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‘Connecting brands with disruptive innovation’ was the theme of the Unbound conference in London earlier this month. The day had a great energy especially in the startup forum which was full of the buzz of exhibitors and delegates finding out about innovative new technologies, or innovative ways to use technology.

The event took over Vinopolis with different rooms offering presentation theatres, expo, catering, networking and working areas. Hidden away in the higgledy piggledy jumble of rooms were interesting and inspirational speakers including Yossi Vardi (the Chairman of Unbound), Steve Leonard of IDA, Jeff Pulver of Zula, Dove Moran (who invented the USB), and lots of Financial Services tech people.

In some cases the event served to back up the strength of existing core technologies, such as mobile, which are already allowing firms to offer a better customer experience. In other cases new technologies like virtual reality (VR) feel a bit further away from mainstream use, but what I found most interesting was the collective industry feeling that VR will actually materialise and become a key element in marketing. It seems it’s much more than just the fad it’s been considered to date.

There were lots of companies demonstrating ideas for using Oculus Rift and other VR technologies. At the moment it feels very gaming orientated but we will see it move to have more of a value add over the next 5 years. The social interaction in VR will be the most addictive aspect of the technology and the opportunity for marketers.

As well as VR the big trends discussed on the day were consumer demands for Tech in Financial Services and how data is driving a more humanised approach to marketing to the individual. Big data has certainly been a buzz word for this year and we’re exploring the possibilities and pitfalls every day with our clients.

This year I went to this event with clients to excite and inspire them with different ideas for potential future activity. Next year I’ll certainly be taking more of my team so we can all explore the insights which will take our clients forward.