Olivier Cadi, Director of BIG DATA Paris

The eighth edition of Big Data Paris took place on 11 and 12 March 2019. Olivier Cadi tells us more about this show, which has become a flagship event for the sector.

Can you tell us a little about Big Data Paris?

It’s the industry’s leading event, bringing together providers of solutions, technology and services with the companies who use them. 250 French and international brands attend the show. Beyond big data, our event has become a focal point for the industry: major players in IT, such as Google, Microsoft and Oracle, now see it as the key French show for their sector, which is recognition indeed.

Big Data Paris is based on a ‘confex’ format and a programme packed with themed talks and workshops. What was behind this strategic decision?

You can’t have an event on big data without talks. Visitors are looking for answers and information.

Disruptive technologies have a profound impact on businesses and generate a lot of questions, whereas brands need to connect with their target audiences. Sales techniques have changed completely - today it’s all about sharing their expertise and proving their worth to their audience.

Around the show, we also organise plenary meetings, workshops and track consulting sessions led by consultancy firms, so participants can get an overview of the main issues and their solutions.

What were the stand-out themes this year?

Big data has reached a stage of technological maturity, which means there aren’t as many new products to showcase. The current challenge is to support companies as they launch their big data projects, and familiarise professionals with these technologies.

So we gave companies a platform to share how they’re making use of these solutions and the data itself. We also held a forum on the ethical issues associated with artificial intelligence and algorithms, and the increasing convergence of technologies.

What were the highlights and innovations in 2019?

We organised an award to recognise the projects using big data most successfully in the workplace and launched a Start-up Village featuring 45 brands.

And, given how our event has grown, we wanted to relaunch the visitor experience and create a more comfortable environment for our customers. With this in mind, we booked an extra half-level at the Conference Centre, so we could provide an area for relaxation and networking, which went down very well.

This is the first time you and Promosalons have teamed up to promote this event internationally. What’s your verdict on this partnership?

Our event is unique in Europe. Nobody else in our industry is offering this dual format combining a show with talks. Which makes us think there’s great potential for international growth. For us, it made sense to enlist a partner who really understands shows.

We started with neighbouring countries: Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland. Our International Director contacted the local offices and together they came up with a specific approach for each country.

This first venture together paid off: we increased the number of visitors in the target countries by 35% and doubled revenue from the talks. We were starting from scratch with Italy but welcomed forty visitors.

We also featured speakers from major brands including Zalando, Samsung and Tom Tom. All in all, we built strategic partnerships with leading associations. We want to expand our horizons and are particularly interested in the Nordic countries, where they are really into innovation.

Of course, we plan to bring Big Data to other countries, so there are plenty of exciting projects to look forward to with the Promosalons network.