On my first day in Helsinki it was classic Finish cold and what was really fascinating me, were the Finns not wearing caps, scarfs, gloves…they just felt warm! I started my way to the Slush event following a map from Slush application on my cellphone. After some time spent by wandering around Helsinki trying to find the right place, I decided to take taxi and it turned out that I was at the opposite side of town, on a completely wrong place (the Slush application pointed me wrong!). I lost about 15 minutes with this but finally I was in a queue waiting for a registration. Unfortunately it was a long queue and the waiting took another 15 minutes.
When finally registered (and almost frozen) and checked by the guards I was allowed to go inside. It looked wild and amazing there, so I started with unfreezing myself and checking who and what was where. The Slush event this year was extremely large, I think it was twice as big as it was last year, and I could see many people running around like headless chicken not knowing what to do instead of doing something. Which made me think if the largeness of the event wasn’t decreasing the quality of the event instead of increasing it. I must admit I was a bit confused myself sometimes.
And by the way, there was unbelievably terrible internet there. It was annoying me a lot as I couldn’t even check my emails! And I believe I was not the only one as I could see many people clicking the internet on their devices trying to get connected at least for a short time.
On the first day I visited few presentations, mostly companies presenting themselves, who they are and what they do. But one worth mentioning was from Wooga where they were describing the way how they cancel their projects, avoid demoralization of the team and motivate people for next projects. I liked it as it is the way of thinking that I appreciate as well.
I also visited lecture from Two Dots which I consider one of the most creative match 3 game. The presenter showed nice examples of how they improve their brand. They create videos and some crazy stuff sending to YouTube, Spotify etc. The brand is a strong stuff and it must be taken care of carefully.
Later on the first day I started my own stand at AppCampus where I was for two hours. People were passing by and watching but not really interested in. I think there was too much stuff around which actually decreased the effectivity of the event as no one had enough time for anything. Anyway, I received some new contacts and mainly very good brain storming which is priceless.
I can say it was very successful day regarding meetings with people. I talked to many people, had some opinion exchanges, had some theories confirmed and I believe everything is optimistic now for us. Overall people there were very optimistic. They feel it is challenge but they accept it and look for ways how to do it, not excuses why not to do it.
At the end of the day I met my friend Timo and then we attended the SuperCell afterparty, which was huge! There were few thousands of people and I have never experienced something like this before. My principle of not drinking too much at the party failed a bit but fortunately not too much so I didn’t have hangover the next day.
On the second day I visited some presentations but didn’t find anything that I hadn’t known before. At least I checked all the new games. Later that day I attended very interesting lecture from one investor, who focuses on gaming industry. He was explaining why there is such a low interest in investing into games among investors. The problem is the brand, which can be brought to other industries if successful. For example there is a huge difference between SuperCell and Rovio, where they both have very successful games but Rovio has the brand developed while SuperCell does not. You can find Angry Birds in any industry that comes into your mind – clothes, food, toys, etc.
The closing of the second day and the whole Slush was great. The winners of the Slush 100 competition won 500 000 EUR, which is unbelievable! That never happened anywhere before, not even close to it and I think it was really beautiful.
For me this was one of the biggest and most fascinating events I have ever seen and it was very beneficial in terms of brainstorming, contacts and potential cooperation. There were some technical problems, very bad internet and complicated organization but on the other hand it is not easy to run such a huge event.
I think big things happened there and also some other will be also announced retroactively. I am looking forward to coming here next year!