Attending RISE Conference in Different Hats

Thursday, August 10, 2017

It all started when I got hit by the RISE Conference FB ad several times and wondered what’s in it for me. Looked for some information and found out that it’s probably the biggest tech and startup conference in Asia to be held in Hong Kong. (PSA: The regular RISE conference fee is at least USD 1500)

I ignored it every single time it hits my newsfeed because I know there is no chance in this world that I’ll be attending such prestigious conference abroad (because of time and budget).


But on one busy Friday, an opportunity from the Blogapalooza family came up and an offer to attend RISE in Hong Kong was right in front of me. If you know me by heart, you know I grab opportunities in a heartbeat. This, in particular, isn’t something that I will allow to pass by. Tried my luck and guess what, I officially made it to the Philippine delegate to RISE!


That was the easy part. The other side of the coin is that I only have THREE days to prepare for everything. Booking flights, Managing funds and turning over of things to do that week were things that exhausted me the most during the weekend prior my departure.

I just want to express my gratitude to my 1DMG family for supporting me 100% in this adventure. Without their blessing, I wouldn’t be able to acquire new knowledge and travel to Hong Kong for the first time! I’m beyond grateful. 🙏

All my expectations in traveling Hong Kong were dropped because this trip was unplanned in the first place. My priority is all about attending the conference and spending that one extra day window-shopping in HK. That’s all.

The moment I stepped foot in Hong Kong Convention Center, it donned on me how lucky I am to be there at that very moment. I was thinking how many had hoped for the same opportunity and there I was, walking with the Bloga fam towards the Alpha registration.

Patty Villegas - The Lifestyle Wanderer - RISE Conference - 2017 - Hong Kong - Blogapalooza - Buzzin -14
The RISE Conf app was a helpful tool all throughout the entire 3-day conference. From the event map, daily schedule, down to socializing with everyone, everything a delegate might need can be found in this app.

The Alpha Programme are for startups who haven’t received funding in any form. Since the founding of Blogapalooza last 2011, they haven’t received any kind of funding from big time investors nor venture capitalists. Amazing, right? :)

 AS AN ATTENDEE


Oh boy, I can remember how overwhelmed I was to witness kiosks of different startups from all over the world all in one huge hall. All of them are eager to share knowledge behind their start-ups and what problem they are trying to solve.

One notable startup that made a mark on me was the NanoFixIt. They’re a startup company that distributes an advanced and innovative liquid screen protector. In simple words, they make gadget screens “unscratchable” for a certain amount of time.

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Because they have samples in the booth, I gave it a try in my Samsung Galaxy S7 and the results were pretty impressive. Though my screen had received scratches from before, the coating made my phone look new. So glad that the liquid protector works on the phone camera as well!

I couldn’t be any prouder when I found out that Nanofixit was founded, produced and distributed in the Philippines!

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This is how a typical conference at RISE would look like. There are FB Live setups as well so conferences can be live streamed on Facebook.
Aside from the startup showcase, there are different types of conferences that delegates can attend namely: AutoTech, binate.io, Creatiff, FullSTK, MoneyConf, PandaConf, SasS Monster, Startup Univesity, and TalkRobot. There are also junkets like Culture Summit, Night Summit and Pub Summit that attendees can go to (usually happens after the whole day conference) socialize with other attendees from different walks of life.

Because I’m 90% clueless about start-ups and have no plans of building one soon, I figured out that the pub summit wasn’t for me. I stayed the night at the hotel and slept early in preparation for next day’s talks instead.

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This is an insightful talk about worthwhile contents and their thoughts on subscription
Distinguished people from Google, Facebook, Cisco, Amazon, 9Gag, Hypebeast and more were there as part of the speaker's pool. Rest assured that the first-hand information that attendees’ get is 100% based on experience. Though some talks were in a Q&A form, it’s up to the attendee to pick up insightful thoughts from every session.

