Mention tech conferences and one may think of a jam-packed conference hall filled with exhibition booths and conversations scattered with professional jargon. However, Geeks On The Beach (GOAB) is not your average tech conference. Held on one of the most beautiful beaches, Puerto Princesa, Palawan Philippines, attendees travelled from far and wide, ditching their business suits and formal attire for slippers and beach shorts.
GOAB gathers the best of tech-driven enterprises, governmental figures, private stakeholders and investors to create dialogue and address pressing issues in Asia related to the environment, education, health and social welfare. GOAB also serves as a platform to showcase the best of Philippines’ tech-enterprises to the world.
The event, held on 24 & 25 August 2017, attracted a crowd of 430, ranging from key players within the Filipino government, to entrepreneurs, investors, large business owners, and more. The 79 international speakers featured in GOAB included big hitters such as Yobie Benjamin of Token.io, Chris McCann of Greylock Ventures and Kay-Mok Ku of Gobi Ventures.
Aside from enjoying the sunny shores of Palawan, it was not all fun and games for the attendees. International keynote speakers and industry leaders led panel discussions, providing insights into the latest trends in tech, investment, design and startups. Several confident entrepreneurs even participated in the GOAB International Startup Pitching Competition, which provided them with the GOAB stage to pitch their business ideas and convince potential investors to consider their businesses.
Rui Palhais, Mappalab, a speaker at the event said, “Breakfast, lunch and dinner, venue and party in one place helped create honest relationships that for sure will turn into business opportunities.”
In order to provide greater opportunity for attendees to have their questions answered, Office Hours was a segment that provided flash consultation meetings with investors and potential partners. Business owners could ask questions and interact one-on-one with the representatives from that particular company. There were also Breakout Sessions where attendees could have more hands-on learning through workshops with industry experts in a more intimate setting.
Attendees were also treated to events outside of GOAB, including Welcome Drinks by Amazon Web Services, a Dinner Banquet hosted by the City of Puerto Princessa and After-Event Dinner and Drinks. Meeting people in that time also opened up doors to new opportunities to network and build friendships.