The Weekend Media Festival

Back in late September 2011, I was fortunate enough to be asked to lecture at the Weekend Media Festival in Rovinj, Croatia.

Weekend Media Festival!

Now in its fourth year, the festival is known for being the key event for the local communications industry and, with an expectation of 3000+ attendees, Nokia were onboard as sponsors; with both a device launch and a booth on site, part of the deal was that they were able to nominate their own speaker for the weekend.

The brief? An introduction to word of mouth marketing; a relatively unknown discipline in that part of the world. Case studies would be a necessity but, while I was permitted to talk a little about the work with Nokia, any heavy-handedness would not be welcome.

‘Perfect’, I thought. ‘It’ll be me, a room of 20 or so people, talking about (and probably kicking ideas around) the idea of word of mouth marketing and what it means to the modern-day brand’. Donezo.

Upon arrival [landing just after midnight, after leaving Beirut in the morning and making a short stopover in London for lunch – long story], I was asked to come down to the venue to meet the team and pick up my credentials.

‘But it’s really late and I doubt it’ll go on for long, I’ll do it tomorrow’, I said.
‘No’, they insisted ‘the party is only just starting. Come now.’

I did, and they were right: the party was only just getting started. However, that wasn’t the only surprise of the night. After meeting and greeting the rest of the people I was there to represent, I was asked if I’d like to see where I’d be speaking on the morrow – ‘Yes’ I replied, ‘that’d be great’, expecting to be shown to some corner/booth somewhere in the main hall.

Oh no. How wrong could I be?

Imagine my surprise as I was shown into the main conference hall and simply told ‘Yes, you’ll be in here’
‘Sorry? How many people can fit in here?’
‘Oh, about 900 sitting but probably closer to a full thousand when we fill up at the back’

Right.

The following day I rewrote the entire presentation (less Q&A and small numbers, more pretty images and big stories). I had potentially one thousand people to entertain. At 5:30pm. On a Friday. Plus, after once reading about Jyri Engestrom‘s tendency to wear bright red cardigans whenever he gives lectures to large groups of people (it helps the audience keep track of the presenter on stage apparently), I thought I should rock the red trousers too.

So I did – and it was awesome.

http://vimeo.com/30436391

PS. Rovinj is gorgeous, I thoroughly recommend visiting if you ever get the chance.

5 things on Friday #2

Following on from last week’s entry (and a little bit later than expected – I’m writing this on Tuesday, but back-dating it to last week – sue me), here’s the top five things I loved most from the past seven days –

  1. One of my fellow trans-mongolian adventurers, Ben Wallace, finally finished editing together one epic vodka train video (which we all helped in shooting along the way). Coming in at 6mins long, covering over 5600miles and tracking the consumption of quite frankly, a ridiculous amount of alcohol… I can’t stop smiling whenever I watch it.
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  2. This top 10 albums of 2011 list (via @switzke) is definitely worth a peruse for many an hour of aural pleasure. Dive in.
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  3. Paul Clarke‘s photography exhibition at Adam Street member’s club on Wednesday was really, really good (personal fave was the stage shot of Jon Culshaw) and I’m glad I was able to make it along. No link available at the moment (Paul’s working on it) but in the meantime, why not check out his portfolio?
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  4. Writing a comedy, agony-aunt-style blog post that resulted in being followed by Cher Lloyd Twitter bots? Definite highlight of the week.
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  5. I said goodbye to 1000heads. Good friends, great presents and an epic send off. Well done all.
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And for a bonus number six, two videos that came my way on my last day as a ‘head. Both about leaving; one achingly funny and the other achingly inspiring. Enjoy.

 

PS. Big love to Laura, Angela and Cathy for jumping on the 5Things trail.The latter’s three-fold reasoning as to why this is a good idea are exactly the same as mine. Win.

Good skills.

1000heads: 3CT #6

This week’s three cool things are a mixture of –

  • This is cool in a life-saving way
  • This is cool in a really quite strange (but frankly, hilarious) way and finally
  • This is cool but actually probably really isn’t

Shall we dive in?

First up, this video from Heineken that Rob posted on the 1000heads Socialcast just over a week ago –

The comments were as follows

“Why QR codes?”
“How is this on brand?”
“Couldn’t any brand do this?”

It sparked a whole other post about engagement currency too.

What do you think?
Cool, or not?
Technology for technology’s sake perhaps?

Next, this one from Miss Jaqui Hill, is BELIEVE IT OR NOT, nail varnish – for men.

We’re filing this under WHAT NOW?

Seriously.

And if that’s not enough, here’s a handy ‘how to’ video, for those of you who are still slightly unsure about this entire concept –

Finally, and this is by far and away our favourite entry from last week, the British Heart Foundation have recruited Vinnie Jones for this tongue in cheek but potentially life saving PSA video –

To the beat of Stayin’ Alive? Perfect. Hat tip to Ryan for finding that one…

Good job British Heart Foundation, we salute you.

Something beginning with O

Next Friday, January 13th 2012, will be my last day at 1000heads.

1000h

100heads Mo’bros, 2011 ^

We’ve achieved a lot together over the past 27mths – from AR phone launches, to movie tie-ins, to ending the year with our biggest ever award haul – the journey with 1000heads has been awesome.

With 2011 disappearing into the distance, the ‘heads go into 2012 with great clients, fantastic accolades and a future brimming with possibility.

However, after two [and a bit] years of working on the best projects, travelling to the best cities and building awesome community experiences with the best people, it’s time for me to take the next step.

On January 23rd I’ll be doing just that, by joining Ogilvy PR as Senior Associate Director, 360° Digital Influence.

I am very, very excited about joining a super-talented team that is not only going through a period of fantastic growth but also choc full of industry-dominating ambition.

The potential to do even more great work in 2012 is huge and I can’t wait to dig in and get my hands dirty. Until then…

Bring. It. On.

1002

 

1000heads: Movember 2011

We’ve managed to cobble together fifteen of the best looking men (all the ugly ones opted out) from the 1000heads London office to participate in this year’s charity fund-raising initiative, Movember.

Team 1000heads: Movember Day One

Robin, Henry, Egidijus, Hazem, James, Andy, Freddie, Kingsley
Ricc, Alex, Joe, Tim, Nick, Aurelian 

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, Movember is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for prostate cancer.

At the start of Movember us chaps register with a clean shaven face (see the bare-faced group visage above – snapped yesterday) and from henceforth shall be known as Mo Bros. Collectively, we now have the remainder of the month to grow and groom our Mo, raising money along the way to benefit – an issue that’s close to us all – men’s health.

I’m heading up the 1000heads bunch as Team Captain and you can get involved and donate by checking out our team page and clicking the ‘Donate to Team‘ button on the top right.

And that’s it, we’re away!

Keep an eye on the 1000heads Twitter stream for constant progress reports over the coming thirty days – 24hrs in and we’ve raised over £100, which makes us very happy indeed!

 

1000heads: Double Winner!

Last week, a mere 24hrs after we picked up a SoMeComms award for ‘Best Viral Campaign: Nokia / Tron: Legacy’, we did ‘the double’ at the Digital Impact Awards!

2011-10-24-2145

Picking up a silver award in the ‘Best use of existing social media platforms/sites’ category for ‘Nokia / Tron: Legacy’ as well as a Digital Impact ‘Highly Commended’ award in the ‘Best use of online video’ category for ‘Behind the E7‘.

We’re immensely proud of our work on both of these wins and, as ever, we celebrated in the correct and proper way!

2011-10-24-2142

Fancy joining us for celebratory tea and cake? Why not apply to be part of our [multi] award-winning team?

We’ve just won a wealth of new clients and we need fresh, smart and hungry talent to help us deliver even more spectacular work for some of the best clients in the world.

Join us today.