On a warm sunny day at the Greek Campus in downtown Cairo, hundreds of youths gathered to enjoy the weather while learning the methods of improving themselves in marketing, educational methods, recruitment, and advertising at “StandPoint Conference”.
Stand Point Conference is a forum that spotlights the pros and cons of the most trending activities happening online versus their offline methods with an ultimate focus on education, recruitment, advertising, and commerce. The event mainly focused on youths who try to create their own path at one of the previous fields.
The event is organised by Youthpire, the first youth platform to engage different categories of the Egyptian youth, with different backgrounds and interests to construct their self-conception through development, empowerment, inspiration, and physical and mental methodologies.
“We wanted to organise this event because world is going almost all-virtual,” communication director of Youthpire Mohammed Fawzy said. “Smartphones are an essential part of everyday life style and the Internet growth rate is at its peak so we felt the urge to keep our generation in touch with all of this.”
Fawzy believes by taking part of the event, attendees had the chance to be exposed to knowledgeable content with a lot of insights about the markets of recruitment, education, adverting, commerce, and payments, as well as inspirational talks and free gifts of online courses to help new projects.
There were three sessions, each one focusing on a certain topic, from education and recruitment, to commerce and trade, to marketing and advertising. Each topic was discussed by speakers and specialists of that field.
“We seek an integrated youth development by being exposed to different communities, with solid knowledge and experience in their fields of interest,” Fawzy said.
Guests and specialists were chosen according to certain criteria to meet the aspects the organisers hoped to deliver to attendees. “We approached highly successful individuals behind the best brands and agencies in each of the discussion topics including Dubizzle, Fawry, Kijamii, FP7/Cairo, Zizinia, Adidas, Quest, and Microsoft,” Fawzy said.
Ahmed Reda, the CEO of Nas Trend, a famous cloths line that he said started online through a Facebook page and achieved huge success until the store opened branches on ground. His discussion tackled methods of achieving success in an open market full of competitors with no clear borders and regulations, as well as the most effective forms of offline commerce.
Other youths who managed to follow their dreams talked about the steps they followed to reach this far and their methods to overcome obstacles. Solo traveller Mahmoud Moustafa Kamel, 27, is a journalist who gave up his stable job to follow his dream of travelling the world. Within a few years, he managed to travel more than 30 countries from all around the globe with the minimum possible coast all by himself.
“When I started travelling, I used to send large numbers of photos to my friends. I thought about creating a Facebook page to post photos from my journeys and share them with my friends. I named it after the song of my favourite rock band Nickelback and I started writing my first post telling people travelling is not very expensive as most people believe,” he said.
Participating in such an event was “very important to me to let other youths to believe that our path is not as dark and depressing as everyone else keep saying”, he said at Stand Point Conference.
“When I started on my path, I had no other way of getting positive energy but from my music so I wanted to provide another form of positivity to others to help them achieve their dreams,” he said. “I wanted to share my story to tell them that with little online research and hard work you can build your own small empire.”
“This is one of the best opportunities for me to learn more about my career as a social media specialist,” Aya Essam, 24, said. “Just sitting and listening to the different occurring discussions between those specialists opens new channels of thinking for me and forces me to ask myself about my next step.”
According to Essam, the diversity between the sessions raised her awareness about the obstacles she might face as an entrepreneur and helped categorise her priorities.
On the other hand, Ahmed El-Degwy, 27, found that the diversity of talks and speeches was not as helpful as he thought it would be. “Most of the talks were repetitive as any other inspirational talk without mentioning real steps of starting your own start-up,” he said.
It would have been much better if the event only focused on one main topic and tackled it from all angles, rather than discussing four different topics without going into any details, he said.