WE CAME. WE SAW. WE CURATED*.
Last week, I attended my first #Likeminds conference. Having written extensively for LikeMinds, it really was time to sample the goods!
The strength of a LikeMinds conference can be summed up by this picture:
Most conferences are content to operate at the hearing level. The speakers speak, attendees listen. Scott has regularly articulated the need to make conferences more ‘social’ and this has seen LikeMinds go from the tip of the pyramid to the ‘participating in a discussion’ strata. The idea being that delegates will now remember 70% of what was said. Only time will tell if this is the case and as the LikeMinds team take stock and prepare for the next conference, I’ll be interested to see if they will allow us delegates to hit that 90% memory retention by ‘doing a dramatic presentation’ – I’ve already prepped my interpretive dance moves just in case!
Undoubtedly, the immersives, workshops and speakers were all top class. In the first immersive – “How To Build For The Future in Publishing” – it was clear from the articulate and considered points made during the talk that the room was filled with experts. As such, it was quite intimidating to raise a point for fear of looking comparatively uninformed. Consequently, I really appreciated the chance to ‘break-out’ into smaller groups as did some of the others. Joanne Jacob’s Friday morning immersive entitled ‘How to use Social Media for Small Business’ was one I had earmarked from ages ago and I would have definitely benefited more from it if I hadn’t been nearly an hour late :S
The afternoon talks were also cracking although I would have got more value from them if I wasn’t so hell-bent on mucking around with the #likeminds hashtag. The strongest speaker and crowd-favourite was definitely Benjamin Ellis whose most profound contribution was that “A fish is the last to discover water”. Another speaker that had personal resonance for me was @Steve4good who is spearheading a movement of empowering local communities with social tools under the guise of Cameron’s Big Society. This very much echoed what I’m hoping to do with the Purley 2.0 Project. Possibly the naffest speaker of the day was pseudo-New Age/zen lifestyle guru Karen Brooks who confusingly opined that “your zone is white”, which I took issue with:
Outside of the LikeMinds team’s control was who actually attended the conference (that explains my presence!). However, the calibre of delegates there was truly impressive. As someone who devours articles about social media on a daily basis, it was particularly thrilling to meet many of the authors and thought leaders who produced such content. The conversations veered wildly from conference topics to the more personal. Thus, I was privy to Jon Akwue’s revelation that he peruses Grimeforum and Bob Pinkett’s admission that even in middle-age he still goes to DnB raves on the weekends!
I especially befitted from speaking to @gemmawent, @wisdomlondon and @simbeckhampson who were all incredibly personable and took the time to answer all my social media queries.
As usual, it was great to hook up with the usual suspects. And even some new ones too. The proudest moment of the event was when I birthed a new Tweeter, in the form of @debojadebayo (everyone add him now! :))
Without a doubt, I have come away from the conference with a wealth of knowledge and contacts that will greatly further my goals. To anyone reading this who has yet to go to a LikeMinds conference – I wholeheartedly recommend it!
I look forward to seeing all you guys again sometime next year 🙂
*I know I used this phrase already on the LikeMinds site, but I can’t get enough of it. Might get it tastefully tattooed on my forehead.