A trade journal of a still-emerging field, written by Adam Tinworth.

Posts tagged conferences

For the first time since 2005, we don’t have a LeWeb this year:

LeWeb takes a break in 2015 and look towards 2016 for the next edition. Quality has always been our driving factor.

It will be strange not getting on the Eurostar to Paris this December, as I have been doing for a decade. However, it makes sense for Loïc and Geraldine to take stock and reconsider what they do with the conference, after the rise of other events – and their reacquisition of it from Reed Midem.

Not 10 years of Le WebSo, we had our blogger back-stage tour of the venue for LeWeb Paris 2013, and there’s one of these huge banners in one of the docks. The odd thing, though, is that while it’s claiming 10 years of LeWeb – well, it isn’t.

The event that became LeWeb – LesBlogs – was first held in April 2005. That suggests that we’re now 16 months away from the decade of LeWeb. Even if Loïc was working on it for a year before the event – that’s still four months shy. Ah, well. The next 10 years is still a good topic…

See you all tomorrow for mucho livebloggage.

UPDATE: After sleeping on it, I realised that this is, as I said yesterday, the 10th LeWeb, but over 7 years. So it feels like the 10th edition is being conflated with the 10th anniversary.

I’m such a pedant.

Scoopcamp 2012Scoopcamp looks like an interesting event – an innovation-centric journalism conference in Berlin, happening in a couple of weeks’ time. Much as I’d love to attend, workload does not permit me to do so, but NEXT Service Design is giving away two tickets, for hacks with the airfare, but not the ticket money…

(I will however, be at NEXT Service Design, as the conference is a client of  mine. If you’re at all interested in integrating digital products into a whole service offering, Berlin is the place to be on September 16th)


Tomorrow, I’m trying a New Thing.

This New Thing will involve Matt Buck of Drawnalism and myself working together to capture content from a conference. I do the words, he does the graphics. 

If you want to know more about what we’ve got planned – and the rationale behind it, I’ve written a post for the B2BHuddle blog explaining all. If you want to see how we do – stay right here on this blog, because this is where we’ll be doing it…

ProgrammeOut_640x498.jpgMy first client when I went independent was – and still is – NEXT Berlin, a conference held anually in Berlin. It’s a conference I attended as a blogger and fell in love with because it was so very good at looking a few years ahead. Most web conference are very much about the now – about what’s hitting the mainstream at the time the conference is held. NEXT is great at talking about what will matter in a couple of years – so you can be ready for it.

That’s why I’ve enjoyed writing for their blog so very much. It allows me to probe the future in a range of fields, and that’s just plain fun.

This year, the conference is exploring the idea that there are dangers in the world to come. Here be dragons… But the thing about dragons, is that they sit on piles of gold. Slay the dragon, and the treasure is yours.

The conference programme has just been announced, and it looks like a corker. 

I’m all booked up for two frantic days of liveblogging in Berlin. I hope to see some of you there.

Trapped at Le WebI learnt an important lesson this evening, at the cost of some time and shoe leather. However interesting the end session is, if Le Web is over-running don’t hang around. Why? Because you’ll end up stranded at the venue, along with at least a coach’s worth of other people, after the last coach goes. 

By the way, if you want an example of how thin a veneer the “transparant, honest, social” creed of the web industry is – watch people elbowing each other out of the way to cram onto the last buses out of the venue. Amazing how quickly people lose their civilization…

Some poor member of the Le Web team (she probably drew the short straw) had to tell 60-odd people that the last two buses that they couldn’t get on (possibly through being insufficiently skilled with their elbows) were indeed the last two. They were on their own on making their way home – with the nearest Metro stop and the next two down the line out of service. Some tried to call a taxi, with little luck. I gave up and headed to Porte de la Chapelle to catch the rail replacement bus, accompanied by Marcin Fejfer

We eventually made our way to Jules Joffin – only to find that the Metro wasn’t running south either. I walked back to my hotel, with a pause for a late dinner in a local bistro. So much for my evening plans…

Lessons, other than “don’t stay late”? Perhaps the Le Web team could make a little more effort to ensure that coaches are there when the event runs late. One more coach – just one – would have got the rest of their (expensively) paying customers much closer to home. But even that wouldn’t have dealt with the Metro problems.

