IBC Congress 2011

5 09 2011

I have the privilege again this year of producing a session for the business stream at the IBC Conference in Amsterdam this week.

It takes place on the Thursday the 8th of September from 13.30 – 15.00 and is titled: Extending the Value of Branded Content Through Social Media and Online Engagement.  It will be in room E102.

We have a great session lined up today, starting with Chairman Giles Fraser, Co-Founder of Brands2Life who will be setting the scene and highlighting relevant trends, followed by Claire Tavernier from Fremantle Media who will be talking about using social media to drive audiences and engagement. Rounding out the session will be what we hope to be a very spirited panel discussion with our guest panellists: Danny McCubbin of JamieOliver.com, Claire Tavernier of Fremantle, Jurian Van Der Meer of Endemol and Steve Plunkett of RedBee Media about. In addition to outlining their thoughts/experiences on how social media and online engagement can extend brand value, the panel will be tackling questions such as:

  • What are the risks to brands – both content and parent brand?
  • How much should you invest in social media/online engagement and when can you expect payback? Is there payback?
  • What mistakes have been made?
  • How do you maintain your brand voice and values through digital channels
  • Dangers or risks of social media and giving your audience a voice
  • The difference between using existing social media venues and building your own

If you’ll be at IBC this week, please stop by and participate in what we are confident will be a great session!

Hot conference topics and themes for 2011: healthcare

4 03 2011

Healthcare is another topic which will continue to grow and see success throughout 2011 as many trials using healthcare IT and telehealth mature and technology improves. This is also likely to be driven by new models of healthcare, with smart connected devices monitoring our health, providing diagnoses and healthcare as a game (such as mobile apps like cardiotrainer which challenge your friends to burn as many calories as you).

Alongside the established healthcare IT and telehealth events like WoHIT and Wonca, these topics will also find their way into cloud and telecoms events at an increasing rate as the prevalence and utility of connected devices and new ways of gathering and storing health data develop. This convergence has already led to events like the Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit and is likely to see further growth.

Be patient – success with a speaker programme can be a slow burn

7 08 2010

Those unfamiliar with speaking programmes can get a little frustrated with how long it sometimes takes to see results.  My advice is be patient. The long lead time of conferences (average about six months) means that nothing happens overnight and the development cycle can sometime take months, depending on the conference.

There are other factors that have an impact – your brief for example.  A more narrow a brief, the less events there will be to try and speak at.  For some, there may only be 2 or 3 conferences a year that are appropriate and if you start your speaking programme right after they have just taken place – you’ll have to wait a few months before they start thinking of the next year’s event.

A speaking programme is not a short fix – you may get lucky with one event that happens to be inviting speakers the week that you start out, but you have to give the programme at least a 12 month cycle to see how things go.

The three Ps: Best practice for delivering a conference presentation

9 02 2010


There is already a plethora of useful information available on presentation tips and best practice.  A quick search I did today for presentation tips uncovered some great insight, and one of the most comprehensive lists I found was from Cameron Moll and his 20 tips for better conference speaking.

I’d agree with all of Cameron’s tips with exception perhaps to #3 – ‘always err on the side of being more advanced’.  I hasten to add that this is probably due to the context in which most of my clients speak, which is the tech and telco industry.  Particularly with the recent convergence of technologies, these type of events attract a wide range of audience who represent all different elements of the industry value chain.  Accordingly, there are experts in each field but few that are experts in all fields.  With the tech industry’s penchant for acronyms and tech slang, it’s very easy to present at a level that is too advanced for many in the audience and they will immediately switch off.  In this case you might go from having the attention of 300 delegates to 30 within a slide or two.  Part of getting this right is simply doing the research to know your audience.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here, in fact, while I could go on and on there’s only one piece of best practice I’d like to share…and that is the ‘three Ps’:

Prepare, practice and practice!

Preparation is a given. Work out who the audience is and what’s going to interest them, then prepare your content accordingly.  How long have you got?  What are the likely questions you will be asked? What level of detail do I need to go into?  Asking yourself questions like this will ensure you’re delivering a relevant and well received presentation.

As for practice…that’s not a typo. It’s written twice because it’s THAT important.  Once you’ve got your content sorted, stand up in front of a mirror, your partner, cat, house plant – whatever, just get up and present what you’ve got out loud.  You’ll quickly find that you’re horrible and stumble and stutter your way through it.  But, keep doing it and by the third or fourth time you will start to smooth the bumps out and get a flow going.  This will also raise your confidence levels before the big day. Presenting is like acting, you need to practice your lines, timing, delivery, etc.

I believe if more senior executives follwed the three Ps, we’d see a dramatic increase in the quality of conference presentations. 

The year ahead: Mobile

29 01 2010

Every year for the past six was meant to be ‘the year of mobile’, but with the incredible uptake of smartphones, mobile internet and mobile apps, one gets the feeling that 2010 may actually be it. The recent announcement of Google’s entry into the mobile market has shed even more spotlight on mobile and everyone is very excited to see how the next 12 months plays out. Mobile, and particularly mobile apps will be a leading topic on the agenda of many of the most important corporate, telco, tech and media conferences around the world in 2010.