Like Minds Autumn 2010

Advertising, Blogging, Business, Design, Devon, Entrepreneur, Like Minds, London, Social Media, Twitter, WebTV

We can’t quite believe it’s a year on from the first Like Minds conference. So much has happened from our small beginnings on October 16th 2009 in the Exeter Conference Centre.

Back then (or back-along as they say down here) we held a half-day conference with 200 attendees and now, on October 28/29th we are expecting between 300-400 attendees over two full days of learning, engaging, networking and generating new business opportunities.

Clearly Scott and I could not have achieved all this without a great deal of help and our heartfelt thanks go to all the people who have really pulled together to make this all happen. From our early supporters who flew over to speak at our first conference like Trey Pennington (@TreyPennington) and Olivier Blanchard (@TheBrandBuilder) from the United States to the Head of Social Media for Sky TV, Maz Nadjm (@Mazi) and Ex-Director of Innovation & New Media at the BBC Media Trust, Daren Forsyth (@DarenBBC) who took a chance and broke free from the bright lights of London to come and speak at an unknown conference hidden away in the depths of the rural South-West.

Today it’s a different story. At our last conference in February you helped us bring over £100,000 of revenue to the city of Exeter and its community of small businesses. No small achievement I’m sure you’ll agree and we expect to increase the revenue this time around to around £200,000. We had speakers and sponsors from Ogilvy Worldwide, Kodak, 1000 Heads, Nokia and our TV platform provider Ooyala in February and we are building on that platform this October with speakers and sponsors from Microsoft, Smarta, Grapple, WCRS and many more.

We’ll have 5 morning workshop Immersives, 20 Like Minds lunches, 4 afternoon keynote Insights each day. All followed by some special evening events – on Thursday 28th there is Like Movies with legendary film maker and Clash collaborator Don Letts, at the Exeter Picturehouse, and on Friday 29th we have Like Music – a 15 band 4 venue live music event being filmed for TV broadcast headlined by Finley Quaye.

John Harvey (@ExeterCCM) and Val Wilson at Exeter City Council have been tireless in their support and enthusiasm and Dave Goodchild and Pippa Wragg at The Cavern have rallied the local music venues along with support from Pat at The Phoenix, Adam at Mama Stones and Garth from Timepiece who’ve helped build a movie and music program that will complete the full schedule we have lined up over the two days.

There are also many other people behind the scenes who help make your stay with us a special one. The team at the Exeter Conference Centre, Jason Tucker and Rachel Prouse in Exeter, our wonderful ‘girl about town’ Gina Decio who also helps run the Like Minds Club in London and of course our interns who keep everything running smoothly, under the watchful eye of the inimitable Faye Gould. All of them help to create such a special atmosphere on the day.

We hope you enjoy the next few days as much as we have had Creating + Curating it all. Don’t forget to tell us what you get out of it all either be it on Twitter or your particular blogging platform as we can only improve on things with your feedback. Remember to Listen, Lean, Engage and above all – work hard and be nice to people!

See you there.

http://wearelikeminds/autumn2010-program

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Like Minds. One amazing day.

Blogging, Business, Devon, Entrepreneur, Like Minds, Micro Blogging, New Media, Social Media, Twitter, WebTV

It’s an incredible feeling when you witness the birth of something. There is a palpable, almost magical force in the air. There is an underlying knowledge that what you have just experienced will only increase in value to you over time.

At a time when most, if not all of us, are facing challenges in their life and work it was an incredible feeling to watch a room fill with complete strangers who had a thirst for knowledge and the belief and faith to come and be an active part of something new and exciting. They really created what became a very special day.

What amazed me about the Like Minds event in Exeter on Friday wasn’t so much the great content from the speakers and the seamless event hosting and management from Scott Gould and the Exeter Conference Centre but the people who came to share it all with us.

Trey Pennington, one of our keynote speakers, mentioned the words ‘trust’ and ‘faith’ to me over breakfast the next day in Exeter city centre. He was spot on. Both Trey and Olivier Blanchard took a huge leap of faith to get on a plane and fly over from Greenville, South Carolina to be with us and prepare such incisive presentations.

Daren Forsyth and Maz Madjm, despite only knowing me from various London Tweetups, had the trust and faith to take the time out of their schedules and home lives, prepare presentations and travel down to help create such a valuable and magical day. Thanks also must go to all our panelists; Vanessa Warwick, Rick Waghorn, Matt Waring, James Barasic, Carl Haggerty, Laura Whithead, and Andrew Davies who provided such a stimulating discussion after each keynote. If you couldn’t make it down, do take the time to watch them all here.

