Inspiring Digital Innovation In Istanbul

From the moment I arrived in Istanbul, I could sense an energy in the air that was absolutely buzzing. This was the start of an exciting, feature-packed, three-day roadshow inspiring the future of Digital innovation in Istanbul. It was organised in collaboration with my esteemed colleagues Berkay Ozkose and Omer Bakirci from Oracle. We travelled far and wide, across the Bosphorus, into Asia and back again. On my way from the airport to the hotel I saw this stunning sunset.

Amazing Istanbul sunset as I make my way to the hotel
Amazing Istanbul sunset as I make my way along the motorway to the hotel in Etiler

Digital Innovation In Istanbul: IAB Programmatic Seminar and Workshop

It started with supporting Oracle and their partner GroupM Turkey (WPP) for an early morning launch of IAB Turkey’s first Programmatic Seminar and Workshop in Istanbul. Just under three weeks of solid preparation served as the pre-cursor to this trip where I was due to deliver the introductory keynote session ‘MARS 1.0: The Evolving Shape of Programmatic In Seven Years‘.

The time invested in researching the event, building-out the story, and learning some Turkish was well worth the effort. We had a great turnout with approximately 150 delegates spanning Brands, Publishers, Vendors, and Agencies.

Keynote Speaker Gopesh Raichura Launching First Session at IAB Turkey Programmatic Seminar
Keynote Speaker Gopesh Raichura delivering the first session at the IAB Turkey Programmatic Seminar & Workshop

Digital Innovation In Istanbul: Travelling Across The Bosphorus

Travelling Across Bosphorus Bridge Into Asia
Travelling across Bosphorus Bridge into Asia Headquarters - Omer Bakirci and Gopesh Raichura Headquarters – Omer Bakirci and Gopesh Raichura

After a quick lunch to re-energise, Bakirci and I set on our way across the Bosphorus and into Asia to meet with We were received with a warm welcome from the team. This followed with a highly engaging and collaborative three-hour Data Management Strategy workshop. Here we discussed future innovations and direction to help set them apart from the competition.

As the afternoon quickly turned to early evening, we made our way back across the Bosphorus Bridge to the European side of Turkey. The evening finished in the company of Ozkose who kindly gave me a brief tour of the modern heart of Istanbul ‘Taksim Square‘. I had a chance to walk along the bustling Istiklal Caddessi (Independence Avenue). Along a tiny side street was Lebi-i-Derya. This is a lovely hidden-gem of a taverna style restaurant where we finished the evening with a great meal!

Digital Innovation In Istanbul: Clients And Partners

Publicis Media Group Reception Area, Istanbul, Turkey
Publicis Media Group Istanbul reception area. The signage shows businesses within the group portfolio.

For the remaining two days of our action-packed roadshow Bakirci organised a series of workshop sessions for me to deliver to Oracle’s strategic Partner members in the region that included in the mix GroupM, Publicis Media Group, and Labrys. We also met with the award-winning Akbank and BNR Teknoloji A.Ş. Coincidentally, both Akbank and GroupM each delivered a great presentation during the IAB Turkey Programmatic Seminar and Workshop.

Akbank Headquarters Istanbul
Akbank Headquarters Istanbul

There was an electric vibe resonating among everybody we met and some truly innovative work is going on with our industry peers. Akbank are pioneering through Digital Transformation to spearhead positive change in the Banking industry. Our partners are involved in some seriously exciting work in the space of Connected Experiences. We discussed strategies and tactics for Data Management, Loyalty, Artificial Intelligence, Chatbot, Voice Search, Consumer Internet of Things, Industrial Internet of Things, Future Trends and more…

To our friends at WPP, IAB Turkey, Publicis Media Group, Labrys, SEM,, BNR, and Akbank, it was a pleasure to meet you all in person!