If you missed Pause Fest 2018, you really missed out. Get ready for some major FOMO.
The theme this year was ‘Journey = Destination’, and you’ll be chucked into the future and back during the three days.
Talking about tech and beyond
This year the speakers were on another level.
Speakers from NASA, IBM, Amazon, Tech Crunch, Airbnb and even Guy Kawasaki made an appearance. All those speakers are all different players in the startup community, which goes to show how well rounded the event was, catering to everyone’s needs and wants.
If that line up of speakers is not making you FOMO, then you might need to reevaluate yourself.
The talks were presented in all forms, panellists discussions and seminars on a big stage, casual setting pub talks and our favourite, debates.
And the topics talked about? Very diverse.
The usual topics of investment, inspirational stories and workshops were there, powered by key players in the community, which is what most attendees came down for.
But creativity and cultural topics were thrown into the mix as well, which I think is a need for us to discuss, and Pause Fest got it right.
There were a lot of talks focusing on the unconventional side of tech such as how can non-tech people create tech business, talks on design and branding and the evolution of media spaces.
Cultural topics such workplace culture and diversity and inclusivity were discussed bringing a human element to the festival.
It was great to see that diversity and inclusion was given a highlight and it was definitely heartwarming to see those talk gathering a full house.
The focus on such topics definitely gave insight and perspective to the startup industry that might not be as talked about as much.
The debate on the first day was on drugs, should we allow smart drugs into our lives. As you might have guessed, the debate was worth an hour of my life.
Tech was still the bulk of the discussion, AR/VR and AI were pretty much the golden child this time.
But the tech talks were beyond just discussing about technology. Many of the talks talked about integration of such technology into different industries like education and entertainment such as gaming and movies.
User experience is very much a focus as you can see, this is also seen among the startups that were at the festival.
A debate on AI relationships for humanity was set up as well, which is very apt as we are moving towards that.
Fret not, blockchain made its way to the festival as well.
The adult industry was mentioned as well; Intimate gave a compelling and eye-opening talk on crypto and the sex industry which was fun.
Startup Expo was inspo
Just walking through the startup expo, you can feel the power of innovation and motivation. You would be blown away by the startups there, ranging from AR/VR and drones to beauty and fashion.
All the startups are so different and it is great to see such diversity in the industries involved and founders too.
The startups had the opportunity to showcase themselves and also tell the attendees what they are looking for.
You get to try all the new gadgets and platforms that you might see becoming the next big thing.
There were heaps of startups to keep your eye out for, but I’ll leave it for another article with more details.
IBM was right smacked in the middle, they are not a small company and they sure showed it off.
They showed their face recognition which can sense emotions and showed colours based on the emotion that it sensed, and take that picture and make it into a collage.
Here’s a video (featuring me) to get a better idea of it.
They also partnered with VISA to show a video of what it might be in the future regarding payments and AR.
Georgie Pinn was there as well. If you don’t know her, she’s an interactive and audiovisual artist.
Her art piece was called Echo, which is a photo booth where you become a subject of the art and using facial tracking system, you can see yourself through other’s to deepen your sense of empathy.
Design on fleek
Decked with eye-catching yellow and black, the event was very chic. The colour and design were modern and eye-catching.
I’m an aesthetics kind of guy and seeing how pleasing the branding was, really brought me much joy.
The passes were the most exciting feature; the AR barcodes were not ordinary lame barcodes. It looks like a mountain range which acts as a barcode.
Here’s a video to highlight how cool and excited I was.
I had a talk with the designer, Oleg Fedotov, about his inspiration.
He told me that if you put six different passes together, the mountain range lines up. I mean, how cool is that such detail is being placed into the branding design.
All in all, Pause Fest is a must-go for everyone. The vibe of the event was just beaming with positivity and innovation.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a techie or not, the festival has something for everyone in the community.
I was also inspiring to see the creative industry included in the event, which opens the doors and minds of how we view the startup industry.
Tech is a golden child in the startup industry, but Pause Fest definitely highlighted the various aspect of the startup community.
The amalgamation of all the aspects of the different industry was portrayed during Pause Fest, and I must say I’m very impressed and happy to see the ecosystem broadening its horizon.
“Pause Fest is Australasia’s premier creative, tech and business event.” I say, they absolutely got it right.
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