IBC Congress – business stream session wrap-up

13 09 2011

I’m pleased to say that our session at IBC last week was a great success with the room at near full capacity and more questions from the floor than we had time for – always a good sign!

Our Co-Founder, Giles Fraser, set the scene by introducing the speakers and talking briefly about the increasing use of social media by content brands, followed by Claire Tavernier from Fremantle who gave a great opening presentation which included her five rules for integrating social media into television.

This was followed by the panel discussion which delved into what each of the panellists were doing with their companies and looking at issues such as risk, investment, control and what the future holds.

A recap of the key points of the session are covered concisely by Giles Fraser in this short video.

Thanks to all my speakers and all that attended – hope to see you next year!

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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: social media

17 02 2011

Social Media will continue to be important in the conference landscape as our lives become more connected; TVs now even let you tell your friends what you’re watching. Communities are continuing to grow around all aspects of our connected lives and monetising and engaging with these audiences is becoming increasingly important to marketers and advertisers alike.

While there are a lot of established pure play social media events, it is likely that more will surface and that more and more traditional business focused events will incorporate social media streams looking at how to leverage social media beyond the marketing department. Gamification, crowd sourcing, merging and blurring work and social lives and collaboration as a driver of innovation, business and efficiency will all find their way onto more conference agendas.

Further to this, although many events already utilise social tools (such as a Facebook page or a LinkedIn events page, live Twitter walls and blogs), their use should increase as delegates and speakers look to extend their influence beyond the stage and the networking breaks. Some conferences already have great communities built around their content (think TED) and many more are starting to follow in their footsteps.





Looking ahead to 2011’s hot conference topics and themes

9 02 2011

Having looked back at 2010, it’s the perfect opportunity to reignite our tradition of outlining our thoughts on the hot topics and themes in this year’s conference landscape. They are below in no particular order:

As you can see there are a few old favourites on here but also some new arrivals. We’d love to get your thoughts in the comments on whether we’ve missed any or even got some wrong.

Personally I’m really excited by the mobile and apps space at the moment, there’s so much innovative stuff going on – dual core phones, connected everything and new device formats. However, there’s increasing crossover between these topics, apps are, of course, available in your mobile, but now apple has launched the Mac app store, Google launched the Chrome Web Store and Amazon has hinted heavily that there’s an Amazon Appstore on the way too. I can also access Dropbox on my phone, edit my Google Docs and use other cloud services on the move; there’s going to be a real challenge around the ‘liquid experience’ whereby my apps look familiar and interact with each other across platforms.

These game changing advances and disruptors like the iPad will continue to drive conference agendas as senior management is put under increasing pressure to keep up in the social media age. This should see attendance rates remaining high at industry leading events and a great deal of press and media interest in conference content as the consumerisation of IT marches on.

However, we’re also likely to see some conference producers attempting to cash in on these trends, launching new, low quality events pandering to the latest trends. Knowing how to spot, and avoid these events is key. A specialist agency can help you plan for the year ahead, identify your key targets and evaluate any invitations you might receive to speak at (or even attend) new conferences and ensure that your speaking programme really takes off in 2011.





2010 conference themes recap: social media

24 01 2011

Was, as we predicted, huge in 2010 and continues to be a key topic for the business world (you know it’s important when they make an award – winning film about it!). Everyone wanted to hear from those who were doing it well, the horror stories from Twitter and new models for engaging customers.

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We also saw social starting to creep further into nearly every aspect of life, with social invading our televisions and our music (think Google TV and Ping). While there were already some social TV events and their kin, we saw these topics take the stage at more and more conferences as the year advanced. We wouldn’t be surprised if social starts to feature in some shape or form on just about every agenda out there.





Looking back at the 2010 conference landscape

11 01 2011

At the start of last year we made some predictions outlining what we thought would be the hottest topics and themes in the conference landscape. Now that 2010 has passed and 2011 is upon us we want to look back at our predictions and see which came to pass and which were made in haste.

In our original post we predicted that the following would be big in 2010:

Many of our predictions ran true, although there have been a few surprises. Over the next few posts we’ll look back on our original thoughts and see what happened compared to what we expected. We’ll also be making our annual prediction for the hot topics in 2011; watch this space!





Maximising conference speaking with social media

9 11 2010

All too often we see speakers turn up five minutes before their presentation, deliver a well polished speech and disappear before the applause has even stopped. We appreciate that many senior level speakers are simply too busy to hang around, but there are other ways to maximise their event exposure that wont keep them out of the office.

Most events these days have some form of social media presence, by engaging with this you can let delegates know in advance what you’ll be covering, point them to your own resources and generally make yourself more accessible. Whether this be a guest blog post or a short video drumming up interest in your session or even a question asked in the conference’s LinkedIn group – “what do you want to hear from us at superuberhightech show 2011?”

Once you’ve finished speaking, follow up with potential leads at the event. Make sure your conference materials are available online and provide a way for the delegates to follow up with you or ask the question they never got to in person. If you’re on Twitter, follow the event, look out for comments around your session and reply, start a conversation and point them towards more information.

As always, it’s all about tying everything together, making yourself accessible, following up on leads and using every channel available to reach and influence your audience.