Futur En Seine – Un Festival International ou Pas?


Going on between June 14th and 24th, Futur en Seine is a digital festival in Paris and its surrounding technical parks – but you already knew that. The event series was designed by Cap Digital, a digital services agency which has its hands in several events/associations. As with most Cap Digital events, the conference came with plenty of press, which seemed much due. Dubbed by some (me) as the SXSW of Paris, the event touched on robotics, mobile, 3D technology – in short, everything.
As the event comes to a close, however, it seems the reviews are not as raving as one would have hoped. “It didn’t seem appropriate for us,” one startup proclaimed, having sponsored one of the dozens of events going on during Futur En Seine. With no cohesive track system – a series of workshops/talks in a conference grouped by a theme – it was hard to figure out where to go and what to see – to get a better idea, just print out their fifteen page calendar of events. No doubt that some people found themselves in the right place – many agencies & associations took advantage of Futur En Seine to host an event in order to attract a larger audience; however, I submit that there was not a lot of attendance coming outside of their immediate networks.

“Un Festival international”  Quoi?

Cap Digital billed the event as an international festival – you’d know that if you read French. It’s right here in the “Qu’est-ce que c’est?” section. While there were indeed a fair amount of events going on in English, it would be hard to find them if you weren’t already in the independent event organizer’s immediate network, as Futur En Seine communicated primarily in English.

In Principal, a great idea

Leading up to the conference series, I was very excited about its possibilities. But as the event grew closer, it didn’t quite seem to gather the startup/tech attention that it should have, for a 10-day tech festival in France. Berlin will be hosting a similar event in the coming months, the Tech Open Air Berlin – I’ll be interested to see whether they manage to stir up a crowd or not.
There’s not doubt that Paris needs a great summer event – Watching LeWeb London from a distance just isn’t enough, and we need something truly international that will bring people from Berlin, London, the US, and all around the world. Any good events coming up?