CMOs. Performance, activation, tracking ROI and measurement of spend will be at the forefront more than ever before. Performance marketing will no longer be a niche, but the mainstream.
There were a number of talks across the week in Lisbon on ethical brand building and ethical leadership, and to steal a line from Spiderman’s Uncle Ben who said that “With great power comes great responsibility”, there is a collective responsibility on all prominent internet organisations to ensure we are working to build trust, whilst ensuring privacy and digital safety.
Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President at Microsoft made a very interesting point, that whilst companies want to stand with movements like MeToo, Black Lives Matter and Stand With Ukraine, there will be a concern amongst these companies that they don’t want to appear political - but his point was that you can still be principled and value based without tipping over the line into being considered politically weighted.
Working in a hybrid world
Friday (Day 3) was very much focused on the future of the working environment. Having put the restrictions of the Covid pandemic behind us, we are now navigating what it means to be working in a hybrid world. Having proven that, as a workforce, the majority of people are now able to work based anywhere from the spare bedroom to Bali, there are questions now arising that were not even considered three years ago.
Is one day in the office and four days out of the office acceptable? Is a 3:2 split more productive? How do we as a company ensure effective collaboration without face-to-face interaction? It seemed particularly fitting that WebSummit was in Lisbon, knowing how much of an attractive prospect Portugal is, as a whole, for the digital nomad community. With legislation passed this week offering a specific “Digital Nomad” Visa, qualification for which is an annual salary of just over £30k, goes to show how times have changed.
It was an amazing few days spent in Lisbon at Web Summit 2022. What really struck me was how many of the key talking points aligned closely with our Venntro Values, for example: Respectful Collaboration and our policy of “work from where you’re happiest” when considering the future of the working environment; Naked Candidness and Productive Paranoia when looking at how we assess our performance and challenge ourselves accordingly in this changing world; Relentless Resilience and Rational Optimism in picking ourselves up from setbacks, looking at how we can use changes to our advantage and in turn opening ourselves up to a world of new possibilities.
It is clear from the topics that were discussed that keeping these values and talking points at the front of our minds is paramount, not only as we set out our business plans for the near future, but also as we consider - as we all have a duty to do - what we are building for the generations to come.
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