RISE 2016 Recap, Asia's Hottest IT Conference

At Odigo we're a pretty adventurous bunch, and as we're all about travel it was only fitting that a team of us set off on our own trip abroad recently. For the second year running we joined an esteemed group of tech start ups and headed to Hong Kong, for the hottest new tech conference in Asia, RISE.

In between our sampling of some delicious Chinese food (did I mention we are also huge foodies as well as adventurers?!) we attended all three days of the conference -- and quite a whirlwind it turned out to be!
 Team ODIGO at RISE -- Photo by Chris Shannon 
 Among the hundreds of exhibitors from across the globe, we were proud to have graduated to the 'Beta' programme, following our 'Alpha' outing last year.

 Our Sassy Social Media Associate with Our Treasured BETA Signboard -- Photo by Lauren Shannon 

Launching a new version of the planner at RISE

The reason for our repeat visit? An exclusive launch of our brand new and improved travel planner, unveiled in beta version for visitors to our booth to test. Twelve months of user feedback informed this next iteration and we were itching to see what the response would be. Internally we all loved the new user interface, extra features and information but it's always great to hear from some impartial (and very honest!) users.
The Odigo Booth All Ready for Visitors -- Photo By Lauren Shannon 
 Thankfully the response was a resounding thumbs up, with scores of users creating quick and easy trips around Japan. We hope a few will be inspired to come and try them out for real too!
 Talking to Visitors and Doing Demos at RISE -- Photo by Lauren Shannon 
As a thank you to everyone taking part we offered all demonstrators a chance to win a trip to Tokyo. Quite a good deal for 10 minutes of user testing I would say, and one reason we had a large number of eager visitors to our stand. But it wasn't just the prize attracting attention. 
 The Famous Odigo Gatcha Machine -- Photo By Margaux Flores 
Keen not to do things by halves, we were the proud hosts of the only Japanese gatcha machine on display! Carefully delivered by hand from Tokyo, we gave each intrepid explorer ¥100 to try their hand at picking up an extra bonus prize (including my personal favourite -- a delicious box of Tokyo Banana sweets!).
All of this made for one busy stand -- we did over 100 demos with visitors and as our in-house tech wizard and lead developer of the new planner Deren explained:
 "It was non-stop from the moment the conference began. It was amazing to meet so many interesting and engaging people and hear what they had to say about our new planner, we got some great feedback and now can't wait to launch the finalised version later this summer."
Entrance to the Main Hall at RISE -- Photo By Margaux Flores 
On the couple of days we weren't exhibiting, we were able to visit the other stands, and quite a lineup there was too. High tech solutions in the form of virtual reality, augmented reality and drones, plus lifestyle enhancers in the shape of health, finance, food and entertainment -- the hall was crammed each day with the buzz of innovation.
The organisers ensured we were kept stimulated with a fascinating programme of workshops. The lofty speaker line up included influencers like the head of Asia for Uber, the founder and CEO of Razer and the VP of Asia for Twitter.

Our RISE #Trip2Tokyo Winner

 The Odigo #Trip2Tokyo Winner at RISE, Jason from Foot Cardigan -- Photo by Lauren Shannon
A wonderful culmination to our week came in the form of the announcement of our Trip to Tokyo winner (#trip2tokyo). We are so excited to welcome Jason Sigmon to Japan later this Autumn, and will be spending the next few months getting ready for his visit. He works for a fab startup in the States called Foot Cardigan, who sell monthly sock subscriptions.  We are looking forward to seeing where his super smart feet will be taking him around the city! 
 So that's about all to report from RISE. If you're curious to learn more you can take a look at their site here, or check back over our Twitter and Instagram feed for more fun sights and snippets from the show and from around Japan. Maybe we'll see you at RISE 2017!
 Smiling Faces aka Odigo Selfie: Thanks to RISECONFHQ for a Fantastic Conference -- Photo by Lauren Shannon

PS. We're hiring! If you want to learn more, head over here...

Sally Erith