Oi Conference attracts 1000 techies to Cardiff

Oi Conf, which is quickly becoming one of Europe’s biggest tech events, attracted more than 1000 social media and mobile specialists yesterday.

Organised by Welsh technology agency CoupMedia, the conference took place at Cardiff’s historic City Hall and provided companies with a glimpse into the latest technology trends.

It ran all day and welcomed technology leaders from companies such as Barclays, Sky, Travelex, Expedia and We Are Social. They gave insightful masterclasses and keynote speeches.

Free tickets were also given to local start-ups and entrepreneurs, and they were able to access a large expo area and a range of seminars covering topics such as PPC, SEO, social advertising, finance and IP.

There was also a special section called the Ignition Stage, which provided networking opportunities to tech start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs. The hub was free and located within the exhibition hall.

The event was supported by the likes of Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Airbnb, BuzzFeed, IBM, the BBC and Adobe, with the Welsh Government being the lead sponsor.

Paul Shepherd, founder and owner of the conference, told Tech Dragons that there’s huge potential to create a global event that puts Wales and its innovation on the map.

“We saw 1000 people attend and sessions running concurrently throughout the day in 5 separate locations which was an amazing feat,” he said.

“The street food element was a massive success and it’s a glimpse of what we’re hoping to do in terms of weaving tech, food and music into a festival for the Wales and South West region which is huge, digitally very savvy but also underserved in terms of a global event.

“That’s a gap we plan to plug and we hope to see the benefits of that pull through to start ups, create investor opportunities, and really put the region on the map in the coming years.”

Martin Bryant, community editor of Tech North and former editor in chief of The Next Web, was the event’s MC. He recently spoke to Tech Dragons about the importance of entrepreneurs in the UK.

“Tech entrepreneurs are hugely important to the UK. As tech transforms every part of the business world – and our lives – it’s only going to become more important,” he said.

“As Brexit brings uncertainty to the UK’s place in the world, we’ll need as much homegrown talent and innovation as possible. That means we need to nurture tech communities from Belfast to Brighton and Cardiff to Clydeside.”