Hamburg News: Mirko, the second Digital Kindergarten gets underway in Hamburg on June 7, 2018 with lots of decision-makers in marketing, heads of communication, entrepreneurs and founders and other interested delegates. What can visitors expect this year?
Mirko Kaminski: The first Digital Kindergarten was more like a pilot event. We wanted to see the response. And demand was huge. We had expected 150 delegates and 300 came – another 150 were on the waiting list. Again this year, visitors will have an opportunity to experience and try out technical innovations at first hand. We are expecting about 1,000 participants in this year’s “chicken station”.
Hamburg News: Why have you opted for a mix of fair, congress and after show party partnered by Business Punk?
Mirko Kaminski: Weischer.Media, Future Candy and achtung! agency have joined forces and put the program together. Our top priority was anything but boring exhibition stands. We wanted something with which visitors could experiment, play and try out. Direct and personal experience should let participants discover new opportunities behind innovative technologies such as voice, artificial intelligence, blockchain and bots. Drones will be flying overhead and robots running around. Experts will host a bot school and of course there will be VR headsets. Our speakers will explain the background to all the technology and how it will impact working life. We will use concrete cases to convey how marketing, communication and sales of the future look.
Hamburg News: The name, Digital Kindergarten, implies that many companies have not even reached kindergarten-level of maturity in terms of digitalisation. Is that so and what is the cause?
Mirko Kaminski: We wanted an irksome, but puzzling name for our event. And we wanted to surmount people’s inhibitions and say: “There are no alleged stupid questions here”. And managers can put their questions here. They may not dare do so in the company conference room. We stage all this in a colourful and playful way. A HoloLens on your nose gives a better understanding than 150 PowerPoint slides about augmented reality in any meeting room. The event will be a small north German mix of CES in Las Vegas and the digital trade fair SXSW in Austin.
Hamburg News: Digitalisation is a problem and it can hardly be limited to regions. You mention Las Vegas and Texas. How international can you be?
Mirko Kaminski: We are targeting decision-makers in marketing, communication, HR, management, sales. There is a great void in this respect in Germany.
Hamburg News: To stay with the same figure of speech…what qualities do our managers need to play in the sandbox with big digital professionals?
Mirko Kaminski: Great openness, curiosity, flexibility and the willingness to question the existing and to think along entirely new lines. Imagination and vision. Don’t keep thinking about how it has worked so far, but about how differently it might work and ask: “How can we reinvent ourselves?”
Hamburg News: Mirko, I wish you every success. Many thanks for the compelling interview.
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