ICMA Autumn Conference 2016
Bern, Switzerland on 19-21 October

The conference will run for two-and-a-half days, from the optional Wednesday Boot Camp and Welcome Reception, to two full days packed with speakers, workshops and panels. All this is intermingled with fantastic networking opportunities and an exciting social programme.

Wednesday 19 October 09:00 – 13:00

Optional Activity
Why not explore the beautiful city by foot or bike? There are a whole host of options if you want to see some of the many highlights that Bern has to offer. For more information visit the Bern Tourism website here and choose which tour best suits you. It is highly recommended to book in advance to ensure availability.

12:30 – 13:00 Conference & Boot Camp Registration Desk Open
Stop by, say hello and pick up your name tag at our registration table.

13:00 – 17:00 UX Boot Camp – Experience UX hands-on
Room: Orione
The ICMA Autumn Conference 2016 Boot Camp will be led by Christopher H. Müller & Roland Streule, CEO & Usability Expert respectively at The Ergonomen Usability. In the 4-hours workshop, we will focus on what is usability, user-centered design and user experience and how to produce high quality (of-use) products. In this hands-on workshop, attendees will evaluate their own or a sample Website in groups, define goals and strategy for the improved version, produce quick scribbles or mockups, write a short testing script, and test some of the sample concepts in a Usability test setting.
– Be able to formulate importance and benefit of UX, User Centered Design and Usability
– Be able to describe the facets of the “UX world” back at their work places
– Be able to describe which methods and processes are available for reaching high quality UX & usability
– Immediate transfer of theory inputs into practical self-experience This will provide attendees with practical takeaways to implement in their businesses

17:00 – 19:00 Conference Registration Desk Open
Stop by, say hello and pick up your name tag at our registration table.

19:00 – 22:00 Welcome Reception – drinks and buffet at the conference hotel – Kursaal Hotel Bern
Room: K Bar & Lounge
All ICMA delegates are welcome to join us in the evening for drinks, canapés and networking at the Kursaal Hotel Bern, for a warm welcome to the ICMA Bern Conference. This is your chance to meet with everyone and start forming those all important connections and future relationships.

Thursday 20 October 08:45 – 17:00

08:00 – 08:30 Conference Registration Desk Open
Stop by, say hello and pick up your name tag at our registration table.


Room: Bellavista 2,3 & 4
08:45 – 08:50 Chairperson’s Welcome and Opening
ICMA’s Chairman, Heinz M. Schwyter, will be kicking off the conference by extending a warm ICMA welcome and introducing the planned conference schedule.

08:50 – 09:20 Unite and Conquer: Classified Market Structures
Alexander Balakhnin, European Classifieds Analyst at Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm.

09:20 – 09:50 Mature Classified Businesses
This lively and engaging format is made up of 2x 15 minute short speaker slots. Over the course of just 30 minutes we will hear from 2 expert leaders from mature classified businesses. Speakers are Sang-Woo Pai, CEO & Co-Founder of markt.de GmbH & Co. KG & Lucian Luncan, Head of Online Classifieds at Russmedia.

09:50 – 10:30 Fireside Chat
Rob Paterson, Director of Consulting & Events at AIM Group will lead an exciting fireside chat with a panel of Swiss experts: Olivier Rihs, CEO of Scout24, Axel Konjack, CEO of Homegate AG & Steven Neubauer, Head Media at NZZ Mediengruppe. The “chat” will cover their views on the classified market, media in general, what they perceive the threats and opportunities to be.

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break


11:00-11:30 Growing a Vertical within a Horizontal
Julien Andre, Director of Vivastreet Job, a free classified ads site, which ranks among the top two largest in France. Julien will share the key issues and the outcomes of growing a vertical within a horizontal on a competitive and changing job market.

11:30-12:00 Recent Trends in Programmatic Advertising
Frederic Hansen, COO at Click Performance Group will look at recent trends in the advertising landscape, such as header bidding, programmatic and native advertising, which can be challenging for publishers. In this session he will unveil the industry’s most recent buzzwords and turn them into actionable knowledge.

12:00 – 12:30 Building Services in a Marketplace for Goods
Maria Logvinenko, Head of Avito Services at Avito, the largest online classifieds platform in Russia, will explore the challenges of growing a services vertical within a horizontal website known and built as a place for buying and selling goods. The discussion will focus on the process and the outcome of defining unique vertical customer needs and developing respective business solutions.

12:30 – 12:40 Brain Snack
Ron Abisi, VP of Sales at Distil Networks talks through ways to improve your website security.

12:40 – 14:00 Lunch


Room: Bellavista 2,3 & 4
14:00 – 14:15 Brain Snack Session: Fostering Trust and Safety
Rahul Pangam, Co-Founder and CEO of Simility will share tips and ideas on fostering Trust and Safety in your marketplace. When you’re connecting users for a used car sale, or an apartment rental or a job listing you feel responsible for preserving the Trust and Safety of your marketplace. Bad actors perpetrating scams can turn your marketplace into a ghost town.

Join our Sharing Best Practice session where you get the unique opportunity to sit down with your peers from around the world and learn from their successes and failures. This is our highest rated session for good reason – it’s great for networking but more importantly it gives you the chance to challenge your thinking and learn from others experience.

