Last Tuesday I wandered over to Social Media Influence 2009, organised rather well indeed by Matthew Yeomans (about) and Bernhard Warner (about) (once of CustomCommunications, and now the newly-formed RadarDDB). The event promoter was none other than Mark Pigou of InternetRetailing fame.
The venue was great – the Cavendish Conference Centre – tucked away in a mews entrance off Portland Place, then underground. It was bright, modern and had a good seating area and presentation capabilities. It was let down (painfully!) though by its utterly crap broadband and totaly lack of mobile signal. I know that it’s lucrative for conference venues to have hived off broadband supply so that they can gouge conference organisers to ‘provision’ broadband but PLEASE! You can get 20Mb at 20:1 contention for £20 per month in London… That’s 4 years’ worth of connectivity for the £1000 a time you charge conference organisers…
Anyone interested in a venues “name and shame” website? Interestingly (as I ranted) I found out that one’s not even allowed to install one’s own connection – closed shop, restraint of service, cartel… I suggested to Mark that at our next conference we print in large letters across the programme that “We apologise for the crap internet connection here: it’s due to the profit-gouging, neo-luddite, short-termism of [manager’s name] of [venue]”. Grrr.
The dongle-carrying, macbook-waving twitterati at the conference were not to be defeated, however, and it was quite a surreal experience to look behind the speakers and see a live ‘twitterfeed’ of the conference proceedings projected large, while looking at the screens of the assembled folk watching and writing tweets on their laptops. So meta it was hardly being there!
The conference brought together a good group of people and there was lots of time to chat, catch up with people and exchange ideas.
In addition to the tweet tag (#SMI09) you can also see a collection of assorted web coverage and feeds on the SMI Netvibes page.