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Dragos Stanca on ICEEfest 2014: 2 years ago, Twitter wasn’t answering our emails. This year, they looked for us!


ICEEfest GenericDragoş Stanca, Managing Partner ThinkDigital România and organizer of ICEEfest, speaks about this year’s festival. „For three years, the festival becomes more and more powerful and relevant for the entire region. And, although unfortunatelly all that „smells” like patriotism is deemed to sound ridiculous, I believe it is agood thing for Bucharest and Romania”, Dragoş Stanca said about ICEEfest.


- Euro 250 for a ticket at ICEEfest. A lot? Little? Normal?

Dragoş Stanca: To quote an anonymous commentator from social media: “Aren’t you rude to ask Euro 250 for a ticket?”. The answer is yes, we are. Towards our shareholders. Because the normal price should be double, to cover all the costs. Plus the fact that the ticket was also Euro 100 or Euro 150 a month and a little ago. Plus that there are discounts that start from Euro 80. Plus discounts for groups and companies. And plus all of that is not important.

A much weaker event as content taking place now in Dubai costs $ 1.200 per person. Similar events in Istanbul – Euro 4-600. I don’t even mention London or Paris. I say let’s talk about the important things. This is from the “If it’s Romania, let it be free” mind set, because everyone pays triple no problem (plus plane tickets and hotel) for less relevant events for us taking place in Istanbul or Budapest
- And what exactly is important at ICEEfest?
Dragoş Stanca: It is mainly important that, for 3 years now, the festival becomes stronger and stronger and more and more relevant for the entire region. And, although unfortunatelly all that „smells” like patriotism is deemed to sound ridiculous, I believe it is agood thing for Bucharest and Romania. This year, we have over 35% participants from abroad, from 10 countries already (an amusing fact, most foreign participants are coming from Netherlands, don’t ask me why). Two years ago, Twiter wasn’t answering our emails. We didn’t write to them this year, and they were the ones that looked for us.
Equally important is that we have a list of important representatives from major global players, many of them present for the first time; starting with Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft (through Skype and Windows Phone), continuing with Twitter (a first in Romania), Shazam, BBC, Forbes, Spiegel Digital, UpComing, continuing with all major communication groups and digital creative agencies that made spectacular local and global campaigns (Sid Lee, DigitasLBi, Achtung etc).
There are over 50 major companies and over 70 speakers, which is not easy in Romania, where the income for this kind of festival, that would be the pride of any European capital, aren’t yet where they would be justified from a business point of view. But I am happy to see the public supports us and comes in large numbers. Plus Orange is close to us since 2008, when the event was made under the name RoNewMedia.

- What big numbers mean? Everybody announces thousands of participants which aren’t really visible at event’s venue
Dragoş Stanca: Last year, we had 1.732 people registered in the system by an independent player in the field, Xing Events (former Amiando). They are German! The numbers were public and same will happen this year. I think we will surpass 1.500 participants. With another 2.000, I hope. I’m joking. I don’t want people that pay for a ticket not to see the festival in a confortable manner, so we will stop tickets sales soon, probably this week-end or on Monday. At this moment, there are still 271 tickets available. I think over 100 were sold yesterday. So I’m expecting them to be sold out fast
-Why should people come there to lose 2 days at work and spend some Euro for a ticket?
Dragoş Stanca: First of all, we have high speed wireless from Orange (mark with “A”, please!), so people can do their job from there. After all, we are talking about the Internet business. It would be recommended for them and their companies to profit to the max og the huge quantity of know-how that will be exposed there and that has the potential to produce money and profit afterwards
Secondly, not the entire festival is for everyone, although me myself I would like to see all the presentation. Depending of interest areas, we have clear zones:
First, major players (Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Twitter Etc) cover diverse areas: from content to creative and e-commerce.
Than publishing and story telling (where we have heavy players and new models of business like Spiegel Online, BBC, Forbes, UpComing, Daily Secret)
Another extremely important thing that will remodel the industry will follow and that is the programmatic trading and real time bidding area, meaning automatization for selling and buying advertising: AppNexus, Cadreon, Xaxis, Mindshare, DataXu, LiveRail,
e-commerce and performance marketing (here Facebook and Google will insist on the subject and also important clients like eMag, Fashion Days, Tripsta and others)
creation and branded content – maybe the most spectacular session from creative and visual point of view, especially during the 2nd day when we have Google’s creative agency, Zoo, but also authors of legendary campaigns from DigitasLbi, Achtung, Sin Lee, other European and American agencies with a lot of prizes in portfolio
- And the festival, where’s the festival?
Dragoş Stanca: It is a serios festival. But if that’s what you refer to, we also have a fun part. IAB MIXX Awards, Viral Movie Night with Andi Moisescu, Mihai Bobonete, Mihai Bendeac, Raul Gheba, come to us also celebrities that speak about the relationship with brands and internet (Grasu XXL, Voltaj, Akcent), we have gaming party where we will play X-Box but also pool and bowling (offline, if you can believe it!) and, not in the end, we have for the both days a cool host that will make stand up comedy from morning until evening, Keith Farnan, one of the most appreciated stand up comedians in UK.

Translation provided by AdHugger

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Autor: Carmen Maria Andronache

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