TechEx dives back into physical events with global London Expo

By: Sophie Weaver

10, September, 2021

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After over a year of virtual hibernation, TechEx Global was thrilled to be at the forefront of the technology industry’s return to live events this week.

Hosted at the Business Design Centre in London on September 6-7, the event had more than 4,000 attendees and saw delegates from 35 countries on-site.

Consisting of five co-located events in the fields of AI & Big Data, Blockchain, Cyber Security & Cloud, Digital Transformation, and IoT, the centre served as a melting pot for building partnerships and incentivising collaboration in some of today’s most cutting-edge technologies.

Overall, there were more than 100 exhibitors and 228 speakers from an array of start-ups as well as industry leaders such as Aston Martin, BBC, Huawei, HSBC, and many more.

Most notable however, was the genuine buzz and excitement to be back at physical events. As VISUA’s marketing director Franco De Bonis put it during a cyber security panel:

“Live events are absolutely critical to driving innovation forward. Virtual events will never match the energy and willingness to learn of being there in person to take it all in.”

AI & Big Data

Diving into the AI & Big Data Expo, attendees heard talks on algorithms, deep learning, data and analytics, machine learning models, and even the growth of virtual assistants and chatbots.

One panel that stood out surrounded how to leverage data analytics for intelligent decision making, with speakers from Bank of America, Nissan, and Spotify.

During the debate, Spotify research lead Rishabh Mehrotra broke down how the music streaming platform leverages machine learning models not just for short-term delivery of content to users but also for long-term reinforced learning.

“Whereas short-term learning is trained on clicks and suffers from popularity and positional bias, our long-term goal with reinforced learning is to facilitate more discovery on our platform. Through collecting years of data, we can start to eliminate some of the problems caused by these biases and better navigate users through the 70 million tracks on our platform,” Mehrotra explained.

Blockchain

The blockchain space was bustling as ever this year, with use cases in social media, real estate, online gaming, fashion, and healthcare all being discussed alongside a series of all-star panel debates.

Crypto Finance CTO Dr. Lewin Boehnke’s clash with ADVFN CEO Clem Chambers on whether banks are missing the trend in cryptocurrencies took centre stage during a panel on the future of crypto.

Whilst Chambers believes banks and traditional financial institutions are trying to resist the shift to digital assets, Boehnke rebuked that if you were to ask him “does bank X engage in crypto assets? You wouldn’t have to tell me who bank X is, because the answer is they all do.”

Alongside speakers from Fidelity Investments, Komainu, and Swarm Markets, the panel’s overall consensus was strongly leaning towards the continued growth of the digital asset market.

Cyber Security & Cloud

Scalability, best practice, and staffing issues were big talking points at the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo. Other topics discussed in depth included the challenges around providing ROI, network defence, automation, and the growth of cybercrime during the pandemic.

Perhaps moreso than other industries, the cyber security space has seen some positives come out of the pandemic to combat this growing number of cyberattacks.

In discussion with De Bonis, N-able CSO Dave MacKinnon noted that “companies’ opening up to remote work has been the best thing to happen to the cyber security space in the past 18 months.”

As an industry that typically struggles with finding enough experienced employees, De Bonis agreed, going on to highlight other ways in which positives have been found amidst Covid-19:

“New innovations in this space have been driven directly by the pandemic. It has shown executives the importance of partnerships and that sharing high value information openly can lead to valuable change and growth within an industry.”

IoT

Digital transformation was a keen area of interest for attendees and speakers at the IoT Expo, as was IIoT, smart manufacturing, connected environments, smart energy, and enterprise sustainability.

Harry Tayler, manufacturing and supply chain lead for Europe at Palantir, was right to point out that we often over-envision IoT equipment as needing to be equipment-fixing drones or 4-D factory models. In his talk, he argued that it is much better to start out thinking small.

“As an organisation, ask yourself ‘what decisions am I making by the thousands each year, but maybe a little bit suboptimal, a little bit inefficient? And what would the impact be on my bottom line, and the KPIs that I care about, if I was to improve those decisions by small amounts going forward?’

Then ask yourself how IoT could help with that instead. And that might be starting with something quite small. That could be a root cause analysis of something in your supply chain or your logistics operations. It could be something constantly present, like increasing the productivity of the production line, a piece of industrial equipment.”

TechEx is joined by so many others who attended the event in being excited for the continued rebirth of the technology sector as we emerge from the pandemic.

Looking ahead to the even bigger TechEx Europe in Amsterdam on November 23-24, TechEx is determined to deliver an equally outstanding exhibition that helps build partnerships and inspire innovation at the front line of the technology industry.

For more information on TechEx Global and future events, visit www.techexevent.com