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Yiying Lu, the artist behind Twitter's "Fail Whale" gave a talk on how to design for a global audience 

Because I live and breathe digital, I’m happy to find out that there are more than enough relevant talks that I can listen to. Each talk lasts for about 15 – 20 minutes, similar to how TED Talks work. I actually found myself broken because there came a time that I can’t choose between two great talks in the same time slot. Poor me!

Though I know a little bit about the lingo that some speakers used (mostly business-related), I somehow lost myself in thoughts because of how the topic has become deeper and deeper as they try to elaborate some points.

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One of the innovative stuff on the RISE Conf grounds is the water dispenser that comes with a stack of paper cones that you can use to drink water! :p
TIP! If you come in groups, try to divide according to your interests and huddle at the end of the day for some sharing of learnings. This can be done over dinner or when you want to chill out before heading back to the hotel.

To be honest with you, it was daunting at first when it suddenly hit me that I’m in a room with all these wise people from the different parts of the world. But hey, I made it here so what does it make me? (lol just kidding haha)

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My favorite talk during the whole conference is the topic, “Technology is killing creativity”. Speakers from 500px, 123RF.com, WPP, Hypebeast, and Financial Times Hong Kong have come together to give their points about this subject. Scott Spirit of WPP mentioned that Technology is the “new Rembrandt”. I loved the fact that all of them have agreed that innovation is another form of creativity and that we have to be creative with it through the times.

Patty Villegas - The Lifestyle Wanderer - RISE Conference - 2017 - Hong Kong - Blogapalooza - Buzzin - Gary Vaynerchuk

Attending the Q&A with Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia was one of the best decisions I did in RISE. While this guy is an entrepreneur, advisor, keynote speaker and an internet personality, he was all out in answering the different set of questions (not seeded, mind you!) One of the best things that he said was to make yourself happy and everything else follows. “The greatest way to be selfless is to be selfish”, he added.

AS AN ALPHA DELEGATE


Because I came with the Bloga fam to the conference, we were not just a regular attendee to the event. We were there to talk to investors personally about Buzzin by Blogapalooza as well. As a part of the Alpha Programme, Blogapalooza was also entitled to a mentoring session.

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This was taken during our mentoring hours with Isabella Zhong of Barron Asia
I’m glad that this session didn’t come off too professional, instead, it was like a normal conversation between friends who hadn’t seen each other for years. :)

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We get to present to two investors who were interested in Blogapalooza's business model.
Also, we were provided with a booth on the last day of the conference along with other start-ups. Booth day can be quite exhausting but it was awesome meeting people from different industries.

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Ace Gapuz, the #BlogaMomma behind Blogapalooza with Jim Imbong of ServeHappy engaging to everyone on Facebook Live
I felt the Pinoy pride knowing that we were not alone. In fact, there are lots of Filipino startups in RISE ready to show their brainchild and how it can solve a problem in a global perspective. After digesting everything, I was like “Am I living under a rock for the past 23 years of my existence?”

KEY TAKEAWAY FROM THE CONFERENCE


Attending RISE unveiled a new world for me. From zero expectations to information overload, I didn’t expect the sudden demand to organize my daily schedule and do a background check to the speaker who’s about to give a talk.

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There's also an ongoing pitch on the event grounds. A 12-year-old girl also got to pitch with this jury!
Thinking globally is something that’s also been implanted to me. I’ve been living a normal life before I bumped my head and realized, the world that revolves around me is busy making a difference and there I am slacking off. (Though I believe that if you are tired, you got to have to give your mind and body some rest, too).

On the other side, RISE isn’t for everyone. A background about the startup industry and the latest tech innovation is a good way for anyone to catch up on the talks. This is also a good way to expand your knowledge on what you already know about technology in general.

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Will I go to RISE Conference next year? A big YES! I don’t know how just yet but I will do my best to make it to the list of attendees next year. :)

Special thanks to my Blogapalooza family for trusting in me. I’m deeply honored to represent Blogapalooza and Buzzin in the international arena! Blogapalooza always has my back. :)

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