EU Startups Summit 2024 - Getting There, Where to Stay, Key Speakers and Meeting the ICS Team

At ICS-digital, we work in up to 100 languages for all sorts of global clients - this year we’ve had a special focus on supporting innovative, early-stage brands to get to the next level - one major reason why we’re attending the EU Startups Summit 2024.

When it comes to multilingual SEO, marketing for global growth/exporting and (crucially) localisation, startups can end up over- and under-investing, and consequently not getting the results they expect.

Startups need solid strategies, empathetic partners and proven marketing methodologies to grow nationally and internationally.

With that in mind, we’re looking forward to attending this year’s EU Startups Summit to share our learning - and in this post we’re detailing the essential information about the event -  plus a few of the most crucial digital marketing strategies for startups.

What is the EU Startups Summit?

The EU Startup Summit 2024 is an annual gathering that showcases Europe's top startups, bringing together founders, investors, and startup enthusiasts for networking and learning opportunities. 

Where is the EU Startups Summit taking place?

This year, it will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, The address is Triq l-Isptar, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1645 and the building cannot be missed - it’s a 16th century building originally built as a hospital.

Credit: Wikipedia

It’s been a while since we’ve attended an event here but as regular visitors to Malta, it’s definitely one of the more intriguing conference venues.

How to get to the EU Startups Summit venue:

To reach the EU Startups venue from Malta International Airport:

  1. Taxi, Uber and Bolt - This is the quickest and most direct way - and also usually our preferred option when we visit Malta. You can book a ride on the Bolt and Uber apps at the airport, and the trip to Valletta takes about 15-20 minutes. Be aware of traffic at peak time!
  2. Public Transport - Buses are available from the airport to Valletta. While this is a cheaper option, it may take longer due to bus schedules and the occasional backlog of Maltese traffic. That said,, the X4 bus operates direct routes from the airport to the city centre of Valletta, as you can see below:

From Sliema and Saint Julian’s to the event venue:

Ferry - You can take a ferry from Sliema to Valletta. The ferry terminal in Valletta is a short walk from the Mediterranean Conference Centre. In addition to avoiding traffic, this is definitely one of the more glamorous ways to arrive at the EU Startups Summit. 

Since using this method to attend the Sigma event at MHH, we’re now committed to the boat wherever possible.

Bus - Buses run frequently from both Saint Julian’s and Sliema to Valletta, and this could be an economical choice. Route N13 stops in both neighbourhoods. 

This may fit best with some attendees, depending on where you’re staying - the organisers have helpfully provided some discounted hotel options, including the Intercontinental and Holiday Inn Express in the St Julians area.

When is the EU Startups Summit? / What day is the EU Startups Summit?

The event will take place on May 9th and 10th 2024 but as is often the case with conferences in Malta there will likely be dinners, coffees and other networking events to look forward to.

Who is speaking at the EU Startups Summit?

Key speakers at the EU Startup Summit are many and include a variety of influential figures from the startup ecosystem, such as unicorn founders, successful investors, and CEOs.

Some especially notable speakers that we’re looking forward to hearing from are

  • Werner Vogels, VP and CTO at Amazon
  • Lubomila Jordanova, founder of Plan A
  • Kilian Kaminski, co-founder of Refurbed​
  • Andrea D'Amico, CEO of WeRoad

These speakers and many others will offer valuable insights and discussions on various topics relevant to startup growth and innovation.

Representing ICS-digital and ICS-translate, market growth team members Matteo Fabiano (me!) and Luke Kenna - and we’re more than happy to share insights from the wider ICS team related to global marketing.

From our experience, here’s where we see the main points of differentiation for cost-conscious, agile startups:

  1. Content Marketing: Building Brand and Educating Potential Customers

Many startups struggle with brand recognition and customer education. When launching a new product, it is key to explain your new products and services and why they are important to the end customer.

Content marketing addresses this need, creates a strong brand voice and educates potential customers about the product's benefits and uses. 

Producing high-quality, relevant content allows any startup to engage their audience, build trust, and establish their brand as a thought leader in their industry.

When doing this at ICS, we always recommend to operate as much as possible with SEO in mind, to maximise rankings on search engines and avoid costly rewritings at a later stage. 

For example, having a Keyword Research to reference when creating your content strategy can save you a lot of time further down the road when you ask yourself why your content is invisible to search engines.

  1. Localisation: Amplifying Reach Beyond Borders

These days, a lot of automated tools are adept at translating for meaning - think how we all use our phones to translate bits and pieces on holiday.

Where automated translation lets down startups is in not communicating excitement about their brand, getting across the use value for international audiences and not capturing the intricacies of USPs.

We’ve found that companies who prioritise expert human-led translation with due time dedicated to post-translation edits and optimisation are more effective at getting closer to their customers, demonstrating differences between themselves and more established brands and (vitally) having a much more refined content footprint that supports wider SEO initiatives.

  1. Digital PR: Enhancing Credibility and Reaching New Audiences

Gaining credibility and reaching broader audiences can be really hard for startups, which at an early stage might struggle to make their voices heard because of a reduced following, or a small number of connections compared to larger brands.

Digital PR helps on this front, as it allows startups to gain coverage on popular and well-regarded news publications, where a lot of readers will come across them.

This provides various benefits, including an enhanced brand awareness and reputation, direct traffic from highly popular sites and the much needed positive sentiment and word-of-mouth that can be vital for any startup trying to attract new customers.

  1. SEO: Improving Online Visibility and Organic Reach

Startups often find it difficult to get noticed in a crowded market, especially when competing against established brands with larger budgets.

SEO, done right, can transform a startup's online presence to rank higher in search engine results, making it more likely for potential customers to find them when searching for relevant keywords. 

This is crucial for driving organic traffic without the high costs associated with paid advertising campaigns - these days however, a full onsite and offsite strategy is needed to compete effectively.

  1. Foundational PPC Advertising

As a startup it can be easy to make the mistake of trying to go head-to-head with established competitors in PPC and paid advertising - and rapidly get outspent.

The most effective startups set goals around what’s important to them - signups, lead generation, brand visibility or something else - and then (like coats of paint on a wall) build up the strategy to become stronger over time - without going broke. 

This is especially important for brands working at international scale - in these cases the quality of localisation and content takes on even more importance… and an audit of any of these areas is a great way to start.

Incorporating these strategies in a cost-effective, targeted way can dramatically improve a startup's visibility, credibility, and market positioning, directly influencing its growth trajectory.

Needless to say, we’re looking forward to talking about all of these areas and more at the Summit 🙂

Overall, the EU Startup Summit offers a unique opportunity to network with key players in the European startup scene and gain insights into the latest trends and practices in entrepreneurship - and we can’t wait to meet you there.