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.