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Will McInnes

London Social Business Scene kicks off

In the past two weeks or so I’ve been to 3 social business events, and am chairing a fourth on Friday.

So far, this cluster of activity has been notable for two things:

  • the number of events – 4 in London in two weeks
  • the difference in the events

So to me it really felt like a big surge of attention and activity around Social Business here in London and the UK.

Here’s what happened:

Wicked Wednesday / IBM Social Business Briefing

The first event was a joint thing organised by Collaboration Matters with their partner IBM.

What was notable:

  • Great format – 4 or 5 ‘thought leaders’ doing 5 minute intros to a topic, followed by whole group freeform discussion. Worked brilliantly, great input from both the leaders and the smart group
  • Clients – very interesting to see how far on the IT community, where I felt most attendees were from, are with their Social Business planning and thinking – yes, it’s platform-centric but it’s backed by real budgets, real intent
  • Heard the Cluetrain Manifesto and SEMCO both referenced several times – that’s amazing! It’s like finding new peers and likeminded people that you (or I) never knew existed.
  • IBM’s participation – was good to meet some of their people, but also they felt very quiet; not sure if that’s just getting used to the terrain or out of some kind of conscious decision to let others lead the discussion

Great event, and looking forward to doing more with the people I met (and thanks to Simon Collister who introduced me in). More here.

Social Business Session #1

I’m massively biased because I organised this.

What was notable:

  • Quality of speakers – Visceral Business, Dachis Group, NixonMcInnes (!), Employee Ownership Association and BUPA all lent us one of their smartest social business-y people. Thank you Anne, Lee, Jenni, Carole and Nick.
  • Crapness of the format for collaboration and discussion – good to learn for next time, but our wealth of good speakers crowded out the time available for quality discussion
  • Some of the people coming out of the periphery – I met some great new people from different worlds who each have a piece of the social business picture

Next one is March 14th – find out more and sign up here.

Edelman Social Business Breakfast Briefing, Social Media Week London

Was really looking forward to this because I rate and like (from the outside) Edelman – I like their independence, their becoming more digital before many other agencies of any flavour, and some of the quality of thinkers in their business (esp. Robert Phillips, author of Citizen Renaissance).

What was notable:

  • Edelman’s push into this area – it’s exciting and positive (IMO) to see a substantial global business throwing its weight into this and taking it so seriously
  • Sheer number of attendees – Edelman’s conference-y space was rammed to the gunnels, lots of people standing
  • The makeup of the audience – very young, suity and literally a handful of brands/clients in the whole audience; I guess that was both interesting and disappointing. Great that a cohort of young professionals are getting on the bandwagon from the off, disappointing not to see a bigger client contigent and what does that mean?
  • Sorry to be challenging, but apart from the ever-sane, ever-wise Euan Semple I found the content to be really platitudinal, shallow, tweet-friendly foam rather than the kind of experience or ideas-based contributions from what was a strong panel

Inside the Firewall panel discussion, Social Media Week London

This is a Chinwag-organised social business event as part of SMWLDN and I’m chairing it. Nice lineup – more here.

What might be notable!

  • A panel tilted towards clients – yay for WWF, Nokia and Adobe
  • We will try and get into the nitty gritty, going a layer beyond the tweet-friendly snippets
  • But who knows – come along and help make it great…

Come along – details here.

That’s it. Happy to hear different perspectives and would love other suggestions of great events.

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