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Cayman Islands: Talk about having an IMPACT…

IMPACT EVENTIMPACT16 CAYMAN tech conference impacts local economy and showcases
Cayman as the ideal business jurisdiction and vacation destination.

Internet and tech industry leaders and marketing experts from across the globe converged on Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman for the Internet Marketing Association’s (IMA) IMPACT16 Cayman conference co-hosted by Cayman Enterprise City. More than 120 professionals attended, including such dignitaries as Her Excellency Mrs. Helen Kilpatrick, Governor of the Cayman Islands, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, Premier of the Cayman Islands, and local and international executives from Google, Microsoft, HootSuite, Teradata, Evite and more.

“The information presented, the connections made, the issues discussed, and the ideas shared were amazing,” said Sinan Kanatsiz, founder and chair of the IMA. “Building on our past experiences in the Cayman Islands, we knew this was going to be a great event – we never thought in our wildest dreams it would be so special.”

The event started with guests being welcomed at the Ritz Carlton at noon last Wednesday with a focused meet-and-greet luncheon, where local entrepreneurs got to network with international guests.

Immediately following the luncheon, the real work began. IMA Chairman Kanatsiz introduced the Premier, the Hon. Alden McLaughlin, who officially welcomed all attendees to begin the conference and made an important address. Premier McLaughlin spoke of his relationship with the IMA stemming back to 2014 and the positive growth over the last two years.

“The Cayman Islands mesh the worlds of paradise and business, a world-class financial center and tourist destination,” the Premier said. “The relationship between IMA and Cayman is most welcome.”

IMA chair Kanatsiz then laid out the organization’s plans for 2016, which involved a new platform for IMA members that will increase value while adding informational resources and networking capabilities. He also announced the official date for Impact16 Las Vegas,

September 19-20th at the ARIA with a special welcome reception at the new Skyfall Lounge, Delano Resort. See for further details.

Attendees enjoyed a packed schedule with some outstanding keynote speakers, discussions and insights on virtual reality, big data, analytics and the latest trends in digital marketing.

Jeff Marcoux, CMO Lead at Microsoft, then took the stage to discuss the concept of “the customer journey.”

“How,” wondered Marcoux, “can we have all this data, and still struggle with customer experience?” He stressed that customer transformation is not just about technology and that marketers must also focus on process and culture.

Following opening speakers, CMO of Curalate, Matt Langie sat down with the President of MarketLinc Don Simpson and former Chief Revenue Officer at HootSuite Steve Johnson, for an intimate conversation about automation and striving for efficiency. No matter how efficient, though, all agreed that at the end of the day all truly successful ventures really need the “human touch” to enhance customer experience.

Head of Global Operations at Google Accelerator, Joe DeMike went a bit further, discussing the importance of engaging in “big projects,” going beyond the day to day concerns of business and putting some time and energy and funds to try to move beyond what is and ask what could be. He referenced Google’s efforts to connect the world, a new interface for Google AdWords, and the Lunar XPRIZE challenge as examples.

And then it was time for local input, with the start of the Cayman Business Panel. Panelists included Nancy Ewing, President & CEO of Brac Informatics Centre, Steve McIntosh, Founder & CEO of CML Offshore Recruitment, Chief Officer Dr. Dax Basdeo from the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and the Environment, Michael Padarin and Richard Munden, both Partners at Walkers, all of whom discussed the reasons why the Cayman Islands is the ideal business jurisdiction for tech/digital companies and how the island’s sophisticated business and IT infrastructure provides the same support one would have in Silicon Valley.

After an evening of fun at a ‘Toes in Sand’ dinner under the stars on Seven Mile Beach, it was back to the conference bright and early the next morning.

Guests assembled for one last time at the Business Leaders’ Breakfast hosted by Cayman National Bank at Luca Restaurant. Sitting pool side and a stone’s throw from the turquoise Caribbean Sea, attendees were welcomed by Brian Esau, Executive Vice President of Cayman National Bank, and heard inspiring presentations from John Stix, President and Workplace Culture expert at Fibernetics, Mike Matuz, CEO of First Step Fitness and Mark Oliver Cleere from cutting-edge company MDH Hologram.

Stix is a champion for creating an amazing corporate culture and tells a story of passion, happiness and success. Matuz is a natural wellness entrepreneur who believes that “we are all participating like athletes” in the “sport of life,” whilst Cleere demonstrated MDH Hologram’s

unique hologram technology that is changing the face of entertainment and marketing across the globe.

“There is exceeding expectations and there is EXCEEDING expectations,” said Charlie Kirkconnell, CEC CEO. “We’ve really started something here and we hope to continue to grow this event in the years to come.” “The feedback from the international delegates and our local zone company clients that attended has been outstanding and I am pleased with the business this conference has brought local hotels, car hire companies, restaurants and tour companies” he added.

“I would like to sincerely thank our local event partners Cayman National Bank, Kirk Office Equipment, Cayman Islands Yellow Pages, Walkers, Brac Informatics Centre, Island Air, CML Offshore Recruitment, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Pinnacle Media for their participation in IMPACT16 Cayman” said Hilary Cahill, Vice President of Marketing for Cayman Enterprise City.” “I am delighted that several of them have already asked me to reserve their partnership place for next year’s event, so we must be onto a winner!”

IMPACT16 Cayman was by far one of the most successful impact events to date, the IMA continues to empower the world’s greatest network and their events truly reflect the name: IMPACT.

About Cayman Enterprise City

Cayman Enterprise City is an award-winning Special Economic Zone in the Cayman Islands focused on knowledge-based industries, technology companies and specialized services businesses. With a dedicated Government Authority and guaranteed fast-track processes, international companies can quickly and efficiently establish a genuine physical presence in Cayman to generate an active business income. This enables businesses take advantage of Cayman’s jurisdictional benefits, which include zero corporate tax, zero income tax and zero capital gains tax, along with a raft of special zone concessions and incentives. These concessions were designed to attract international companies from five specific high-tech sectors; internet, media and new-media, science and technology including life sciences and biotechnology, commodities and derivatives, and maritime services.

About the Internet Marketing Association
The IMA is the industry’s largest organization dedicated to the profession with over 1 million members worldwide. It serves as a knowledge-sharing and networking platform to connect members and partners with the certified education, advocacy, market research, thought leadership and recognition necessary to succeed in today’s fast-changing online business environment.


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