A Kedger has been appointed President of the Bureau...
“Laval Virtual World" will be the virtual place to be from 22 to 24 April 2020. There will be conferences, an Awards evening, business meetings, and the contents of the Art and Virtual Reality Festival, Recto VRso!, will be presented. Attend "Laval Virtual World" to meet and listen to the most influential speakers, the largest brands, the best avant-garde artists, and continue to meet and exchange with the VR/AR actors and users in meeting rooms or in our areas of relaxation!
As soon as the government measures were announced, the teams, with the support of the global community, worked on implementing alternative solutions to virtualise part of the event. That’s how "Laval Virtual World" was born!
INTERVIEW : NICOLAS RIBEYRE - Head of Technology and Sectorial Watch 💬
1️⃣ To begin, tell us about your educational background. What did you study, both before and at KEDGE?
After a classic high school education (in Guingamp, as an aside, we salute "En Avant" for football fans) & an HEC prep in Angers, I did the French-English Centre for European Management Studies programme at KEDGE Marseille and spent two years in London before moving to the Marseille where I specialised in marketing. I then studied at IAE Aix-en-Provence in DESS Communication Management.
2️⃣ Tell us what you did after your studies were finished. What positions have you held? What did you learn in those positions?
I started my career working at Shell headquarter where I was in charge of internal communication for SAP projects. I then worked in the automotive industry at an SNCF subsidiary where I was the head of marketing and communication. After that, I joined the Plastic Omnium Group, where I was in charge of internal communications for the automotive line. After living for seven years in the Paris region, I wanted to return to my native Brittany and so went to work for the ZEISS eyeglass lens factory in Fougères (35). I learned a lot working for this German company. I was responsible for communications for the French market, a position I held for 13 years. Two years ago, I did a complete turnaround in my career, I joined Laval Virtual as the Head of Technology and Sectorial Watch. Since then, I haven't stopped learning about virtual reality and augmented reality - two immersive technologies whose markets are exploding.
3️⃣ What are you doing/what is your situation today? What gave you the idea and why do you want to do what you’re doing today?
After 21 years of existence, Laval Virtual has become a global leader in virtual reality. Every year, it brings together 20,000 people from all over the world to Mayenne. So, when Laval Virtual opened a monitoring service to develop and diversify its activities, I immediately applied to join its dynamic team at the Laval Virtual Center, a unique place in Europe. I work in a small team and am in charge of monitoring the use of immersive technologies in companies in 26 sectors of activity. Every week we review more than 4,000 sources and produce 13 free news feeds (https://info.laval-virtual.com/fr/newsfeeds) every quarter. We also publish thematic magazines (automotive, architecture, retail, health, sports, etc.).
After two years of intensive monitoring, we have a specialised knowledge that allows us to get involved in customising monitoring orders for key accounts. Not only was our Laval event hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but partner events in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and in Qingdao, China, were affected as we were no longer able to bring together any professionals. Our teams rolled up their sleeves and have just launched "Laval Virtual World", a 100% online universe where each guest can create an avatar at no charge (https://www.laval-virtual.com/fr/ticketing/) and take part in this universe from a simple PC. It’s a first for the forum. It’s taking place from 22 to 24 April 2020 and the entire global VR/AR community can attend prominent conferences and grow their businesses.
4️⃣ What are your development goals for the future?
Laval Virtual is a non-profit association whose aim is to bring together, inspire, and reward all stakeholders in virtual and augmented reality. This hyper-potential sector is currently concentrated in the USA, China, and Europe. More than ever, and the Coronavirus effect is revealing, we go to virtual spaces to meet, work, learn, train, practice, perfect ourselves. As a major player, we will continue to professionalise our services to remain an international leader in this field. There are many good years ahead of us, and I hope that we will be able to see our organise continue to draw young and brilliant VR/AR experts.
5️⃣How did your education at KEDGE Business School help you become who you are today, and what was it about its teachings helped you develop your project?
The Erasmus programme that I did at KEDGE, (two years in London, two years in Marseille) certainly allowed me to achieve the desire I had to work with an international outlook. Even though I’m based in France, I regularly worked in English for subsidiaries of international companies. I learned to be open-minded and the cultural differences among European students who are close on paper. I learned to work in groups and in project mode and above all to build a network and deep-rooted friendships, many years later. My education helped me to find my first job for which I was trained and could step right into. The rest followed. I also learned that nothing is ever completely learned and that it’s necessary to receive continuous training in order to ... bounce back.
6️⃣If you had to give advice to any other KEDGE graduate who would like to do something similar, what would it be?
I’d tell those who want to go into virtual or augmented reality to go for it. There’s a shortage of talent in this sector and there’ll even be a greater shortage tomorrow. So, if you want to be one of the new virtuosos of HTC Vive, Hololens, Pimax, Lenovo, or Varjo, go for it! The future is virtually yours. Start by attending #lavalvirtualworld. Even if you are confined, this universe is accessible from your PC or Mac.
7️⃣ Nicolas, anything to add?
Are you under lockdown? Why not take part in our Laval Virtual conference from 22 to 24 April?