It’s all-systems-go on Thursday here in London. MEF Global has come to town. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed MEF events. The calibre of the other attendees is always extremely high.
The last MEF event I attended was a good few months ago now — in Miami — and it was simply brilliant.
This week’s event — MEF Global — brings key members from the MEF community from around the world together — but the key point here is that if you’re not a member, you can still come along. You’ll just have to stump up a bit more cash for a ticket. (If you’re not a member and you operate in and around the mobile entertainment space, you really are missing a trick.)
I’m hosting a panel this time, too. The subject? Leveraging the Unique Characteristics of the Mobile Device to Drive Mobile Social Commerce. Oh yes. Get in.
One of the MEF organisers asked if I could be counted upon to deliver some robust debate as panel moderate.
I nodded sagely.
Robust is my middle name when it comes to moderating panels. It should be a good one too.
Shall I let you into a little secret? I have a weird fear of panels. It’s still a real fear, I think — or perhaps a major aprehension — even today. A long time ago I moderated a panel in California on the topic of mobile. Android was just a glint in the milkman’s eye and ‘mobile development’ had only one definition: ‘iPhone’. My panel consisted of 5 chaps who all were apparently expert in their domain. I came up with about 13-15 questions to ‘get-us-started’, expecting each of the chaps to talk for at least 15-30 seconds each, filling the 45-minute session nicely and allowing for a bit of to-and-fro from the audience.
Yeah. None of that. I asked my first question and each person took the sodding microphone and said, ‘Yeah’ and handed the microphone along. 5 or 6 minutes into the session I’d used all my flipping open-ended low-ball juicy questions thanks to the stupid one-word or 6-word answers from the panel. The audience and I looked at each other. I could see they thought the panel was a bunch of idiots too.
But the fear. The panic. Goodness me. I filled the empty 35 minutes chatting along with the audience (who, thankfully, engaged with me perfectly normally) whilst the panel sat twiddling their thumbs. It’s a fear/panic issue for me, right up there alongside the horror of walking out of the house in the morning, getting on the train and finding my mobile battery is on 10%. Anyway. There you go. That’s a real fear of mine — moderating a panel and getting zero interaction from them.
This will not be a problem on Thursday though. The MEF team know what they’re doing. I’ve seen the participant list and they’re all excellent. I think we’ll have some fireworks and some good debate.
The rest of the agenda is looking good too. I’m looking forward to seeing the ‘lightning presentations’ — they should start the day off nicely. I gather this session comprises a series of 5-10 minute ‘quick-hits’ from some influential mobile people to set the scene. Then there’s a ‘thought leaders critical debate’. I do hope it is critical. I’m sure it will be. And on we go.
Here are just some of the folk speaking:
John Conlon, Senior Innovations Manager, Global Innovations, Barclaycard
Ty Roberts, Senior Vice President of Sony Corp. of America, Co-Founder/CTO of Gracenote
Daniel Angel, Head of mobile payments at Everything Everywhere/Orange
Lee Epting, Content Services Director, Vodafone, as keynote speakers at the event.
We’ll also see executives from Shazam, Whitbread, Aurora Fashions, Evernote (use it every day), CBS Mobile (love their stuff), A&N Media (ditto), Lightsquared (please come to the UK), Gracenote, Boku, Telefonica (BlueVia rocks) and QTel.
The day rounds off with always exciting Meffys Awards:
In the evening of the 7th July, MEF is celebrating industry achievements at its 8th annual Meffys Awards gala dinner hosted by Ruby Wax. This year’s Meffys is set to be a fantastic evening of celebration and networking. Tickets for the Gala Awards Dinner are selling out quickly so buy yours today.
You can pick up a conference & Meffys ticket for £599. Or just attend the conference for £299.
See you there.