So this evening we held the first ever MIR Developer’s networking event. We’re no stranger to events here at MIR — but this is the first time we’ve tried something different from the 150-people style big ones.
This time we only had 15 attendees, along with a few chaps from DeviceAnywhere and the MIR editorial team. That brought numbers to around 25. Enough to still maintain a degree of intimacy — and enough to deliver an interesting mix of people.
Bang-on 7.30pm, the action started. I’d asked the DeviceAnywhere guys, Sam and David, to setup their laptop in the corner of the room just in case anyone wanted to see a demo. I reckoned one or two attendees would like to have a poke about and I wasn’t wrong. In fact almost immediately, Richard from Lastminute got stuck in as David showed him around the system. I just got time to take a breath before the our room was buzzing with a smattering of the city’s best and brightest. G1s, Nokias, iPhones — and even a Vodafone NetBook were out and being demonstrated. The smoothly running engine that is the One Alfred Place hospitality team stepped up a gear. 40 beers were already on ice with a good few crates standing by in the chiller. Water and wine flowed and before long plate-upon-plate of mini hamburgers (and other similar eats) arrived.
I took my usual position at the front of the room ready to welcome. I think that’s the way to do it. If you turn up to a MIR event, you’re guaranteed — and I think you should always be guaranteed — a personal welcome from the host. I brought everybody into the room, pointed them to the beers and pointed out faces.
As an indication of the kind of conversation and the people at tonight’s event, here’s what you’d have overheard me saying if you were sat on my shoulder for most of the evening:
That’s the chap from T-Mobile, Regan. He’s all about the G1 — ask him about the next generation of devices, he won’t be able to confirm much I’m sure but he’ll be able to give you a perspective.
Next to him, that’s the guy from the unnamed massive consultancy doing a ton in mobile (I promised no publicity).
Talk to this chap, he’s Europe’s best iPhone application developer. Yup.
Have you seen what these guys have done with Voicemail? Totally integrated into Gmail. You must have a look. Chris, let’s see the demo.
Now, you’re looking for a restaurant, right? Talk to Richard from Lastminute — get him to show you ‘NRU’, mind blowing stuff.
Now, look, do you use Twitter? On the browser? You want to be using dabr. Oh, you’re already using it? Right, see that chap there — talk to him, tell him what you think of it, he wrote it.
Let me introduce Tim here — you should talk to him, his company, Omnifone have the best mobile music service, bar none, for the normob. Our teenager contributor, Samantha, she loved it.
Kathrin and Rebecca — over there — they’re from the Spoken Group — yeah, the people who do audiobooks on mobile. Genius. Aye, Andy McNab’s an investor. They’re live on 3 and Vodafone. Get’em to show you a demo.
And these two guys are from secure mobile geniuses, Masabi. Yup you can now get your train ticket — properly — on your mobile. Ask Ben to show you the demo.
Wanna see some rather nifty mobile negotiation stuff? It does all the bartering hard work. You’d never believe what it can do with hotels. Talk to Adrian from Mimosa.
Have you heard the news from Nimbuzz? Talk to Geoff and he’ll perhaps be able to give you an ideas — we can’t write about it yet but it’s truly excellent. You need to see their iPhone implementation.
And next to Geoff is Stuart from Fluid Pixel Studios — there’s next to nothing he doesn’t know about Flash on mobile.
Have you tried Itchy Mobile? Heh, wait ’til you see it. Have a word with Alexander and get him to explain all. Think mobile concierge.
I hope that gave you a bit of flavour.
We managed to get video footage of almost everyone talking about what they’re doing — that will be up on the site next week. I’m aiming to publish one or two per day. It was difficult but we managed to keep nearly all the interviews to sub-10 minutes so they’ll be in good bite-sized chunks.
Thank you once again to DeviceAnywhere for agreeing to support tonight’s event.
Next stop is Paris — but based on the super feedback this evening here in London, I think we might aim to do more MIR Developer networking events here too.
I will be in touch with extended DeviceAnywhere trial accounts for all attendees.