I’m helping to create the content for the NMK Forum 07 conference on June 13th (Vecosys.com is a media partner, and you can book here). Now, I’m going to make a totally outlandish claim for this event now, which is this: this conference will be unlike any new media / digital / web conference you have ever been to. Why am I sticking my neck out you ask yourselves?
Well, here are 10 Reasons To Come To NMK Forum
First: Great keynote speakers and panels. We have managed to great some very well known names involved:
Jason Calacanis needs almost no introduction. He is an internet entrepreneur from the old days who ran Silicon Alley Reporter magazine in New York, then went on to found and later sell Weblogs Inc (publisher of Engadget.com) to AOL for a reputed $25m. Since then Jason has relaunched Netscape.com as a competitor to Digg and is now “Entrepreneur in Action” at Sequoia Capital in LA. Recently he started the CalacanistCast video/audio podcast. Jason is an amazing speaker and an often controversial voice. He is well worth coming along to hear.
Dan Gillmor is the director of the Center for Citizen Media, a project affiliated with Harvard University. He currently works with Backfence.com and is the author of We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People (2004; O’Reilly Media). He is also a former technology journalist with The San Hose Mercury News. Dan literally wrote the book on social media and will be a fascinating speaker on where it’s headed next.
Nic Brisbourne is a partner with venture capitalists Esprit Capital Partners. Why are we getting Nic to speaker at an NMK event you ask? Well Nic also runs the respected Equity Kicker blog where he has been giving a venture capitalist’s eye-view of were digital media is heading. It’s rare to see VCs so free with their thinking and Nic will be giving us his view about the web business models currently setting the world alight – or not as the case may be.
Jyri Engeström is co-founder of jaiku.com, currently being touted as the “European” competitor to Twitter. A veteran of the Helsinki mobile scene he is also a founder of the Aula Network, a nonprofit to advance the vision of a creative society. His blog at zengestrom.com will tell you more, but his vision of the social mobile web will be fascinating to hear at the conference itself.
The panels themselves will be big, with lots of expert voices up there to challenge each other and be challenged by the delegates. This is going to be a ‘two-way’ debate, not the ‘gospel from on high’ so come ready to ask and pose lots of questions!
Second: Wi-Fi and Power! I’ve been to too many events where the Wi-Fi is either not working or, when you ask about it, the event organisers look at you as if you’ve just asked for a pint of Yak’s milk. We’ll attempt – please God! – to make the Wi-Fi the best and fastest you’ve ever had at an event. And what’s a new media conference these days without somewhere to plug in the laptop and re-charge the mobile? We’ll be rolling out the extension leads and plugs, which leads me to…
Third: A “Blogger’s Bullpen”. Do you blog? Do you plan to come to the conference? Then we’ll have special places for you to sit and blog you heart out.
Fourth: A great venue in an eighteenth century restored church in the heart of London’s digerati-filled Clerkenwell, with its myriad of bars and clubs nearby.
Fifth: Lots and lots of opportunity to network and meet your peers both during the day and at the evening party. We’ve even decided on circular tables because there will be more room for delegates (more room for your laptop, notebooks, cameras, camcorders etc) and it’s easier to meet new people. We have literally built this conference around networking, discussion and debate, so even if – heaven forbid – you don’t get excited by the panels, you’ll love the networking.
Sixth: A live back-channel: Too many conference seem to either have no online backchannel (like a chat room or IRC channel) where people can debate the issues being discussed on stage or, when they have one, it’s all unofficial and rather frowned upon by the organisers. NMK Forum will have an official backchannel, live during the panels and we have even set up a Twitter presence as well. If you can think of any other ways we can increase the level of digital interaction, then let me know – we’re up for it.
Seventh: Widgets! Ok, so not strictly speaking a Widget, but if you put the NMK Forum logo on your blog you get an easy 5% discount on your qualifying admission ticket price!
Eighth: Discounts & freebies: Apart from the 5% discount for the above, sponsor Jiglu.com is offering all delegates free MailSpaces software worth £200 a pop. (The first 50 people to book will get 5 licences each).
Ninth: A South By South West festival atmosphere: NMK organisers want to hear from individuals and companies that want to promote their activities. In many cases there are affordable sponsor packages they can take, but we are trying to work out how individuals, small firms or startups can have a presence too. Ideas welcome – please contact NMK’s PR & Product Manager Rebecca Fitzgerald (email: Rebecca.Fitzgerald(@)NMK.co.uk Tel: +44 20 7915 5412) about having a presence at the conference. There is also more information here.
Tenth: A showcase of startups and “projects”. This is still in formation, but basically we’ll be giving a handful of organisations (startups, technologists, or just interesting “projects”) the opportunity to give a 2 minute presentation of their work. This is not a dumb “pitch for venture capital money” but an attempt to showcase interesting projects which could disrupt the digital media arena in the future. Contact me if you think you are the next Last.FM or Skype.
Eleventh: Er, that’s it. What are you waiting for? GO BOOK A TICKET