I was at the Big M mobile conference (http://thebigm.mobi/) on Monday and am very glad I was. Chris (@bookmeister) and Mike (@m1ke_ellis) made some bold decisions in putting on this event and they paid off.Bold Decision #1 - Bath Tech innovation and Somerset are not necessarily two words I would associate but they absolutely showed the rest of the country what a great scene exists there. Nottingham (where I live and work) could learn a lot. It is a beautiful city that is a joy to visit. In the battle for talent that cities are (or should be) engaged in now, they have served Bath well. Bold Decision #2 - No WiFi Didn’t miss it, in fact I’m glad it wasn’t there. The mobile signal was good enough to get emails if anything urgent cropped up. I would imagine this was one of the reasons why people talked to each other more and probably got more out of the speakers. I go to too many conferences these days where people are too busy, surfing, and interacting with people that aren’t there rather than engaging with the speakers. Bold Decision #3 - Price £200 for a one day conference seemed reasonably pricey and pitching this right would have been a really hand wringer but it was spot on. It meant everyone who came really wanted to get something out of it and I’m guessing it meant they could afford the calibre of speakers that they attracted. Bold Decision #4 - Comedy/Rock Club Venue Forget anonymous hotels or convention facilities, more events like this should be held in this kind of venue. Komedia (http://www.komedia.co.uk/) had all the facilities and looked fantastic. People arrived and there was a palpable buzz as they went through the door into the venue proper. Going to a gig for ‘work’, brilliant. It was especially entertaining watching as a bunch of geeks spilled out on to streets at the breaks, blinking as they readjusted to a bright and very real world still existing outside.
If they run it next year I will absolutely be going as should you.