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Tags: Events, Conference Tips


In its 15th year, FITC attracts 1,300 digital creatives, who this year descended on Toronto. They included our very own Traver Normandi, an account executive at Remix.


"It's basically the nexus between creatives and designers, everyone from 3D artists, branding experts, writers and tech pros," he said. "It's where creatives get updates and experience the most exciting advancements evolving for storytelling."


Blooming from the themes of future, innovation, technology, and creativity, the organizers of FITC say they “host events that inspire, educate and connect digital creators around the globe.”

And they don’t disappoint. The room teems with designers, developers, motion graphics artists, digital artists and, as they say, “everyone and anyone who creates things in the digital space.”





This year, Remix helped Facebook organize a sponsored session with two of the product designers behind the Spark AR product. Facebook gave the audience a peek at how the product will look in the future for developing mobile AR experiences. The Facebook speakers started with a thought-provoking question: “How do you build something for that which doesn’t really exist yet?” The focus of the talk was to share the journey of creating Spark AR Studio, as well as inspire and attract new creators to the platform. Based on the reaction from the crowd, and the number of people who stayed after to speak with Facebook, we know that this resonated!


What Others Are Saying 

Jonathan Sy, a digital strategy consultant, commented that he noticed themes this year of “people over programming, and culture over coding as the secret sauce behind innovation.”


He described his top takeaways as:

  1. Personality Matters: “When seeking talent, look for those who are both smart and can get things done. Besides technical expertise, hire for personality, agreeableness and character.” He quoted Mark Rigley, development lead at Shopify, as saying, “Don’t work with a**holes.” We agree!
  2. Seeing Opportunities Through Mindfulness: “With self-awareness, collaboration is much more effective, and giving feedback stimulates honest self-reflection.”
  3. Culture Add > Culture Fit: “There’s a difference between ‘culture fit’ and ‘culture add.’ The former pushes for conformity to the status quo, while the latter shows openness to enhancing and evolving what exists.”




It was a first ever tech conference for Chaoyue Zhao, a former conference organizer herself. “Since my days as a conference organizer, I believe a good event serves at least three purposes: to educate, to inspire and to network,” she says. “#FITCToronto2019 did all three very brilliantly.”

The FITC Toronto visual theme artwork was done by beeple, aka Mike Winkelmann and the conference organizers included a great interview with him here. Current Studios created a Spark AR effect for FITC Toronto that uses background segmentation and face tracking to transport users to the artwork of beeple. This was a fun experience for attendees of the Facebook mixer. 


beeple says of FITC, “For me the talks are really very secondary to being able to meet your heroes and connect with new people doing what you do, or sometimes things totally different than what you do. It’s got just such a great, cool vibe and I would highly recommend everyone experience for themselves!”



Our Favorite Talks

Building Tools for Augmented Reality by Dominic Burt and Stef Smet of Facebook

Top Takeaways:

1. How to build a product from scratch for an emerging technology

2. How to get started building your own Spark AR experiences

3. How the creative community build AR experiences

Designing Voice Interfaces by Susse Sonderby Jensen of Adobe

Top Takeaways:

1. How to use non-verbal audio and sound design in your design experience

2. What to think about when designing voice in UX

3. How to share a voice-first experience

People to Follow


Organizations to check out

Our favorite FITC tweets:

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Free Content to Check Out:

  • FITC has a stockpile of videos from all their events.
  • Featured Speaker Interview with Kate Dawkins about creating live experiences with light and tech.

If you want to go next year:

Check out information on Amsterdam 2020 and subscribe to their newsletter to stay in the loop.





Gretchen Schaffer
By: Gretchen Schaffer

Gretchen Schaffer, VP at Remix Communications, has helped develop and execute creative strategies for industry-leading companies including Adobe, Microsoft, SAP, and Sony. Gretchen kicked off her public relations and marketing career at Waggener Edstrom (WE). There, she quickly worked her way up to managing global PR teams for Microsoft. The world of marketing and media relations has since evolved, and Gretchen has been on the front line of that change. She has carved out an expertise in executive speaking and thought leadership, public relations and content marketing. At Remix Communications, Gretchen melds deep industry insight with a talent for finding creative and effective ways to help clients tell their unique stories.


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