After a whirlwind week of spending time with our clients and partners during our Consumer-First Summit Europe in Malta, I wanted to take the opportunity to recap my top lessons with you. Here were some of key takeaways:

1. As machine learning and AI take off, humans will become more valuable – In Steven Van Bellegham’s keynote, “When Digital Becomes Human,” he talked about how humans, aka the human interface, will become a premium and differentiating service in the future.  Yes, technology will eliminate the need for certain activities performed by humans, but people to people contact will always be important—maybe even more so in the future.  As Steven summed up so well: “Computers predict.  Humans surprise. Computers deliver. Humans over-deliver.”

2. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an opportunity, not a liability – In Thomas Curwen’s session titled, “Humanizing Data Capture to Captivate Your Consumer,” he shared the opportunity laid in front of brands with the pending GDPR legislation. By being transparent and employing friendly data collection practices, brands can differentiate themselves from their competition.  Instead of dreading GDPR, use it as a way to strengthen customer relationships. 

3. Selligent clients are working on amazing innovations – Okay, we already knew this before the Summit. It’s worth noting, though, that we had a lot of client participation at the Summit via four case study presentations, two breakout panels and dozens of Selligent Awards submissions. (See the Selligent Awards winners here.) We saw everything from how clients use web behaviors to drive personalized experiences and build profiles, push notifications to increase social activity and app engagement, an award-winning loyalty program, how unified customer data in Selligent allows for customer service to have a full 360-degree view of customers, and to more. Much of our clients’ success is made possible by partners, which leads me to our next notable takeway…

4. Our partners make so much possible – Selligent relies on agency partners to bring our vision to life through the work they do with our clients.  We valued the time spent with our partners in Malta at a dedicated agency meeting and for the duration of the conference. It was great to focus on how we can achieve even more success together in the coming year. A special shout-out goes to Oxyma, who won a Selligent Award for Partner of the Year for their dedication to building top-notch consumer experiences for their clients using the Selligent platform. 

5. Malta makes for a memorable location for a European conference – A country that most of our attendees had never visited before, Malta’s history, landscape and outstanding weather made it a memorable and unique location. We made the most of our time there too, with activities like tours of Mdina (where season 1 of Game of Thrones was filmed), the fishing village Marsaxlokk, and a stroll through the prehistoric temple Hagar Qim.  We also enjoyed the Mediterranean Sea’s beautiful, blue water.  We had a boat ride to the Blue Grotto, an afternoon on catamarans and speed boats, and even had a cocktail cruise on gulet boats, complete with Selligent pirate flags.  Yes, we had pirate flags and they were a hit. 

6. Like marketers, Malta makes the most of its available resources – Malta isn’t a large country.  With only 450,000 residents and 312km2, the Maltese really know how to maximize what it has on its archipelago. Fishing, tourism, wine production and limestone quarrying are an important part of the Maltese economy. We loved the beauty of the Maltese limestone so much that we decided to have Joe Xuereb - a local artist - carve our Selligent Awards out of it.  It was such a fun process and we made a video to share the experience with you!

If you weren’t able to join us for Consumer-First Summit ’17 in Malta or attended and want to re-live the experience, we invite you to view our recap video and see the photos on Facebook.   

In the words of the Maltese, Evviva! Ċirs! (Cheers! Good health!)

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