Also take a moment to check out the feedback at the hashtag #LikeMinds on Twitter as well. The outpouring of love (and man love!) has been inspiring. It was also a great moment to see Stephen Fry say hello on the Twitterfall behind the stage – thank you Stephen! You can read my blog on his London Applestore event here.

Our sponsors, both local and national, also had the faith and trust to buy into our vision, at a point when even WE didn’t know exactly what the day was going to bring! For that we are deeply grateful because without that financial support the idea could have just as easily dissolved. I hope they all feel that they too have got a return on their investment and we look forward to inviting them back to our next event in February.

So it’s seems to me that the fundamentals of social media are about faith and trust. We increasingly ‘meet’ people through social networks, blogs and online communities long before we get to know them in real life and we have to take a leap of faith and trust that they are, who and what they say they are.

Scott Gould and I connected on Twitter around six months before we actually met. In the ensuing two months or so we discussed the idea of creating a brand and holding an inaugural event in Exeter that aimed to bring the level of quality you would expect for an event in a capital city like London but brought to more local communities. I spend my working week between the two cities and can see the parallels and the disparities and feel very passionately that Exeter needs stronger creative ties with other cities like London. I hope that Like Minds, through the use of social media, can start to beak the barriers down even further and bring us all closer together.

Exeter has an enormous amount of talent to offer, evidenced by many of the local participants at Like Minds. I hope that what Scott and I have created, with you and for you, helps you all in your chosen profession and life path.

After all YOU made it happen. To quote Scott on the day; we’re nobody. 😉

PS: Check out what Christina Warren at Mashable had to say about Olivier Banchard, one of our keynote speakers here.

Like Minds

Advertising, Blogging, Business, Devon, Entrepreneur, London, Micro Blogging, New Media, Social Media, Twitter, WebTV

On October 16th I’m co-hosting an event called Like Minds in Exeter, Devon with Scott Gould.

The conference will focus on sustainable social media and social media ROI, answering such questions as:

  • How to measure social media ROI
  • How to carry out online campaigns to compliment offline marketing mix
  • How to target online audiences, and best engage current customers and new customers
  • How to turn customers into brand advocates through social media

Come and meet some of the most informed social media experts from Exeter, London, and the USA. Discover how to get a positive return on investment by using social media to grow your brand and your business. It will be a fun, informative afternoon and give you the chance to increase your network and meet some Like Minds.

Follow the link here for more information.

WebTV DrinkUp 2

Entrepreneur, London, New Media, One Alfred Place, WebTV

We had a great turnout for the 2nd WebTV Group DrinkUp on Feb 18th. About 55 people made it over to One Alfred Place and judging by the noise level everyone was having a great time. As well as welcoming people from the BBC, ITV.com and The Embassy of Finland (!) we also had our first major deal brokered that night. It’s under embargo at the moment but as soon as I can tell you more I will!

Many thanks to Bill Gash for his support on this one and to Sorosh Tavakoli CEO of our drinks sponsors Videoplaza.com. They showed off their online video monetisation system on the in house plasma to much interest. We all enjoyed the Swedish themed lucky business card dip (which I suspect was envisaged in the duty free shop at Stokholm departures lounge when they got snowed in and we had to cancel this the first time!) Congratulations to the winner of the limited edition red sequined bottle of Vodka and the other Swedish goodies in the draw.

Thanks also go to the staff at One Alfred Place who ensured everyone didn’t go without a drink and provided tours and answered questions on the club.

The next one will be in May and if you haven’t joined the group yet click here and you’ll get an invite as soon as we’ve set it all up. Many thanks to everyone who came along and I look forward to welcoming more new faces at the next one.

Make Your Mark With A Tenner

Entrepreneur

Social entrepreneur Oli Barrett runs Connected Capital, an innovation company. He has recently founded an initiative called “Make Your Mark With A Tenner”. The funding has come from Peter Jones of Dragons’ Den fame and from Michael and Xochi Birch, the founders of social networking site Bebo.

20,000 school pupils have signed up to take part to see what they can achieve with just ten pounds in the month of February. Any idea that encourages children in entrepreneurship has to be a good thing.

The challenge is supported by NESTA. It’s an inspirational idea that I’m also very happy to support. It’s also an idea that could spread across the world – pass it on!