This 3 hour workshop will be split into 3 different lively discussions each lasting 40 minutes:

Session 1
User acquisition and retention
Marketing – what’s new and what’s working
Operational efficiency
Session 2
Show me the money
Mobile and apps
Data driven
Session 3
Threats and competition
Dealing with development
Going beyond putting buyers and sellers together

We will also encourage everyone to change tables after every session so that you interact with a new set of people, thereby broadening your network and enriching the overall experience.

15:00-15:30 Coffee Break

17.00 – 18:00 Members Meeting
Our Chairman Heinz M. Schwyter will present an update on the status of ICMA and discuss the current association projects. We will also share the 2016/2017 Budget and forecasts. We encourage all members to attend this meeting and be an active part of your association!

20:00 – 23:00 Group Dinner (departing hotel at 19:30 – meet in hotel lobby)
ICMA loves bringing their delegates to local venues so that they can sample the country’s culture and history. We are excited to reveal this event will take place in an exciting and unique venue – Altes Tramdepot Restaurant, where the house beer is home-brewed in copper vats right in the center of the restaurant. The restaurant’s proximity to the new BearPark, the fantastic view of the Old Town and the Aare, and the convenient location make the Altes Tramdepot a favorite gathering place for socialising.

Friday 21 October 09:00 – 17:00

Session 1 – Workshops

09:00 – 12:30 Business Leaders Forum
Room: Luna
This is an informal interactive session where the facilitator acts as expert and guides the discussion. Participants have the opportunity to share their experiences and opinions, and ask questions of the facilitator and their peers.

09:00 – 12:30 Sales Managers Workshop
Room: Vivace 3 & 4
Tomasz Odrobinski, Global Venture Manager at Booksy Inc.. The Sales Mangers Workshop will be a fast paced and interactive session covering a number of topics related to sales management. It will be an exciting and informative morning where you can share your experiences and learn from your colleagues.

09:00 – 12:30 Business Operations Forum
Room: Bellavista 5
This interactive workshop will be led by Rob Paterson, Director of Consulting & Events at AIM Group. This session will be spilt into 2 sections: 1) What’s next for classifieds – a debate and 2) The power of crowds – finding solutions to growth and operations in classified businesses. Rob asks all participants to please bring your problems to share and discuss.

(10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break)

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch


Room: Bellavista 2, 3 & 4
14:00 – 14:30 The Marketplacer Story
Simon Underwood, General Manager of Sales at Marketplacer, will be telling us the Marketplacer story, starting with the worlds largest bicycle marketplace – BikeExchange and the progression to an enterprise platform provider. He will also share insights into why marketplaces need to focus on all channels when working with retailers.

14:30 – 15:00 Go “Lean” and delight your users and stakeholders
Dave Martin, Digital Director at Bauer Media, will share hands on experience of lean product management to redesign a classified website resulting in high growth. Using a case study of www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk we will discuss the challenges of introducing an experimental lean approach at stakeholder and team level. Using lean the user evidence informs decisions and teams learn more about the consumer leading to strong decisions.


Startup Stories

15:00 – 15:30
This lively and engaging format is made up of 3x 10 minute short speaker slots. Over the course of just 30 minutes we will hear from 3 expert leaders from startup classified businesses:

15:00 – 15:10 Bernhard Obenhuber, Founder of zoa
Personal data as a new tradable good

Personal data describing consumer activities, interests and preferences has become a new digital asset. zoa – reclaim your personal data is a Swiss start up that offers a market place where consumers can sell their personal data to companies in a transparent and fair exchange. zoa gives the consumers control and ownership of their personal data and companies access to highest quality consumer profile data for marketing purposes and to personalise their services without violating consumer privacy.

15:10 – 15:20 Marcos Monteiro, Co-Founder of veezoo
Talk to data. See what it says.

A Zurich-based startup founded in 2015, develops a platform for data exploration just by asking questions.

15:20 – 15:30 Chalid El Ashker, Founder of POPUPSHOPS.com

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 – 16:30 Unlock The Value Of Your Data Management Platform: 5 Actionable Tips
Sebastian Fleischmann, Sales Director at Oracle Marketing Cloud will talk about the rise of client side DMPs and how publishers and advertisers can use data to improve ROI and engagement.

16:30 – 17:00 Reinventing Classifieds
Sarmad A. Ali, Group Managing Director at Jang Media Group, will explore how Pakistan’s largest newspaper revamped its classified section and introduced technology to revive its classifieds business.

17.00 – 17:15 Chairperson’s Official Conference Close
Heinz M. Schwyter will be giving the conference an official close.

20:00 – 00:00 Friday Night Out (departing hotel at 19:30, meet in hotel lobby)
The ICMA Autumn Conference 2016 closing party will take place in Kornhauskeller’s Galerie Bar & Lounge. This is the perfect setting for cocktails and enjoyment in the evening. This event will allow you to network in a casual, relaxed atmosphere while celebrating with new friends and contacts, drinking cocktails, eating local food and dancing to a great DJ! This always proves to be a very special evening and tickets costs an additional 115 EUR per person so please don’t forget to select this when registering. Ticket costs include venue entry, food and all drinks from 20:00 – 00:00.