There's nothing like leaving a conference feeling inspired, not only by some of the speakers presenting their own case studies but by some of the delegates as well.
Going on first is always a daunting task (it's a little like the comedian who goes on first to warm up the crowd for the other comedians), but it did give me the chance to sit back and enjoy the other presenters.
For the first part of my presentation people were clearly thinking "my, how that Lee Bryant has let himself go. He used to be so slim..." until they realised that we had a dodgy clicker that wouldn't change slides.
Unfortunately the speakers hall was only half full when we first started due to London traffic issues, and atmosphere was a little reserved. But as people started to arrive the atmosphere improved greatly and the two tweeting walls worked a treat to capture questions and share highlights.
There were a few ripples of laughter at my Social Media in Business: It's just a bunch of tools right? Slideshare where it highlighted that the IT department recognised the need for a social networking platform and deployed it quickly. I really cannot fathom why people thought that was funny (ahem!)...
Unfortunately I didn't get the opportunity to talk more about Open Collaboration to truly engage employees through passive contribution to projects. Maybe next time.
Lee Bryant from Headshift was next on the stage talking about humanising social technologies, followed by Benjamin Ellis from SocialOptic who talked about many things including gamification. Benjamin certainly knew how to interact with the crowd and was probably my favourite speaker of the day.
After lunch we had the outspoken and flamboyant Elizabeth Lupfer from Verizon who was wearing the biggest heels i have ever seen and which probably contributed to her nearly falling over before reaching the stage. Elizabeth talked about "The House that Social Built" which was a different perspective to approaching social.
There were a couple of panel sessions either side of Jon Mell (whom did a great job providing a social insight to IBM) which did seem a little disorganised and confusing, reinforced by some of the faces of the panel. However there were some great points made, particularly the first panel on Social Media and Employee Communications.
However the fact that Jenni Wheller was on this first panel was of great disappointment to many of us.....we had lost our ferocious wall twitterer. This meant it left some of us with sore thumbs trying to tweet on our smart phones attempting to fill the twitter void she had left.
If you want to view the keynote presentations then you can view them on Slideshare:
- David Christopher (StopThinkSocial & Oracle)
- Benjamin Ellis (SocialOptic)
- Elizabeth Lupfer (Verizon)
- John Mell (IBM Europe)
Finally, I did meet some fantastic people at the conference which I do hope to stay in touch with and whom will hopefully be able to attend the Social Hangout event I will be hosting shortly in Reading.
Apart from the 3 hour drive back (which would normally only take an hour) it was a phenomenal day and a big thank you goes to Vic Okezie of Crexia and Adam Britten for all their hard work in setting up the event. I'm looking forward to the next Social Workplace Conference now in May 2012.