Our third Selligent European Summit Malta is over. The cleaners in Malta have swept the floors, put away the lights and sound systems, lowered the Selligent pirate flags (yes, we had Selligent pirate flags), and recycled the (many) empty bottles.
Judging by the debris alone, a very good time was had by all. The mood in the conference rooms, during the activities, at the gala and aboard the sailboats and even the buses was upbeat. We were a happy group: learning new ideas, experiencing new things, meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends. Based on this overwhelming evidence, I hereby declare victory. The event was a win for all.
How did we do it? How did the third edition surpass the high bar set at the earlier Summits? The answer, to steal a line for one of our keynote speakers, is that we weren’t afraid to break stuff. We threw out the old Summit name and rechristened the event “the Consumer-First Summit” to put our marketing philosophy front and center. We shook up the content, adding more practical sessions and case studies to give brands and partners tips and tricks for using Selligent to their best advantage. We traveled deep into the center of the Mediterranean, asking attendees to commit to a longer flight in return for the opportunity to fully focus once they arrived. And despite the added distance, we set a new attendance record!
And we combined the new with some of the best bits that have worked so well in the past, from CEO André Lejeune’s welcome through to the Awards gala at the fabulous Saluting Battery at the heart of old Valletta.
Some highlights for me:
- Steven Van Belleghem kicked off with examples of how consumer control, data and mobility are vastly changing the way brands communicate. He urged marketers to start thinking about predicting consumers’ needs and delivering a combination of human (empathetic) and digital (data-driven) interaction that could be passionate, relevant and scalable.
- Marketing superstar Bonin Bough noted that brands are often not able to move as quickly as their own consumers. He urged the audience to create a “hackonomy” where new ideas are hacked together with innovative approaches and data-driven partners to get results fast.
- Forrester VP Shar VanBoskirk provided a framework for marketers to use when thinking about how to create a more nimble, consumer-focused strategy. Shar noted that she chose the term “customer obsession” deliberately to illustrate just how important it is for marketers to put customers first.
In between the powerhouse speakers were many inspiring examples of the remarkable work being done by Selligent clients every day. Clients Mediahuis, Tape a L’Oeil, Cinesa, and Chronodrive illustrated the power of targeted content and data-driven messaging to increase relevance with their consumers. Selligent team members also provided examples of consumer-first marketing that is working today to inspire the audience.
As I mentioned, the Awards gala remained one of the highlights. We received a record number of award submissions this year across 13 categories. After a tour of the harbor on a pair of beautiful gulets (traditional two-masted wooden sailboats), the group took to the Saluting Battery to announce and celebrate the winners against the backdrop of Napoleonic cannons and the beautiful harbor.
If you came along, thanks for making the journey and I hope you thought it worthwhile. For those of you that didn’t, we hope to see you at the next big Selligent event. You won’t regret it