Pivot Summit 2016 – that’s a wrap.

by Leighton Wells

Wow. You know – Pivot Summit is a real animal. No doubt about it – though I imagine a lot of people running events say that.

It’s only our second year and this year’s event grew substantially across every dimension.

There were more speakers (more than double), Pivot Pitch (a pitching competition), masterclasses, a bigger expo and a whole second day – Pivot Connect – devoted to engaging the broader community in all things digital. Did I mention the global book launch?

Anyway…

We had over 500 attendees at Pivot Summit the year compared to 300 last year and 4,000 unique online streams compared to 400 in 2015.

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Alisa Bowen, Chief Technology Officer, News Corp Australia

Close to my heart – as a social media fan – is that we were trending no. 1 in the country on Twitter for a good chunk of the day (compared to reaching no. 2 in the country last year). 2,000+ posts (including tweets and retweets) had a reach of more than 7,000,000.

Importantly though, looking back through the survey results from this year – people had a great time and got something out of the event.

At the end of the day, Pivot is designed to generate outcomes and to have impact. Central to this is that the event has a benefit to Geelong’s economy and profile – though admittedly, these things aren’t always easy to define.

The survey data comes in pretty quickly once we get the survey out and it showed us that we do a great job of pleasing the vast majority of the audience.

It’s the anecdotal stuff that can take a while to unearth, though we do know that a number of startups that were there on the day are now speaking to some of the big corporates that were there. Some people with a startup idea have decided to do something about their idea, some people have decided to learn more about VR and mixed reality and see if they can apply it to their business.

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Pivot Summit 2016 featured the global book launch of The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence will change everything” – by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble (pictured above).

Someone asked me earlier this year why we do Pivot Summit and apart from wanting to have an impact – it’s also for the unknown.

Geelong is a rapidly growing startup and tech destination and Pivot can be a great way bring disparate sections of the community together it interact with those tech and startup types and “let the magic happen”.

Last year around 10% of attendees were from outside of Geelong – this year it was around 30%. It’s exciting to see that Pivot’s impact is spreading outside of the immediate region.

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Trent Innes, Managing Director of Xero Australia presenting at Pivot Summit 2016.

It all sounds a bit cheesy and amorphous but we’ve seen it first hand – when you bring people together with the common ground of technology and innovation, people who are open to having new and interesting conversations – the magic does indeed happen.

We can provide the environment but we don’t have any control over it. It’s that “letting go” that’s both exciting and a bit scary at the same time but we know that’s what we have to do.

For now, that’s a wrap with Pivot Summit. Who knows where 2017 will lead us.

That’s part of the fun though.

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