TNW2020 was reimagined to the online format, and what a great event it turned out to be!

The Data Market Services Startups had the chance to hear from industry thought leaders, showcase their solutions and network. A few of the companies also joined the TNW startup pitch competition.

Congratulations to both Tykn and YData for winning their competitions!

2020 has been an incredibly strange and challenging year so far that has seen the events industry turn on its head. The flagship Tech festival, TNW2020, normally held in the summer in Amsterdam, saw an opportunity in the circumstances to democratise event attendance through the online format, and invited people from more time zones, more backgrounds, and more industries than ever before. After a successful series of Couch Conference hosted in June and July, TNW has just closed its digital 2020 edition and the DMS programme was front and center.

There were over 200 speakers touching upon a variety of topics including the future of work, digital transformation, diversity, sustainability, product, mobility and, more. The DMS attendees had plenty of relevant content to absorb too, with leading talks as ‘Why data is your superpower for thriving during disruption’ by Solmaz Shahalizadeh (VP Data Science, Spotify), and ‘The future of data ownership and AI’ by Edwin Van Bommel (Chief Innovation Officer, ABN AMRO).

Also insightful were the talks ‘Investors Unleashed: the bets they’re making for 2021’, in which they provided the audience with the hottest investment trends of 2021, and ‘Fundraising efficiently: how to secure your next VC round’.There were many engaging touch points and opportunities in the digital format that it was impossible to attend them all. Luckily, nothing can be missed completely as TNW have released the recordings on their website for select ticket holders in the coming weeks, so you don’t miss a thing.

The change to an online conference turned out to be very interesting. Within months, TNW had to figure out how to make the switch to an online platform and did that quite successfully. They found three interesting benefits to having an online conference. The first finding is that the audience was way more internationally based than previous editions. There was no such thing as a ‘distance barrier’ anymore. They only had to deal with time zones. But coffee is your dearest friend in these early hours. The second finding is that there was much more flexibility during the conference. Never was it so incredibly easy and fast to change stages and be everywhere within seconds, opposed to walking across the NDSM shipyard in Amsterdam to find a seat for that VIP session.

Furthermore, the presence of an event or session wide chat function brought unprecedented audience engagement to the flagship tech conference format. It seemed as if the audience felt more at ease asking questions, logical considering that it’s easier to ask a question from the comforts of your couch than to speak up in a room full of people. Last, the networking feature of the conference was very entertaining. It allowed for randomized 3 minutes of virtual speed dating with any of the other brave souls who dared to enter the networking expo. So you could end up talking to laid back attendees to serious matchmaking opportunities.