There's a number of events I attended in the last few weeks that I wish I'd had time to mention earlier: Plugg Brussels, Marketing 2.0, TechCrunch Paris. But, deadlines being what they are and with the internet constantly throwing stuff like this at you, I never really got around to it.
Let's try moving backward. Plugg Brussels is a good time if you're curious about the European startup scene in general. You've got some old-school technology players -- like the founder of Opera -- and then you've got guys that, hey, sell razors on the internet. The more things change, I suppose, the more they ... don't.
Marketing 2.0 is my favourite conference in Paris. It's composed of 300 French agency folks and senior brand executives from the world over (but mostly the US), knitted by a sense of closeness forged by the event's willful "un-conference" feel. The schedule's always changing, there's movement all the time, we cling to each other for stability and human warmth.
A breakdown of the con:
I moderated for Marketing 2.0 last year and was happy to return. I like seeing the people who come back, and those that are new turn into fast friends. Plus, the ones that stick tend to be smart as hell.
And in fact, they probably got to know The French way better than they expected to:
That shoe psychosis went on for hours -- and, if you can believe it, it's still not over. But in general the Café Moderne nights are a bonding experience, plus Buzzman showed up, showered us in champagne and offered a bunch of people jobs they couldn't possibly refuse. (Also, Brito ate snails. Twice!)
Parting shot, at least before we all hit up another bar and started fighting about crepes, marketing and rap music:
Finally there was TechCrunch Paris: a one-day event that took place at La Cantine, a hot meetup spot for French startups. I attended for hypios with my colleague and homie-in-crime Greg Hermann. We gave a three-minute pitch during the closing startups competition and won third place. Our pitch:
After that we hung out with TechCrunch Europe's Mike Butcher, whom I first met at Plugg but know primarily because of Twitter; and were later kidnapped by beautiful people who decided we should all build a secret startup mindshare in which we meet monthly and dispense priceless wisdom upon one another.
The nice thing about these events is the intimacy: afterward, everybody gets together in a grand pile, has drinks and makes fun of each other. Plugg literally turned into a community pub crawl with beers the size of your face, Marketing 2.0 devolved into a wine-saturated party that lasted 'til 5, and TechCrunch Paris? Beers on TechCrunch if you were wise enough to follow the crowd to The Player's Bar down the street. (Okay. Maybe I sound like a lush. But come on, nobody needs to tell you what "networking" means, even in the digital age.)
This is actually a long preface to what I'll be doing next. Starting Sunday, I am liveblogging for MIPTV in Cannes. Here's my power-up post. If you have any interest at all in how entertainment brands are evolving, keep your eyes on updates to the MIPblog.
See you on the Croisette next week. And if not, maybe I'll see you there in June.