Ah, well. It’s not a Le Web without some small disaster, be it snow, hunger or hypothermia

Le Web logoIt seems slightly unbelieveable that, in just over a week’s time, I’ll be in Paris for Le Web. This year has gone unbelieveably fast, but I’m looking forward to attending for the first time entirely on my own behalf – no agonising over attending a session that might be useful to my employer over one that would be more interesting for me and you guys. I’m attending entirely under my own steam, from my own pocket and as an official blogger once more.

This will be my seventh year at Le Web Paris, and my eighth Le Web, counting Le Web London earlier in the year.  

This year’s theme is the internet of things. It was a strong theme at this year’s NEXT Berlin, so I’m looking forwward to seeing how the thinking has developed in the seven months since. NEXT is very much a bleeding edge conference, Le Web is where those ideas start hitting the mainstream, so I’ll be looking for some more commercial applications of the idea of pervaisve internet-connecetd objects to emerge from the conference. 

No doubt I’ll be prinicipally doing my normal thing of liveblogging the sessions as they happen – but I enjoyed my brief sojourn into something a bit different last year, so expect a bit more of that this time around. And if you’re going to be in Paris for the event – let me know. I’d love to meet up. 

TEDxBrighton CupcakesFriday, as anyone who follows me on Twitter will be aware, was TEDxBrighton. It’s my second TEDx event (the first was TEDxTuttle a few years back), and the only one I’ve been involved in organising – although just as a storyteller (which in this case, essentailly means blogger). And I had a blast. After a few technical hitches with the sound in the opening minutes, it ran very smoothly indeed. Feedback from friends who were there was largely positive – most thought the speakers were a mixed bag, but there didn’t seem to be universal agreement about who were the good ones and who were the bad ones, which was a good sign of diversity amongst both the audience and the speakers…

I, sad to say, got virtually no time to network, as I was busy either liveblogging, or editing photos or video to add to the liveblog. You can find all the liveblogging over on the TEDxBrighton site. My thoughts about the contents of the talks are percolating, and I’ll post more about the day in a little while.

In the meantime, I’d just like to highlight these:

TEDxBrighton cupcakesThe format of a TEDx event is rigorously – and I mean rigorously – controlled by the TED organisation. Fair enough. It’s their brand, they’re sharing it, and they’re entitled – sensible, even – to protect it. But the area outside the main event is where the organisers can really cutomise it. Natalie Lloyd did a fine job of bringing in lots of Brighton organisations and bodies into the main mingling space outside the Corn Exchange, to give the event a pretty multi-generational feel:


But the only part of these I had actually time to experience were the wonderful cupcakes baked – in a 13 hour baking marathon – by this cake-baking lady:

Emma Jane, baker of Brighton cupcakesEmma Jane was also one of the few people I didn’t already know I got the chance to chat with. I was obviously delighted to discover as well as being a cupcaking creation fiend (and they were a great source of sugar for a energy-sapped liveblogger…) she’s also an avid blogger at Cakes and Catwalks. She’s even blogged about the experience of the day – which was something of a mixed bag for her, sadly:

I love TED and really enjoyed the talks again this year, I also met some really lovely people and very much appreciated the ‘thank you’ I received in person from many of the delegates and team – also the tweets that people sent me and seeing photos appearing of my cakes across social platforms was very rewarding. But I had to request that delegates were told a)- that there were cakes and b)- where to find the cakes. I guess I kind of assumed that having asked me to bake 350 cupcakes (which were branded for TEDx), that people would be encouraged to enjoy them.

Which brings us back to the brand control aspect of TEDx events. What you can and can’t say about sponsors (and indeed, the various behind-the-scenes folks) is pretty limited. It’s a tricky balance – but I think Natalie did a pretty fine job in her first outing organising an event like this.

Thankfully all 360 cupcakes were consumed in the end. Here’s Flora Koska, speaker at the event, choosing one of them: