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Blog: Conference Talk

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I went to a CONFERENCE on Wednesday, the Technology For Marketing And Advertising conference at Earls Court, to be precise. Myself and The Name On My Name Badge had BOOKED in for it ages ago, when I was thinking about maybe doing That Sort Of Thing if my job finished, but since it now looks like the job WOULD continue I decided maybe I'd not bother.

Things changed when I received a text from erstwhile Voon colleague Mr Simon Wilkinson. We'd arranged to go to the PUB on Tuesday night, but he texted the day before to POSTPONE, as he had "a keynote speech" the next day to prepare for. I thought nothing of it until, later than evening, I looked on Facebook and saw it was the exact same conference that he was talking at. I could go!

I DID go! A long trek across town in the morning (during which i read a whole pile of COMICS!) found me strolling into Earls Court 2 and a whole BUNCH of Stalls featuring acronyms that made no sense at all to me - everyone was ESPECIALLY banging on about "CRM", for instance, which I had to look up when I got home. As an OLD SKOOL Computer Type I was a bit WARY of it all - all this SEO stuff is exactly the sort of thing that makes us HARRUMPH, grumpily thinking "I bet they've never hand coded anything in their LIFE!" and every so often I'd see someone else with greying hair, dressed in Computer Guy Trying To Be Smart GARB, looking confused, perplexed and mildly disgruntled.

I didn't want to miss Simon's talk, so went and LURKED near the "Keynote Theatre", where there were a whole bunch of other people lurking, all leaning against a barrier. I went and stood at the very end of the barrier, and suddenly a FLOCK of people came and stood behind me. "Is this the queue?" someone asked. "I think it is now", I answered, HOPING that it was.

With half an hour to go we were allowed into a QUEUEING ENCLOSURE - mainly, I think, so that people who'd bought Premier Advance Speedy Boarding Passes had someone to FLOUNCE past - and after a while we went in, with me thinking "We only ever had a queue ONCE for Voon, and that was of six people!"

The keynote began with a man from Experian talking about "BIG DATA", which was interesting, then rambling on for AGES about an example of a JOURNEY in social media. He basically told a story about a couple who meet and get married and buy things, illustrated via social media terminology with lots of STOCK IMAGES. I tell you this for nothing - SEO people BLOODY LOVE stock images, they were EVERYWHERE. Got a slide about asking a question? Fill half of it with a picture of someone looking pensive, stood on a large question mark! It was EVERYWHERE, and CONFUSING - especially when he said "Here we see MIKE, who lives in PECKHAM" and showed a picture of someone clearly waiting for a train on the Paris Metro.

ANYWAY, soon it was time for SIMON, who was GRATE - he works for Doc Martens doing their Social Media stuff, and did a BIT about how Doc Martens is a) an old firm with loyal customers b) attracting new customers by doing NEW stuff. I knew much of this already from pub talk, but it was interesting hearing it explained properly, about how they THUS don't want necessarily to show their Old Punk customers images of Florence & The MAchine, or pictures of old CORTINAs to 15 year girls after flowery shoes.

I am PARAPHRASING, but that was the basic idea, and the way they DO it was ably explained through the medium of TOP TRUMPS. Simon said that they used research which allocated people into certain TRIBES, using key attributes which mean you only need to know a BIT about someone to be able to GUESS all sorts of other stuff about them. Like if someone said "I have Physical Strength 91, Fear Factor 81, Killing Power 86 and Horror Rating 100" they would reply "AHA! You are a DRACULA - here are some pictures of COMELY VIRGINS and CASTLES!"

There were also several GAGS, more FASCINATION and a general air of BELONGING at a huge conference talking to hundreds of people about The Modern and The New. I must say I was VERY PROUD - I remember him being AFEARED of doing 20 minutes of SONIC NOISE TERROR in front of 3 people at the Princess Charlotte, but here he was now securing total victory over a range of fellow professionals. It was ACE!

I QUEUED UP once more with a baying crowd of well wishers to tell him well done, and then he was dragged away to do a VIDEO INTERVIEW for their website. I said cheerio and strode off back home again, AGLOW with PRIDE and also NEW KNOWLEDGE. Well done everyone, well done!

posted 1/3/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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Lol. I like to imagine all those conference speakers having lightsaber fights with their trouser ferrets.
posted 1/3/2012 by Mikr

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