Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

09 April 2010

On the Conference Docket Now

My conference moderator face.

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.

It's become a tradition for a big group of us to have dinner at Café Moderne, usually in the honour of somebody who flew all the way from the States. (Last year it was the Armanos.)

Attendees of this year's hallowed event included Leo Burnett's Fred G Levecque (the one with all the chest hair), Nathan McDonald and Sandrine Plasseraud of We Are Social, Branislav Peric of DDB, Gregory Pouy of Nurun, and Marie Catherine Beuth of Figaro. Honoured guests were AdWeek's Brian Morrissey and Edelman's Michael Brito -- two people I got to know a lot better than I might have at, say, an ad:tech.

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.


Howie at Sky Pulse Media said...

Very impressed with your presentation and presenting skills. Also surprised all these events were in English? But I am getting tired of the Social Media over hype (M2C speaker I am watching right now). Its amazing technology to bring people together in new ways and spread ideas around the globe but very superficially (just like the internet) but brands be damned. Sorry brands. I am not sold on Social Media as a marketing platform yet as a Finance/sales person. Notice though that Hypios is about the technology...brands be damned per your presentation. Something I have been spouting for over a year. Its the technology dummy!

BTW I don't think you asked George Parker about Social Media!

Howie at Sky Pulse Media said...

BTW part 2. My comment on superficiality is aimed at people's general connections in social media, what Hypios does with social media theory and technology for your business model is NOT superficial.

The Great Rashimoto said...

Um ok so I read your blog, watched the clips, then curiously went up back up and clicked the link about the human centipede and now I lost all thought process.....


Seriously tho I agree with your friend that commented as well here. I'm not seeing social networking as a marketing platform either.

Unless you're already established as a well-known business, a highly successful person, or your name is Lady Gaga and all it takes is the strategy of literally weaving product placement into your hairstyle, its hard to gather the right demographic/group. I guess you can say you're spreading a wide-net but it ain't gonna do you much good if you're going for bass but sailing in areas where there's mostly trout even if you do put out the right bass bait.

Plus all the spamming hasn't been filtered out. And not to mention like all things tied to technology, social networking will most likely be a short-lived fad in the grand scheme of all things throughout time so it isn't even sustainable for establishing yourself as a name brand.

Your company, however, is the first idea I've heard that has potential in working in conjunction with social media. It does show me that using this technology as a tool for business can be possible but I still say social networking has limited potential for the field of marketing and isn't going to prove useful for just any biz.