Thursday, 16 April 2009

Tweetup at SEA Life London Aquarium

I co-hosted the first Events Industry Tweetup earlier this week at the new SEA Life London Aquarium. It was a great evening with an unexpectedly high turn-out of more than 100 event professionals.

On arrival, guests marveled at the sharks, swimming beneath them as they ventured across the Shark Walk. They could then communicate with scuba divers in the tank, watch the Green turtles from the new glass Ocean Tunnel and network with fellow Twitterers including deceptionist Sav, and look-a-likes Marylin Monroe, Madonna and David Beckham.

Myself and fellow host Peter Kerwood also used the event to announce the launch of our online Twitter directory. By registering your Twitter name on, it'll make it easier for others to find and follow you.

Thanks to everyone that made the Tweetup such a fun night. It was fantastic to meet so many of the personalities behind the twitter profiles and interesting to hear the stories of how Twitter has benefited business and network connections.
Follow me on Twitter for other crazy schemes and tweet updates. For more photos from the evening, click here.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Experience marketing conference line-up: Part 1

Following the success of last year's Excite! conference, the good folk at Exposure Event Creations have asked me to pull together the experience marketing seminars for this year's event, taking place at Earls Court from 24-25 June.

I wanted to improve upon last year's programme by consulting with key agency heads and getting buy-in from brands who advocate live marketing strategies.

With over half the programme now complete, I can safely say that it's shaping up nicely. O2 head of events John Worthinton and EA (Electronic Arts) head of retail and experiential marketing Penny Humphrey are both confirmed speakers.

O2's Worthington will team up with Sledge chief executive Nic Cooper to discuss the value of experience marketing in a recession. Whilst EA's Humphrey will take to the stage with Circle Agency managing director Claire Stokes to provide an exclusive insight into staging a long-term live product launch campaign using creative brand experiences and celebrity involvement.

A high-profile product launch, planned by EA and currently under wraps, will take place just one month before Excite! Delegates will be the first to discover how it went and what results were achieved.

Other highlights of the 2009 Excite! conference programme so far include a session entitled, “What’s the point of Twitter? Developing more integrated campaigns using social media”.

Kai Turner, from the agency responsible for Mars brand Skittles using a live Twitter search feed as its website home page, will deliver a greater understanding of social media channels and how they can be used for a more integrated approach to event marketing campaigns. Thanks to the British Interactive Media Association for its support of this session.

Tackling the issue of experience marketing Return on Investment will be ID client services director, Nicola Jordan. She will showcase the tools and methods used by the agency over a 15-year history of staging live campaigns.

I'm now waiting on confirmation from a major drinks brand and to find out if the head of brand experience for a major automotive client will get permission from his bosses to fly to London and take part in a panel debate on the future of automotive live marketing strategies (I have a good feeling he'll be there).

Confirmed panelists for the debate, planned in the wake of the cancellation of the British International Motor Show, include Jamie Gladstone, creative director at Imagination , Michael Wyrley-Birch, client services director at TRO Group and Robin Carlisle, managing director of Mobile Promotions .

More details of confirmed speakers and seminar times will be announced shortly. In the meantime, put the Excite! dates in your diary because it's shaping up to be nothing short of exciting.