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Top 10 Speakers to Check Out at Webit Sofia 2016

Top Speakers to Check Out at Webit Sofia 2016

Heisenberg Media / Flickr / CC BY

There’s a lot to be said about the upcoming Webit conference in Sofia this April 18-20th (we should know, we’ve already said plenty).

One aspect we’re particularly enthusiastic about this year is the speaker list.

To put it bluntly, it’s star studded. And not with the kind of stars who have nothing to say — a veritable who’s who of the worlds of technology, finance, marketing, and startups will be sharing their knowledge and insights.

Still, the list can be a bit daunting, with over 200 speakers. So, we’ve put together a short list of 10 of our favorites, and why we can’t wait to hear what they have to share. Check it out:

Tim McLoughlin | Digital Engagement Director at Saatchi & Saatchi

Tim McLoughlin

MCloughlin hasn’t been named “one of the ten cleverest men in Britain” by Arena Magazine without good reason. As a political blogger and marketing specialist, he’s a thought leader for a decade.

Today, he’s running digital engagement for companies like Toyota, Visa, and Weight Watchers. Think someone running major accounts like that can’t possibly see digital marketing from the little guy’s perspective? Think again.

You can find him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Melanie Deziel | Director of Creative Strategy Time Inc.

Melanie Deziel

Even if you haven’t heard of native advertising, I guarantee you’ve encountered it.

From the pages of major US newspapers like the New York Times to podcasts around the world, native is one of the biggest innovations the world of advertising has seen in years. This embedded content has alternatively been hailed as the future of advertising and derided as the end of journalism as we know it.

Whatever your opinions, Deziel is a pioneer of native advertising working with companies like Netflix and Cole Haan. In fact, she’s won the OMMA for Best Native Advertising Execution the past two consecutive years.

You can find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

John Dillon | VP Marketing EMEA, Akamai Technologies

John Dillon

John Dillon is a believer in the power of connection to foster creativity.

When I saw him speak in Istanbul at a previous Webit event, I was struck by his vision of marketing as something fully integrated into the web’s role as a connective force driving innovation. It’s a unique perspective that’s led Dillon through senior marketing positions at firms like IBM and HP to where he is now.

You can find him on LinkedIn.

Graham McDonnell | Design Director, The New York Times

Graham McDonnell

Graham is another star of the native advertising world. He first made a name for himself in the UK’s largest content marketing company, Stickyeyes, before coming to the NYT as part of its “British invasion” of late 2015. Now, he’s turning his experience into a strategy for pioneering high quality native advertising and truly demonstrating its potential.

He’s another must-see for anyone interested in either creating or utilizing native advertising.

You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Yobie Benjamin | Co-founder, Avegant; CTO, Token.io

Yobie Benjamin

It’s hard to know where to begin when describing Yobie Benjamin. Besides raising something in the neighborhood of $25 million to develop a next generation smart headset/personal theater, he’s a leader in several other major industries.

For example, as the CTO for Token.io, Benjamin is helping to pioneer the next generation of secure payment software. He also works on wildlife conservation, satellite imagery, clean water, and video to name a few.

The biggest question I have for Webit is which of these projects he’ll be discussing.

You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Frank Schuil | Co-founder & CEO, Safello

Frank Schuil

A former rapper turned entrepreneur, Frank Schuil has never been shy about going his own way.

He initially translated his pioneering spirit into founding a series of startups centered around indoor location services (think GPS without a satellite signal) and even a fashion company. Now he’s turned to the world of Fintech, working to make cryptocurrencies like bitcoin easier and more secure for anyone to use.

With rumors swirling around the future of bitcoin in particular, we’re excited to hear his take on the industry today.

You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Devie Mohan | FinTech Industry Expert; Marketing of Services, Thomson Reuters

Devie Mohan

Devie Mohan is a UK based superstar of the Fintech world, there’s no other way to put it.

Besides working in marketing services at Reuters, Mohan founded and runs Turya Collective, a fintech market research firm. That means she has those two critical perspectives: that of someone working in the industry and that of someone studying it.

As such, her perspectives on fintech and particularly digital banking are some of the most thought out and inciteful you’ll find. As a fintech enthusiast myself, her talk is looking to be a highlight.

You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Zia Yusuf | Cofounder & Co-CEO, Velocity

Zia Yusuf

Yusuf is an entrepreneur at heart. After spending years working on equity sales for industries like aerospace and defense for major financial firms like Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, he decided to pioneer his own way.

That brought him to Velocity, a company looking to take a crucial aspect of high class dining and nightlife, your reputation, and take it international. With its platform, Velocity facilitates global enjoyment of the best food and entertainment the world has to offer.

With his varied background and success in getting Velocity funded, Yusuf is sure to have fascinating insights for other startups looking to scale and finance.

You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Laurie Segall | Tech Correspondent, CNN Money

Laurie Segall

As a leading journalist in the world of startups, Silicon Valley, and how technology is affecting our daily lives, Laurie Segall has spent more than 5 years covering top stories for CNN Money.

Her influence has grown enough that Forbes named her one of the 30 most influential people under 30 in the world of media. She’s one of those reporters you’ll want to see speak, subscribe to, and follow closely to stay on top of everything happening in the world of technology and startups.

You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Scot Keith | Founder President & CEO, 123west

Scot Keith

Having seen Scot give a presentation last November in Istanbul, I think his return merits a warning. He just might convince you to drop everything you’re doing and go try and innovate the world of advertising. His work is that good.

He runs his agency like nothing else I’ve seen and produces. They built their website entirely from fiverr.com and ran their first office out of a garage before moving it to an industrial park.

Scot and his company really specialize in the unexpected, so I can’t recommend seeing him speak highly enough.

You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Eric Halsey

Eric is an American, living in Sofia, Bulgaria. A digital marketing enthusiast and creator of the Bulgarian History Podcast, he is currently putting his skills towards a variety of new projects involving creative writing and history. Eric is also a self taught musician and songwriter, playing original songs in the tradition of American Folk Music on the guitar, mandolin, “banjitar” and harmonica.

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