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DigitalK 2015

Posted on 01 Jun 2015 in blog, Sofia, Tech Events | 3 comments

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/


DigitalK 2015 was held in Sofia, Bulgaria on May 21 and 22. This was the first time I’d attended DigitalK, and having known Launchhub’s Stefan Gantchev for a few years now, I was certain that he was going to put on a good show, I just had no idea of how good.

As a visual artist, I’m always impressed when planning committees think about the stage and overall theme and presentation of an event, and DigitalK not only met, but exceeded my demanding standards. Sponsor, Mini had a car in the main hall, and a tastefully decorated stage with monitors ensured a constantly changing backdrop. This allowed presenters to get their messages across, while sponsors received equal time in the image rotation. Likewise, two large screens flanked the main stage, allowing those even in the very back row to have a clear picture of what was going on.

Stefan’s network is truly gigantic. This has never been more clear than the wide range of speakers and topics that were presented on stage, all to the benefit of eager and hungry startups. A truly global selection descended upon Sofia, from Tokyo to Toronto, San Francisco to Sydney, they were all there.

A few standouts to me were Kei Shimada, Global Director of Innovation and Business Development, of Dentsu’s talk about his work in predicting the future of what consumers will want, and expect, today and tomorrow. I had heard of this before, but never directly; the augmented reality contact lenses currently in use in South Korea make Google Glass look like a child’s toy.

Jonathan MacDonald’s talks are always incredible, and the man managed to work a Lego strip club into his talk and use it to drive the message home. Now that, ladies and gentleman, is what we call skill.


And then there were the dinners and parties. How often is it that you find yourself hanging out with one of the most powerful woman in tech PR, Ms. Colette Ballou, and the French Ambassador to Bulgaria, his excellency Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes, former Deputy Head of Protocol at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs? Comment dit-on, living the dream?

I didn’t get to sleep much before 3am on either night, and can hereby confirm that the Bulgarians can celebrate like no other culture I’ve ever met. I hear that the Scandinavians can give them a run for their money, but we’ll have to wait until StartupExtreme to find out.

Stefan and team – really, really well done! A true highlight on the conference circuit tour, and one I would imagine attendees and speakers found great value in and will be attending again next year.

…but before I go, I thought I’d relay the story that I’d mentioned in my Decoded Fashion London post, the rapidly becoming infamous “3am at the Radisson story.” To make a long story short, someone somewhere along the line f*cked things up and didn’t take into account that I’d be arriving from London at 3am in Sofia. I was on Wizzair, a discount airline that left from Luton, simply because it was the last flight out of London to Sofia. The plane itself was ok, but as a discount airline, that means that it lands at Terminal 1, the “old” terminal.

Now, incoming visitor’s first impression of a city is either it’s train station or airport, and at 3 in the morning, I was left questioning if I’d flown back in time 30 years and was in some Soviet outpost. Absolutely deplorable conditions, including sketchy taxi drivers hounding me to use them, and both cash machines completely empty.

I managed to find one text driver that would hold my pounds as a deposit while getting some cash at the hotel cash machine. At least that was the plan. Upon arriving at the Radisson Blu in Sofia (a 10-15 min. ride), I entered the lobby and found a cash machine…only to discover that this one as well, was empty. The front desk helped me out by exchanging a £20, but I don’t even want to know what I lost on the exchange. But at 3am, whatever.

The desk assistant asked me if I had a reservation. I gave her my name and she then told me that the hotel didn’t have a room for me until the 21st. At which point I reminder her that it was the 21st. “Yes sir, that’s correct, but checkin isn’t until 2pm.” Not exactly the type of situation you want to experience after being awake for 18+hours and having to jump right into a work situation some 4 hours later.

Right. They were a bit less than helpful in sorting me out, and so I had a true rockstar moment, of finding a couch at the back of the lobby, looping my camera bag around my arms and falling asleep until I was awoken at 6:30am by the day manager who asked me if there was a problem. 20 minutes later I was sleeping (for another hour) in the presidential suite.

So the moral of the story is … always check your flight dates and arrival dates and make sure everything jives. Everything worked out in the end, and I’m certainly not going to let this little glitch effect what was otherwise an incredible experience.

Enjoy, and until the next shoot – Dan

Day 1

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 21 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

Day 1 Evening

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

Day 2

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

Day 2 Evening

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015, 22 May 2015, Sofia, Bulgaria. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media – http://www.heisenbergmedia.com/

DigitalK 2015 Portraits

3 comments

  1. Dimiter / June 1st, 2015 7:58

    Dan, just one small remark – the old terminal, where low cost companies arrive is Terminal 1, not Terminal 2.

    Reply

    • Dan Taylor / June 1st, 2015 8:58

      Hi Dimiter. Thanks for that. Will update this straight away! 🙂

      Reply

  2. Miso Subotic / June 1st, 2015 9:55

    Wow 🙂 thank you for the lego video 🙂

    Reply

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